This place is a real throwback to the 1930's, which is probably when it was built. Along Route 86 between Plake Placid and Saranac Lake is this old-fashioned roadside motel and rest-stop. The cabins are actually still for rent, for one night or more and the restaurant serves American specialities in an open-air environment with live music most days of the week. You'll be served by college kids who are friendly, if inexperienced. There are tents covering most of the picnic tables, in case of bad weather, as well as small playgrounds adn other entertainment for kids, who will no doubt run all around the place while the adults are enjoying their meals. It's also a popular motorcycle tour desination, so be prepared for a lot of hogs!
Going here is fun, but also a little sad. It reminds me of how completely franchised most of the country has become. It used to be you could see these local haunts all over, as you crossed from town to town. Now, it's all truck stops, convenience stores, Starbucks and fast-food dives. Enjoy!
Favorite Dish: BBQ rib or BBQ chicken dinners are a great value and very tasty with a beer or an ice cold margarita to wash it down. There are also good char-broiled burgers and hotdogs.
THe High Peaks area of the Adirondacks is about 300 miles north of New YOrk City, so you might get hungry on the way up or back! Pull off at exit 18 if this is the case and head to the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park.
The Institute's two excellent cafes don't require reservations, but the American Bounty and Caterina DiMedici restaurants do, and if you want to eat there you should reserve well in advance. Sometimes you can get a last minute reservation, but do not count on it.
of the two "fancy restaurants" American Bounty is my personal favorite. The chefs in training use a lot of local and regional ingredients to produce a wonderful new American cuisine. You won't be disappointed!
Favorite Dish: It constantly changes.
At the entrance to the village -- you cannot really miss it -- lies the turquoise-painted Casa del Sol Mexican restaurant. In warm weather, locals gather on the cozy outdoor patio to sip margaritas while swapping fish stories.
This may be just what you need to get a break from the preponderance of "American Food" that you will normally find in this region. Not that there is anything wrong with BBQ and "Mom's Apple Pie", but everyone needs a little spice now and then!
Favorite Dish: Mussels in a spicy tequila broth and all the enchiladas!
Make early reservations at the Wawbeek below, to dine in an elegant great camp setting. Stick furniture, antler chandeliers and a huge stone fireplace adorn the dining room; the cuisine features regional specialties.
Favorite Dish: Go for locally caught fish or game, such as venison medallions sautéed with forest mushrooms and tomatoes, splashed with bourbon and served in a tarragon veal glaze :)
Like Mountain Mist, this small custard stand, which typically servers only one flavor each day, is a beautiful little throwback to the past, right in the heart of the High Peaks region. On route 86, with stunning veiws over to Whtieface nad the High Peak range, you can enjoy eating your ice cream only steps away from the Diary Barn that produces its milk!
Warningt: it is a seasonal stand only. Go between Memorial Day and Labor Day to enjoy this great spot!
One of the best things about "Mountain Mist" is its location on beautiful Lake Flower, just outside of Saranac Lake. For anyone who has been to the Adirondacks, you know the allure of a custard stand on a pristine mountain lake! Mountain Mist is a gem of a place that will bring you back to a more innocent age!
Favorite Dish: Soft serve of the day! Oh yes, and the amazing Turtle Sundae!!
By the way, you can also get some charbroiled food here, such as hot dogs and hamburgers.
This is a great little bakery, where you can buy muffins, scones and coffee in the morning, or buy takeout snacks and sandwiches for a day-trip on the boat.