Mr. Dominic's: Where the retirees all go to eat
It doesn't look like much from the outside but it is quite comfortable and clean inside.
There is a little cafe-style set of chairs and umbrellas out front during the summer but the store front is pretty austere in the winter.
The prices are very reasonable and the first week of the month is when the retiree crowd hit this place (with money from the social security checks). Their French Chicken and Breaded Veal are probably the best items on the menu. With each dinner you get a bowl of bread, a salad (or soup if you prefer) with your favorite dressing (oil and vinegar, thank you) and choice of vegetables. Try their steamed clam appettizers for $4 a dozen.
The menu is chiefly Italian specialties but also has steaks and prime rib if that is your preference. Their $6 antipasto plate has salami, capicola, olives, provolone, tomatoes, pepperoni, italian sausage, egg, artichoke and some special spices.... delicious. Spaghetti Marinara is probably the favorite on Wednesdays and Fridays; when you can get a whole bowl for $8.
The restaurant is wood tables and chairs with a bar at one side of the open area. You can get served at the tables or get self-service at the bar. The staff are fast and courteous and the food is served within about 15 minutes after you order.
from the ads:
"Hospitality, large portions, variety and reasonable prices combine to make Mr. Dominic's one of Rochester's most popular Italian eateries."
- Road Trip
Bellancas: Overlooking the Port of Rochester
THIS BUSINESS HAS GONE BANKRUPT AND THE BUILDING IS EMPTY ALTHOUGH THE SIGNS STILL ARE IN PLACE
If you like Prime Rib or Italian, then Bellancas is the place for you to eat.
For $25 you can get a juicy slab of Prime Rib, a side salad, rolls and coffee.
You get a view of the Genesee River (the area is called the Port of Rochester) near where it meets Lake Ontario.
The place is casual dining with dress normally being collared shirt and long pants for dinner.
The decor is dark woods and low lighting in a large room with a bar at the east end. The staff was responsive but not over-friendly. The service was good even though there were many other diners in the restaurant. The food was delicious and the bill wasn't too much.
They have a good Fish Fry dinner on Fridays that we have not tried yet, but which I hear is fairly cheap if you are an early bird (4pm-6pm).
- Road Trip
JAMS Bavarian: a nut by any name is still a nut....
This shop is a little nutty. Literally! It is an unassuming little shop that sells all kinds of nuts. Cashew, peanuts, shelled nuts, roasted nuts, pistachios, almonds, pecans.... etc.etc.
For $3 you can get a large bag of fresh roasted, honey and cinnamon coated, cashews that are really great.
The shop is in the Ferry Terminal (they need a new name for the building since there is no longer any ferry). A little old German man runs it. It is the same shop that he used to have over on Lyell Avenue for many years and decided it was more profitable (and much safer) down here in Charlotte.
So while you are walking around the beach area, stop off here first and get a bag of munchies to take with you on your walk.
- Road Trip
Cavacori: Italian restaurant
Good Italian dinners at very reasonable prices.
Veal Parmigiana, Stuffed Eggplant, Shrimp Fra Diavolo, Haddock Marinara, Chicken Saltimbocca and more and more. Every meal is under $20 and the portions are more than you can eat.
This small restaurant has some of the best, local, authentic Italian cuisine in the area. The atmosphere is cozy and ethnic (Italian colors and decor); the owners often mingle with the customers; the staff are friendly local people who cater to the needs of the regular customers.
There is about a fifteen minute wait between making the order and getting the hot dishes served to the table. That is enough time to sample some of the fine wines on the extensive wine list and have a nice conversation in the quiet dining area.
The food platters basically cover the table-for-two. There are salad plates and rolls and soup bowls and the main meal and coffee cups and wine glasses. When you have finished all you can eat at one sitting there is still more food from the table that you can take home in those styrofoam containers.
Total bill is about $30 per person (plus tax and tip) but it is well worth it.
Reservations are not necessary except at dinner on Friday and Saturday when the small restaurant fills to capacity.
