So, I was recently in Cambridge, MA and had a turkey sandwich twice -- once at two different places. The first was at Au Bon Pain and the second at a more local deli also in Harvard Square. Which do you think was better?
Custom Brewcrafters is a micro-brewery in upstate NY. You may know some of their beer, especially if you are a wegmans shopper, but probably not all of them unless you have been to their huge barn-like structure in Honeyoe Falls. (NOT Honeyoe.) We were out on a wander -- the same one that took us to Roots Cafe -- and this is one place we stopped. We had a beer tasting and then purchased a growler of porter for as friend.
What did we taste? We tasted 6 beers -- including the porter, a black lager, a german bock beer, an ESB and a very hoppy (and apparently very popular) beer called Caged Alpha. The tasting costs $4 (which comes back to you if you make a purchase as a discount) and they actually give you pretty much for each taste (so much that we did not consume all of the beer, in part because it was an incredibly hot day, and. . . . ). The beers were varied, and each tasty in their own way. Trying 6 did not get us to all the beers even! I can say that the ESB was delightful, that the porter is pretty light for a porter, and that I would return and try others. (THey are the makers of Canadaigua Lake beer which appears on the grocery store shelf.)
A growler? My wandering partner had never heard this term, and I admit I first heard it in Harrisburg. What is it? A bottle that holds a substantial amount of beer (though a lot less than a keg) that you can bring back and get refilled. How environmental. Here's the wikpipedia article on the notion, which tells you more specifically what a growler is. And here is a dandy little piece from the beer advocate on growlers. Learn something new every day.
Microbreweries are a growing phenomenon in upstate NY and this is one with lots of options. And yes, it is in Honeoye Falls, NY
So, I was in Naples the other day. No, not Italy, though I suspect it is somewhere near Italy Hills, but who knows. I mean Naples, NY. And, I was at a winery I have passed, which has a great cafe called Roots Cafe. The winery? Inspire Moore. The cafe is a locavore place, right at the winery. Delightful ambience and delightful food.
Details? You want details? Here you are:
First, the ambience. The winery itself is very colorful. Literally. We have driven past before, and been intrigued by the amazing purples and other very definite colors. What drew us this time, though, was a discussion of the cafe. In any case, the cafe itself is also an ambience kind of place -- weird phrase, I know, but true. There is a porch, but it was a real scorcher when we were there (and plus the tables were full) so we went inside. I love those vintage tables with metal tops that pull out -- in fact, I have one -- and this place is filled with them. They look kind of like this:
(And thanks to this site for the picture.) ANd there are ceiling fans and the walls are painted an assortment of fairly vibrant colors. Yep, colorful in both senses. The floors are beautifully restored. The bathroom (which I often have reviewed in the past ) is up a fairly steep set of stairs, where you can snoop a bit as they are clearly rennovating the upstairs still.
And now, the food. It is organic and local (hence the use of locavore above). And, we had the following things: a pean/mint soup, a burger (with blue cheese), some cucumber tomato salad, fries, and a seasonal salad that involved blueberries. Here's a review: first, I expected the soup to be chilled (perhaps because it was well over 90 degrees farenheit outside) but it was not. Despite this clash with my expectations, it was absolutely wonderful -- tasting really really like peas and mint -- with a soupcon of balsamic vinegar. The texture was just on teh edge between smooth as silk and a tiny bit coarse -- maybe like linen as opposed to silk. Mmmm. I followed this with a blue cheese bacon burger -- but they were out of their nitrate free bacon, so it was just a blue cheese burger. The cheese was a slab of local blue which was salty in just the right way. The bun was home made and also great. Just the right cusp between crunchy and soft. And the burger -- well, it looked like a burger made by a human being (no, I am not a cannibal, I just mean it was not the most uniform burger I have ever seen. Instead, it looked like the ones I make.) It was cooked to perfection (I asked for medium well) and it tasted more like beef than any burger I have had in ages. Yep, local, grass fed burger. Alongside it, I had the cucumber tomato (and red onion) salad, which was very good. Sometimes these are not wilted to where I think they have reached perfection and this one was. My dining partner (and more) had a seasonal salad with greens that were actually filled with tasty-ness -- and a side order of hand cut fries. The latter pushed those from the Red Dove out of first place for local fries, though, admittedly, the shoestring ones at Red Dove still retain title to the best shoe string fries ever.
Finally, the drinks: one of us had perfectly acceptable ice tea (black tea). And, I had an Inspire Moore wine, a pinot gris called Peace. It was ok -- not spectacular, but ok -- a little bit like a riesling, oddly enough. In some ways, it was the only non-spectacular part of an otherwise wonderful meal.
And here is urbanspoon on Roots Cafe in Naples, NY: