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Rochester trip - making a list

I lived in rochester for about 7-8 years and have not been there in 15 or so.. Im planning a trip to visit. I want to hit some of the old places i liked and that were unique to the area. So far my list is pretty full but always room for more ideas.

1) Dibella's subs- already have a lunch planned here. Love the place. Was a 1 location hole in the wall across from south town when i was there, i hear its a big fancy chain now.

2) Country Sweet- Very Rochester. Crave the things still.

3) ChesterCab Pizza - Love their stuffed pies. Nothing like that around here.

4) Hot Buffalo wings- maybe just some pontillos or jerimiahs or something.

5) Dinosaur bbq - wasnt there when i was in town but i have been in Syracuse and loved it.

6) Beale st?? Is this place any good? Wasnt around when i was living there.

7) Nick Tahoes if i can get the stomach to handle it! Would love to show my gf this 1st hand.

8) Something asian. When i was in town we used to like Bankok downtown for really spicy thai, Shanghai for dimsum/chinese, mammasans for vietnamese, Kims asia on gregory is this still around? Was a pit back then but great food.

9) Highland diner

What else?

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  1. Indeed that is a good list!!!

    Wegmans now also make Dibella's subs (some kind of agreement). I prefer Rubinos - the one in Webster is SO good.

    Country Sweet - YUM! Totally decadent. I can feel my arteries hardening just thinking about it.

    I like Sticky Lips better than both Dinosaur and Beale St. But lots of people still like Dinosaur the best...

    We like King & I for Asian. I know it's in nasty Henrietta - but it's so good.

    Try Venetos on East Ave downtown. I like it a lot. It can get crowded though! http://www.venetorestaurant.com/

    Highland is good - but I'm claustrophobic, so we don't go there much. I'm partial to Jines.

    Have a great visit!!!

    1. Dibella's is still around. To me their subs are perfectly ordinary. I eat them, but I certainly don't pine for them. Bangkok on State Street has been closed for a few years. The King and I is good, but you might try Golden Port on East Avenue. I believe Kims Asia is still in business, but I haven't been there for years. I prefer Doc Hoa on Monroe with pretty good pho. I never understood the Dinosaur BBQ cult following. But it's still there and still almost impossible to get seated. I second the recommendation for Veneto on East, but you might try Eros around the corner on Charlotte Street for excellent Greek-Italian. Or Panzari's on Exchange Blvd. Nick Tahoes? Spare me. If you got this food in the East Village at 4:00 a.m. while completely drunk out of your mind, you'd still sue the owner.

      1 Reply
      1. re: tuttobene

        I did pass thru about 5 years ago and had one meal, it was at the king and I, not bad. Too bad about the Bangkok on state, that was a good place. I also vaguely remember a tiny korean place on west henrietta in a strip mall same side as the drive thru beer place.. Kims Asia was sketchy 15years ago, but i lived near by and had some good meals there. Thanks for the other recs..

        Couple other places we used to like... my memory is vague, it has been 15 years.. There was a japanese place sorta across from where the wegmans plaza is in pittsfield, cant remember the name. Also there was a place called Marios i think on east?? Im guessing they are long gone.

        Anything decent around Village gate Square these days? Back when i was in town there was a bar Schnozz'z that i used to go to often, next to that was a decent restaurant, higher end.. cant remember the name either...

      2. For subs, give Pellegrino's a shot. The main one is on Mt. Hope, across the street from the Distillery (which, if you have not seen it in a bit is worth a look. Good beer selection, food kind of ... feh).

        Sorry to say that Kim's Asia is gone. Beale Street, where Laws once one was at the intersection of Gregory and South (i.e., down the block from Kim's) is great BBQ - better than Dino imho. Sticky Lips is fine, too -same people as Chester Cab run it.

        Village Gate has seen lots of places come an go, but you are hitting it at a good moment. Place of interest is Feta Chini. Hokey name notwithstanding, it has great Italian and Greek stuff. If they have a fish special, order it. They do some great things with fresh fish. It's at the front on the South Goodman Street side.

        Very much on board with those endorsing King and I. Mamasans on Monroe Avenue Brighton / Pittsford is another good choice; more Vietnamese than Thai, 'tho'.

        The red sauce joints are becoming fewer and fewer. The Mario's you recall on East has morphed into a very good, high end place on Monroe (again, Brighton / Pittsford area). New, yet-to-be visited place has replaced the old Mario's; I'd have decent expectations for it, as it is run by folks who have opened a couple of nice places (Table 7 downtown on St. Paul, Mundo Grill on ... um ... Monroe at Brighton / Pittsford ... honestly, I'm not on the Brighton or Pittsford Chamber of Commerce ...).

        Gotta do Nick Taho's. Be advised, however - it is not the late night place it once was.

        The Plum HOuse is still in Pittsford (damn ...) Plaza, but you might want to check out a place just a few doors away - Black and Blue - for a great steak. The whole NYC-style stake house thing is bubbling up here - see Tournedos downtown, Max's on Monroe in Brighton (...).