- Road Trip
LDR Char-pit: great beef sandwiches
This diner is a Charlotte institution. I first went there about fifty years ago and it basically looks the same now as it did then. The food is just as tasty too.
It is a throw-back diner like in the fifties and sixties; counter and stools, formica tables and red vinyl seats in the booths. No table cloths and you get paper napkins from a dispenser.
It is counter service where you yell your order to the staff who passes it along to a cook who then yells back what is ready to go. In under five minutes you can have a shaved beef sandwich with special BBQ sauce that is great.
The staff is efficient and no-nonsense (you best speak up if you want your order done right and done now). You order, you pay, you eat! The menu is American fare (beef, burgers, fries, onion rings, italian sausage, coke, etc.) Condiments are in dispensers on the counter; you take your tray of food and find a spot to sit.
The place looks a bit rough (bikers are frequent customers) and the parking lot is always full and the inside is always crowded, but just park on the side street and go get some of this nostalgia. They take cash....
There is a sign on the building that says "we cut and grind our own meats" but I am not sure that that is true any more because there are no longer any cows in the back yard (small joke).
- Road Trip
Pontillos: best pizza in town
This was the first Pontillos we ever tried over 40 years ago and although the original owner is long gone, the pizza tradition he started is going strong still today. The store itself used to be next to Charlotte Appliances but moved down the street to its present location.
Thick crust with a light texture. Red sauce with a hint of sweetness. Lots and lots of cheese.
Choices from a dozen toppings. Big enough to feed three people at $10 ( a lot cheaper 40 years ago).
If you have a pizza that has all those qualities it must be a Pontillos.
We still go here for pizza but nowadays you can get sub sandwiches and salads and chicken wings and bread sticks and a lot more (see website below for full menu)
- Road Trip
Schaller's Restaurant: happy days of rochester.....
People are there of all age groups and genre: families, young first-daters, hot-rodders, older bikers (looking to eat not drink), me. And they all have one thing in mind.... fast access to meat and taters. So you step up to the low counter (waiters/waitresses are behind the counter on a lower level) and you place your order and they yell to the cook (guy with greasy apron 10 feet behind them next to this huge grill). By the time you get your wallet out to pay, they are already filling your tray with the food you ordered. Squirt a little ketchup and mustard and tong out some pickle chips from the brine barrel and go find a table/booth inside or a picnic table outside.
It is the Rochester version of the restaurant in Happy Days (movie/TV-show).
It is a local landmark.... people say "yeah, it's down by schallers" and you know where they are talking about.
And the food is actually good (if you don't mind a bit of grease). Fast service with freshly cooked food. Large portions at a reasonable (but not cheap) price.
Favorite Dish: Italian sausage on Kaiser roll with "the works" (hold the onions).
- Road Trip
Pelican's Nest Restaurant: On the Genesee River....
(this page is also in the Rochester guide where more people may see it)
This is a seasonal restaurant, open in the summer month's when there is a flow of people to the Charlotte Beach and pier area. There are indoor and outdoor tables with views of the Genesee River and Summerville across the river. The decor is typical water-theme and the staff are friendly.
The food is traditional American, meat and potatoes, salad and beer. They have a decent hamburger plate with fries and salad bar for reasonable price. They do have a fish dinner on Fridays but I have another restaurant that I go to that is much better for that.
There is also a night crowd of thirtiers that frequent the bar.
(caution for late night drinkers..... the railroad tracks cross River Street at a shallow angle and people have been known to go down the tracks)
Favorite Dish: Hamburger and French Fries
- Road Trip
Abbotts Frozen Custard: Abbotts Custard at the Beach
Silky smooth, Icy cold, Several flavors (chocolate's best), in Charlotte.... must be Abbotts.
A New York State company with heavy presence in Rochester, NY.
They make some of the best whipped ice cream (with secret ingredients included) you have ever had. When you go to Charlotte Beach (Ontario Beach Park), you must get a cone of this delicious concoction. Your mouth will thank you.......
- Road Trip