Friday, May 13, 2016

Finger Lakes: Cayuga: Crystal Lake Cafe at Americana Vineyards

Crystal Lake Cafe is one of my favorite restaurants of ALL time. For many reasons including sentimentality, quality and just overall excitement. I vacation every year to my family's lake house on Cayuga Lake and this is one of the things about making the trip up there every summer that I look forward to. 
This item has been on the menu for a few years (its been sold out when I tried to order it!) and I finally tried it this past summer - Bahn Mi Fries. I think they are more of a Korean BBQ fries, but regardless, one of the best things I have put in my mouth. 
Carrie got a special of the night - some sort of deconstructed pot pie. It was hearty, yet somehow wasn't too heavy for this summer night. 
I ordered some sort of pulled pork platter, but without the bun. I love the contrast between coleslaw and pulled pork - crunchy and cool, with savory and meaty. 
Americana Vineyards has live music on certain nights, and we had a great view from our table. It was lovely to have music in the background and great to see people of all ages gather around to listen. There were even some older couples dancing and it was adorable. #goals
I have sung their praises many times before - Crystal Lake Cafe is one of my favorite places to visit and I look forward to their food every summer. This year I might even make a few visits. Be prepared, throughout the past 3-4 years I have been going, their service is always pretty bad, servers are nice, but not efficient. Food, wine and environment makes it more then worth the visit. 

4367 East Covert Road
Interlaken, NY
Finger Lakes Region 
The Crystal Lake Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Past visits
2014 Part 1
2014 Part 2

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Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Where to Eat in Nuremberg, Germany - Inside the Altstadt Part 2

It’s time for part 2 of Where to Eat in Nürnberg – Non-German Cuisine. Check out part 1 for German cuisine!

Königstraße 36
90402 Nürnberg, Germany

This restaurant is right outside of St Lorenze Church and my first time wandering around inside the Altstadt. Serves your basic slices of pizza in touristy area for a fair price. It was a nice, quick bite – and you can get it to go. They have an outside window for ordering.

Kartäusergasse 12
90402 Nürnberg, Germany

I went to one of the fanciest and most innovative dinners of my life, my first (and hopefully not last) Michelin star rated restaurant. If you want to drop a chunk of change it is worth it - luckily for me this was a business dinner. I spent 4 hours here and ate 6 course plus 3 amuse bouches. I ate pigeon liver and some sort of dessert with sourdough filing and black rice ice cream. If you have the time and the money, stop by. I have read lots of mixed reviews online about their service, but our server was great. Be warned, sitting at a table eating for this long is exhausting! 

Augustinerstraße 2
90403 Nürnberg, Germany

My last meal in Nürnberg. This was close to my hotel (Hotel Elch) and that is how we ended up deciding to stop here. It was a last minute decision, and hunger had made me grumpy and indecisive. The inside of this restaurant is what I like to think a little Italian café is, with red checkerboard table settings and wine paraphernalia everywhere. In desperate need of veggies, we started off our meals with side salads. Josh ordered the special of the night, the gnocchi Sorrento which he enjoyed and looked fantastic. I ordered a pizza with ham on it. It was the biggest pizza of my life and ended up being almost the size of my double wide monitor. I wish I took a picture of it to scale. A solid meal and wonderful ambiance. 
If you missed part 1 – German cuisine, check it out here! Stay tuned for three reviews on where to stay in Nürnberg

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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Where to Eat in Nuremberg, Germany - Inside the Altstadt Part 1

Over the course of my 10 days in Nuremberg (for a work trip) I managed to eat at some pretty delicious places. Searching for recommendations on the internet before I came was difficult so I figured I would write my own! What I was able to gather from the World Wide Web was that one of the signature dishes of Nuremberg are finger sized sausages – Nuremberg Bratwursts (you will see these all over the city/dining hall at tradeshows). 
Sometimes not having internet can be a blessing. All of the random restaurants we stumbled upon and ate at were good – with no perceived notions or expectations going into it, we were able to enjoy the food for what it was, a tasty meal.
From this point on, you will see me refer to Nuremburg as Nürnberg – which is the way it is pronounced in Germany (Deutschland). I am going to divide this review into two posts (German and Non-German cuisine) so you are not overloaded with words! Part 2 is here coming later this week!!

German Cuisine

Rathauspl. 2
90403 Nürnberg, Germany

If you want a stereotypical German food/beer hall experience then Zum Spießgesellen is the place for you. The women are dressed in the typical "wench" or barmaid attire. This is where I had the traditional Nürnberger Bratwurst and Sauerkraut for the first time and quickly understood its charm. Along with the bratwurst, I ordered “meat on a sword” – which to American folks is a beef kabob – on the menu it is “Hauptmannspieß” for 22,90. There are certainly more budget friendly items on the menu but this was delicious. I enjoyed the pints of beer, having 2-3 large ones, as well as a shot of jaeger to end the meal. Business dinners, am I right?

Karolinenstraße 2
90402 Nürnberg, Germany

After working 8 straight long days, my coworkers and I stumbled around trying to figure out where to eat to celebrate the tradeshow being over. We happened upon a small door that we thought couldn't possibly be the entrance to a restaurant. We were wrong, it led down to a basement/dungeon like environment. The ambiance alone is worth stopping by for and luckily the food was just as tasty. I highly recommend making reservations as we were told this place fills up quickly. We all ordered soup to start our meal – I had the Franconian potato soup. For my entrée I had some sort of spätzle with beef – both options were hearty, delicious, traditional German dishes. 
Rathausplatz 1
90403 Nürnberg, Germany

On my only free day in Nürnberg (and last German meal of the trip) Josh and I spent the day doing a self-guided walking tour and stopped by this place for a quick bite to eat. You can't beat lunch for 2,50, plus it was quick and perfect to eat while strolling around. However, if you choose to sit down and eat, this looks like another fun German Experience. Tip – if you get it to go, once you enter and go through a short hallway, you order at the window on the right. Then if you want toppings, there is a bar in the middle of the restaurant where you can put mustard, ketchup, etc. on.
After wandering around trying to find a few last minute souvenirs Josh and I stopped by this little trailer before going on another walk/search for dinner. He wanted to get a pretzel before he left Germany, and I wanted to try the infamous glühwein (hot mulled wine). It was a nice break from walking and something German to check off the list. The people working this stand were very nice and welcoming and we had a great conversation before moving on. 

I hope this helps if you ever find yourself in Nürnberg!! Enjoy! 

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