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I-90 All the Way to Boston: Help?

I-90 All the Way to Boston: Help?
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  • I-90 All the Way to Boston: Help?

    Post #1 - June 10th, 2006, 11:46 am
    Post #1 - June 10th, 2006, 11:46 am Post #1 - June 10th, 2006, 11:46 am
    Actually, technically, it will be Boston to Chicago. We're going to take I-90 the whole way, and stop over one night, somewhere between, say, Buffalo and Cleveland. Or maybe Rochester and Toledo? It would be nice if we could stop in a place that had some destination-caliber food.** We'd be willing to drive maybe 20 miles(?) off the highway to get it.

    In addition to the one overnight, we're looking of course for any other food stop that's worthwhile along the way. Some of the cities that I-90 passes through/near include Springfield (MA), Albany, Rochester, Syracuse, Buffalo, Erie, Cleveland, Toledo, & South Bend, just to stoke your imaginations. Though it's the small towns in between that we'd really love to strike gold.

    If you have a favorite place from days of yore, please let me know-- maybe you will be rewarded with a posting of some fondly-taken pics from the place.

    Thanks.



    ** "Destination-caliber food" ≠ "fancy;" I'm thinking more of, like, Shapiro's in Indianapolis or LC's in Kansas City.***
    *** Or Arthur Bryant's.
  • Post #2 - June 10th, 2006, 1:12 pm
    Post #2 - June 10th, 2006, 1:12 pm Post #2 - June 10th, 2006, 1:12 pm
    In Syracuse, I can strongly recommend Angotti's for VERY old-school red sauce Italian-American fare. Try the pizza, too; it's a great version. Meets all your criteria. And while my recommendation is based on numerous visits over the past five years or so with Mrs. JiLS, Hart Seely of the New York Times seems to concur in my high opinion -- or at least enough to give it a mention in this travel guide entry (item 3).

    Another place in Syracuse I have not been to, but many people like, is Dinosaur Barbecue. And also mentioned here. A Syracuse original, popular enough that they recently opened a branch in NYC. (Dinosaur is also recommended in the NY Times article linked above.)

    Also mentioned in the first Dinosaur post above is the (formerly "All Night") Egg Plant, a great option if you are around Syracuse at breakfast time. Try the peanut butter and jelly omelette and the toasted honeybuns. They've been doing this sort of thing since the folks at Bongo Room were in short pants. Assuming you don't suffer IBS, you won't regret making the stop. The (formerly All Night) Egg Plant is a real piece of Syracuse local culture and lore. The Egg Plant used to be located nearer to Syracuse University, and was an all-night hangout for students (including Mrs. JiLS, back when she was just known as "Susan," an unspecified number of years ago). The owner also had a notorious, if only semi-serious, "feud" with the folks at Burger King back in the early 1970s, when they challenged his use of the name "Whopper" for a hamburger he was selling before they actually got to town. He gave in and changed it to the "the Vhopper," (sp?) in honor of his Hebrew heritage. Or at least that's what's reported in the newspaper story in the frame hanging from the wall by the restrooms.

    Another option that has the benefits of 24-hour service and easy-on, easy-off access to the Interstate (more or less), is Doc's Little Gem Diner. It's nothing special on a purely food basis, although the cooks are also perfectly competent at the usual diner foods. What Little Gem has is plenty of atmosphere, charm and complete obscurity to non-residents (although a few SU students wind up there, too).
    JiLS
  • Post #3 - June 11th, 2006, 7:26 pm
    Post #3 - June 11th, 2006, 7:26 pm Post #3 - June 11th, 2006, 7:26 pm
    If the timing works out, the West Side Market in Cleveland is very close to I-90 and worth a stop:

    It's only open on Mon, Wed, Fri and Sat.

    http://westsidemarket.com/
  • Post #4 - June 19th, 2006, 2:04 pm
    Post #4 - June 19th, 2006, 2:04 pm Post #4 - June 19th, 2006, 2:04 pm
    Now that the chowgirl has sold her condo in CT we'll be taking this same trip come the middle of August. I'd appreciate any additional recommendations. Please consider that we'll be driving a larger U-Haul type vehicle with a car towed behind it.

