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Need Dinner Recs for I-90 Business Trip

I need dinner recs for my upcoming business trip. Although I'll be working one day in Syracuse, I'm bypassing it for dinner based on what little I've read here. Feel free to convince me otherwise if warranted. Here's the plan:

Buffalo (Monday)
Rochester (Tuesday)
Schenectady/Albany (Wednesday)

For Buffalo I've got Hutch's, Mother's, and Bacchus as choices. Blue Ribbon Grill in Schenectady? Social, One Ryan Alley in Rochester?

I'm open to any and all cuisines. Thanks!

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  1. For Rochester, try the Dinosaur Barbecue. Syracuse has many excellent restaurants. For a one nighter in Syracuse, I would suggest Saratoga Steaks or Scotch and Sirloin. There are many fine restaurants there in spite of what you have read. If you want a pub, try Kitty Hoynes at Armory Square or for Thai, try Thai Lemongrass.

    ~Fred19

    1 Reply
    1. re: Fred19

      I worked in Syracuse last week and went for a steak at the Scotch & Sirloin. Got one of their Chef Specialties, the Western Ribeye. It was one of the worst steaks I've ever had anywhere, 80% grisle and almost inedible though the spices they put on it were tasty. We used to have a Scotch & Sirloin in Boston but it shut down about 10 years ago, now I know why.

      The other place I tried was much better, Tokyo Seoul. Friendly service at the sushi bar, I got a couple of their Sushi Specials, the Yoshimi Roll and another roll that was recommended by the sushi chef off their specials board, the Shrimp Tempura with Spicy Tuna roll. Both were fresh and delicious, and so was the side order of seaweed salad. I'll be back next week and will definitely stop by this place again - anyone care to recommend other restaurants in that area?

    2. Pin Head Susan's in Schenectady adn Parisi's Steak House

      1. 2Vine in Rochester is also a popular choice.

        1 Reply
        1. re: dmarie979

          Thanks for the replies thus far. Looks like I'll have some choices to make.

          Keep 'em coming!

        2. There is a new place in Rochester called Restaurant Good Luck. Based on your listings of Social and One, I think it is probably what you are looking for. Tapas style food, but think new american. It isn't consistent with every dish, but they are really trying. And the room is very nice, but a little loud. It's incredibly innovative for Rochester.

          Or, you could go to Lento - a slow food place around the corner from Good Luck. More pricy, but menu changes daily. I haven't eaten there, but the menu sounds great.

          I think 2Vine rests on its laurels.

          1. If I had one night in the tri-city area (AKA Albany) I'd go to Van's Vietnamese, DeJohns, Justins, Albaraki or Ali Baba (In Troy) or check out Madison End Cafe.

            Lots of good places to go, don't be afraid to go off the beaten path.

            4 Replies
            1. re: adventuresinbaking

              Thanks for the replies. I'm leaning toward perhaps Nick Tahou's in Rochester although Lento sounds intriguing but maybe a bit tortuous for a single diner that doesn't like dining alone. I'll check out those Albany recs online.

              1. re: hopkid

                NIck Tahou's is definitely Rochester! although, I think it's called something else Tahou's now. just don't plan on doing anything for a few hours after the garbage plate.

                1. re: somethingsflesh

                  Here is my trip/food report. Much thanks to all who replied!

                  Ted's Hot Dogs, Tonawanda. Went for a snack on the way to Niagara Falls. Great char-grilled beef dog topped with mustard, onions, and homemade relish. Great onion rings! Thinly sliced and fried to a tender crispnes. A bit greasy but I couldn't stop eating them!

                  Niagara Bakery, Buffalo. I thnk that's what it is called as I can find no evidence of them online. I happened to pass by this place on Niagara Avenue downtown with large lettering advertising BBQ chicken. Turns out the food is Puerto Rican. I got a combo of leg/thing of rotisserie chicken and a piece of roast pork leg over white rice. And an empanada filled with beef and cheese. Great homecooked feeling - the food and the inside of this mostly take out place. I also got a cheese/guava pastry that I had for breakfast the next morning Yummy!

                  Steve T's (formerly Nick Tahou's II), Rochester. I ordered a combo plate which consisted of one white (pork) and one red (beef) hot dog each split lengthwise and grilled served over heapings of mac salad and homefries and smothered in a meat sauce. It was a LOT of food but it was really tasty and filling.

                  Lento, Rochester. Best meal of the trip! They are doing great things here by making everything from scratch each day and using locally-grown meats and produce. I ate at the bar and started with a fall salad of mized greeens, candied pecans, crisp Mitsu apple slices, shaved celery root, and feta topped by a red wine thyme viniagrette. My entree was a D'Artagnan duck breast with a white acorn squash risotto, and braised swiss chard. The duck was superb and not stringy or gamey as duck can sometimes be. It was more like medallions of beef. I also spent a couple of hours listening to a local beef producer talk about their operation and had a wonderful time with the ensuing conversation that covered sustainability and that night's election. I urge all CH'ers in the Rochester area to support Lento and their great concept.

                  Albaraki, Albany. I somehow found this place well after sunset and even got a parking spot just around the corner. Very friendly staff and wonderful food. I had the falafel wrap with hummus and also ordered the baalawa, a kind of baklava, as a dessert. Really good! I definitely want to go back to try their mead dishes and the fried batata that everyone seems to rave about online.

                  Mike's Hot Dogs, Schenectady. I passed by this place on the way to my work meeting location and figured I had to come back for lunch and add to my Upstate NY hot dog tour. I sat at the long counter and was greeted by friendly staff. Their dogs are beef and come with mustard and a meat sauce with is like ground beef in a gravy, not like a traditional chili. I also got an order of their home-cut fries. The dogs were really tasty. The fries a bit limp and greasy. Maybe the oil needs to be hotter. Or they could fry them twice. Still, a good lunch spot obviously loved by the locals judging from who I saw sitting at the counter.

                  1. re: hopkid

                    I'm really happy to hear about Lento! It is always the first restaurant I recommend to anyone with the means. As grad students, we're a little gunshy, but its top on the list of celebratory dinners. And I really hope it doesn't disappear by that time. And happy to hear it lives up to what I expected of it.