        And if you have fond memories of getting your Chevy serviced at Hallman on East, check it out in its new incarnation as Spot Coffee.

        Welcome back!!

        9 Replies
        1. re: budgetrick

          Cool thanks for the good info- should be a very busy weekend of eating!

          Thinking of Village Gate, I just now remembered there used to be a guy in there with a tiny stall who wore a funny looking turkish hat?? Used to sell all sorts of dried salami and sausages, would cut you off a pc and hand it to you on a giant knife that he always had with him.. I forget the guys name... Any chance he would still be there after all these years?? Any chance anyone would even know what im talking about!

          1. re: hargau

            I remember him from the Public Market, but don't think I have seen him in several years. Good memory, 'tho' !!

            Also good for the purpose of urging you to get to the Public Market on Saturday morning. It has evolved very nicely. They have made some improvements, but it remains very authentic. Get a breakfast sandwich at Scott's stand, followed by a breakfast emapnada at the Empanada Stop, followed by some imported cheese at Giordono's over on the commission house side of the market, followed by whatever looks fresh and good in the stalls under the sheds. Take pleasure in all of that as you realize that you are not in either Brighton or Pittsford...

            1. re: budgetrick

              I used to love the public market. I remember it as being mostly outdoors with 1 building that had some larger more permanent places in it, mostly meats. I dont recall much that was ready to eat there though, mostly veggies, stuff like a whole case of brocoli for $1. I do remember a woman with sweet potato pie and how she would sing out "sweet potato pie!"...

              1. re: hargau

                Still pretty much as you described. The frist two places I mentioned (Scott's and Empanada) are stands that have windbreak enclosures during the colder months. There are stools to sit at the counters. Couple other similar stands there, too. If you can't fit in Nick Tahou's, there would be a good opportunity to tutor the gf on the subtle distinctions of red hots vs. white hots.)

                The commission houses (at the north end, particularly on the west or Union Street side) are "real" buildings: a few coffee house type places, the cheese shop I mentioned, a few more (some of which just sell bulk produce, tube socks, knock-off watches, etc.). The beauties of the stalls in the outdoor sheds are (1) the offerings vary by season, (2) many are locally grown and sold by the farmers, and(3) prices are negotiable (wait 'till about 1:30 - 2:00 p.m. and that case of brocolli that was going for $1 at 7:00 a.m. can be had for 50 cents).

                Audio experience is enhanced by a leather-lunged vendor hawking "BO-nana, BO-nana, BO-nana!!!" Bananas not being so much a local crop, and given this guy's general appearance, these coud possibly have "fallen off the back of a truck" (each and every week ...)

                1. re: budgetrick

                  The Public Market is so great! I like the breakfast tacos at Rich Port Bakery (and if you aren't fat for sure buy the Quesitos!). The other good tacos (soft kind) are in the building next door with the Fair Game place. I'm a sucker for the crepes at Javas there too - especially the nuttela and banana!!! I'm looking forward to warmer weather.

                  1. re: budgetrick

                    Figured I would report back on our weekend.

                    Thursday night we were running late and wanted something quick. Grabbed some food at Henrietta Hots on rt 15.. I had their version of a garbage plate which left a bunch to be desired. The worst part about it were the homefries, plain frozen home fry potatoes cooked in the fryolator,just cant compare to the real deal at nicks.

                    Friday lunch we hit Dibellas. Not as giant as i remembered them but wow the place sure has grown since i remembered it. Bread was especially tasty.

                    Later for a snack I grabbed a bubble tea from a place on park ave. Not bad.

                    Friday Dinner we met some friends at the King and I. Tasty but i think we have much better thai options in boston.

                    Saturday AM we went to the public market. We had some cheese curds and a beef/onion empanada as well as various junk food. Cookies from an Amish guy, kettle Korn, Tasty kakes, etc..

                    Lunch we got a stuffed pizza and some buffalo wings from Chester Cab on park. Yum.

                    Dinner we went to Tandoor in Henrietta. Too much Coriender for my taste.

                    Never made it to Country Sweet but i did pick up 4 bottles of the sauce at Wegmans.

                2. re: budgetrick

                  Hello,
                  The Rochester Public Market is #1 in my book...one of my favorite places ever! I love the fresh, local, and cheap produce. Also, that you can get a hotdog or grilled sausage there at 8 AM. The cheese shop is a newer addition, but has become a regular stop.

                  I have some photos that I took back in 2000. They feature 2 of my favorite Public Market personalities who were mentioned in this thread: the Turkish olive vender (who is not there anymore) and the BO-Nana, BO-Nana, BO-Nana guy (I even have that on tape!).

                   
                   
                   
                   
                  1. re: refinnej

                    Yes thats the guy with the olives, he used to also have lots of dried salami and sausages. Back in the late 80s/early 90s when i lived in town, he had a permanent store in village gate square.