    Thanks,

    Flip
    "Beer is proof God loves us, and wants us to be Happy"
    -Ben Franklin-
  • Post #5 - July 12th, 2006, 8:28 pm
    Post #5 - July 12th, 2006, 8:28 pm Post #5 - July 12th, 2006, 8:28 pm
    Well, the road trip was pretty much a bust food-wise, owing to poor planning on our part. I hold myself responsible here-- JiLS gave us some good suggestions-- I'd hoped to try the pizza at Angotti's in Syracuse, but the timing was off; we were going to hit the Cleveland deli recommended by Ann Fisher (see below), but we got into Cleveland too late at night.

    The only thing worth reporting on at all was a stop at DB's in Weedsport, NY, which was like a DQ decorated with extra funness. (This website-- which is pretty significantly neat-o on its own-- speculates that it was once a Tastee Freez.) They had world-class soft-serve ice cream (frozen-custard-thick) and served something called a "coney," as described by the counter girl suchly:

    "A coney is made from pork, where a hot dog is made from... I really can't tell you what a hot dog is made from."

    Though they did offer a coney-with-chilli option, I don't think it necessarily had anything to do with the Detroit-promulgated "coney" described here; it was just one meat option to fill your bun with. But maybe it did, I don't know. It's funny to think of a semi-obscure midwest take on a NY food migrating to NY.

    You could get a hot dog or a coney dog, plain or with chili, or however you'd like it. The coney itself had a bit more bite than a hot dog (garlic? paprika?), and overall I was pleased. It is an unfortunate accident that it looks almost texturally indistinguishable from the Jewel-quality bun it sits in.

    Image

    Image

    I don't know if I'd suggest a special trip to DB's, but if you do happen to be in Weedsport, NY, already, for some reason, and, additionally, you are hungry, at that moment, it's a definite do-not-miss.

    Sorry I couldn't do better.


    DB's Restaurant & Drive-In
    8951 N Seneca St.
    Weedsport, NY 13166
    (315) 834-6651

    ps: In the interest of utility, here are some other threads which have useful Chicago-to-Boston discussions:

    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=8584 [Worcester]
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=5057 [upstate NY]
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=4552 [Cleveland]
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=9161 [Chicago to Cleveland]
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=654 [Toledo]
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=3433 [a few spots in Ohio]
    http://www.lthforum.com/bb/viewtopic.php?t=4203 [followup]
  • Post #6 - July 13th, 2006, 9:33 am
    Post #6 - July 13th, 2006, 9:33 am Post #6 - July 13th, 2006, 9:33 am
    Too bad about the timing of your run through Syracuse, but like everyone else in the world, you'll almost certainly be back there!

    Regarding the seeming "re-introduction" of the coney dog from the midwest to New York, Mrs. JiLS assures me it never left and is really a different concept altogether, and is centered on the sausage, not the topping. Basically, growing up in central New York State in the 1960s and 70s, a "coney" just meant a white-colored, spicy hot dog -- pretty much what you were served in Weedsport, it would appear. No chili was necessary, and in fact in her recollection, none was ever applied; it was a "coney" simply because the sausage was white and spicy, and otherwise you could dress it however you liked. Consistent with that definition, I note the chili was optional on your coney; whereas I believe chili is a mandatory part of the midwest "coney."
    JiLS
  • Post #7 - July 13th, 2006, 10:21 am
    Post #7 - July 13th, 2006, 10:21 am Post #7 - July 13th, 2006, 10:21 am
    FWIW, Western PA has its Coney Island stands, which seem much more like the Detroit animal than the Western NY beast. Odd given the close proximity of Western PA to Western NY.

    I don't remember the white hot dogs being identified as coneys in Rochester. Shouldn't it be made with rabbit if the description drops "Island" and applies to the meat and not the style of preparation?
  • Post #8 - July 13th, 2006, 10:37 am
    Post #8 - July 13th, 2006, 10:37 am Post #8 - July 13th, 2006, 10:37 am
    JeffB wrote:I don't remember the white hot dogs being identified as coneys in Rochester. Shouldn't it be made with rabbit if the description drops "Island" and applies to the meat and not the style of preparation?


    Even if that were true, I don't believe I would want to know. Why, it was just yesterday I observed to Mrs. JiLS the cuteness of a bunny grazing by the side of the Kennedy. Not sure how many "conies" she ate as a kid in Syracuse, but perhaps it's best not discussed.
    JiLS

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