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Mar 17, 2009 05:18 PM

Lake Placid, suggestions? I have ideas???

Going on vacation to Lake Placid, any recommendations for restaurants would be greatly appreciated, thanks!

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  1. Here is what i was thinking:
    (we will be there for 5 days)

    chair 6- also lunch
    5993 Sentinel Rd

    Saranac Sourdough
    2126 Saranac Ave

    Lisa G’s
    444 Main St

    brown dog wine bar
    3 Main St

    Caribean Cowboy
    89 Saranac Ave

    Caffe Rustica
    211 Saranac Ave –located in strip mall

    Reflections, high peak resort
    2384 Saranac Ave

    Mirror Lake Inn- View Restaurant
    77 Mirror Lake Rd.

    14 Replies
    1. re: ashii

      Caribean Cowboy - very good

      Caffe Rustica - good, but not gourmet

      Mirror Lake Inn- View Restaurant - I do not like

      1. re: ashii

        Good Choices!
        We'd skip Cafe Rustica unless you really like Italian.
        We'd do the Cottage,across from the Mirror Lake Inn instead of the actual Mirror Lake Inn.The cottage is owned by the Mirror Lake.
        The Mirror Lake is overpriced for what you get and the atmosphere is stuffy at best.
        You might want to try the new High Peaks Resort across from the Brown Dog.
        This used to be the oldHilton but the place has been completely redone with a dining area that overlooks the lake as well and I heard the food is great!
        So many places to try;so little time!--LOL!

        1. re: catnip

          Thanks so much. I am actually going with my mother who is a VERY picky eater. It has to be lamb, chicken or broiled fish with only salt and pepper. But i have been trying to expand her limited tastbuds and i have been doing a great job.

          I like reflections because the have a braised lamb shank-which is one of her favorites, and they have a menu which i find rather intriguing.

          I have heard many mixed reviews about Cafe Rustica, isnt it located in a strip mall?

          Thanks for the tip about the cottage. Are there going to be any problems since i am off season? is everywhere open? I know a couple of the resorts were closed so we are staying at the Crowne Plaza.

          1. re: ashii

            Cafe Rustica is in a strip mall (Price Chopper).

            Open off season.

        2. re: ashii

          I'd skip Mirror Lake Inn, but try the Cottage across the street for lunch. I'd also skip Saranac Sourdough and add the Downtown Diner for breakfast. And dinner at Brown Dog is a MUST.

          1. re: ashii

            ok, i just got back, here are the results:
            Chair 6 was absolutely fantastic! i could not have asked for a better breakfast, evertyhing was inventive and cooked perfectly, the small atmosphere was uber quaint and the owner was the sweetest thing in the world.

            We went to downtown diner and i have to say it was one of the worst breakfasts i have had in years. The waitress was a real piece of work who decided chatting was more important than providing service... and we never did get a coffee refill after asking twice!
            The food was cold, the flavor was horrendous! I refused to finnish my plate (which is really very rare)...the place was disgusting which was expected for a diner, but our waitress had on a belly shirt an a huge muffin top which was not nearly as distracting as her uber low cut pants and her smell of dead cigs. Needless to say i do not recommend this place. We ended up having to go twice (the second time there was nothing else open), the second time was worse than the first.

            Mr Mikes pizza threw us a pizza and pasta party and it was mediocre at best, pizza was much better than the pasta. But too me it tasted like papa johns very sweet with no real flavor, the pepperoni was the best of all it seemed.

            There was a great little crepe stand in town which had some interesting bites for both breakfast and lunch.

            The 211 provided the team with dinner one night. I had steak, i asked for rare and got medium and it was WAY too salty. It was basically a charbroil house, which i am not the biggest fan of. However they were cooking a limited menu for the hockey team and i heard from the team that there was a vodka pasta which was quite good.

            Also went to The View at mirror lake inn, That was very good. I had a goat cheese fritter with fig and tart lemon dressing to start and the braised lamb shank. Both had great flavor and were prepared very nicely. They also made their own vanilla ice cream which we requested topped with raspberries if they had any... to our surprise they came back with a rectangular plate with a crispy pastry holding 2 scoops of fabulous vanilla on a bed of fresh raspberries with a dark chocolate drizzle... really above and beyond.

            Had a good burger at the Dancing Bears, they had fantastic home made chips. Great beer at the placid Pub and Brewery. And good clam chowder at the Adirondack Steak and Seafood and had a home brew which came with a signatory glass.

            I was not very impressed with the Candy Man Adirondack chocolates, but the bluesberry had a yummy pecan tart.

            I didnt have time to go to the Caribbean Cowboy, nor the brown dog for dinner but when i asked the local foodies it came highly recommended.

            I did stop by the cottage and had a pulled pork sandwhich for lunch, but it was packed with TONS of 10 yr old kids (15 of them or so) which made it hard to focus on the meal... although i still think it was good.

            1. re: ashii

              Wow, thanks for reporting back, I'm really sorry to hear you had such a bad experience at the Downtown Diner. It was not like that when we ate there last. I sure won't mention it again. You can't go back without a visit to Brown Dog and Caribbean Cowboy!

              1. re: mcf

                I just wanted to thank everyone who suggested Brown Dog and Caribbean Cowboy. I happened to look up this thread before I left for Lake Placid to get some ideas. Just got back, and those two meals were the best of the trip. Brown Dog, in fact, was probably one of the best meals I've had in a restaurant! A delicious chicken dish with goat cheese, grapes...oh, it was so good. (I don't eat expensively quite often, being only a couple of years out of college, and many people might not consider the Brown Dog all that expensive. But still...I think anyone would think highly of it, even more experienced foodies!) The wine I had there was also delicious.

                At Caribbean Cowboy I had a delicious seafood chowder, and they gave you sherry on the side to pour into it, which added a nice warmth. I also had a cajun burger stuffed with blue cheese, the beef came from a local farm, and you could really taste the difference. Thanks so much again for the recs!

                I'd like to give a plug for the Big Mountain/Simply Gourmet creperie/deli in town...had a good breakfast there, and had one of their amazing sandwiches for lunch...they have 46 sandwiches, each named for one of the high peaks.

                1. re: Solstice444

                  Glad you enjoyed, I'm jealous! Hoping to get up there this fall, though. I'm middle aged and financially comfortable, and I, too, think of the Brown Dog as a little spendy, but always worth it.

              2. re: ashii

                Thanks for your report.
                Like MCF said you should try Caribbean Cowboy and Brown Dog the next time you're in Lake Placid.
                We were up for the Division III hockey championships and we had two great pub dinners at the Interlaken Inn;Great food ,great service ,and reasonable pub-menu prices.
                Too bad you missed trying this place.
                I think you would have really been pleased at the Interlaken!
                The outstanding chef there would have even made you some of the bland food your mom likes.
                Glad you liked Chair 6 for breakfast.
                We found the place "iffy" at best so we switched to Adirondack Steak and Seafood for a great breakfast(served only on weekends)and we had coffee and pastries the Blueberry Bakery next door which I mentioned to you.
                Mr. Mike's is always a no-no for pizza for the reasons you mentioned.
                Dancing Bears,Pub and Brewery,and Adirondack Steak and Seafood are always consistently excellent imo.
                Candy Man has great fudge in my opinion;we never have much else there.
                We usually save the Cottage for a nightcap or early lunch.
                We haven't had much problem with kids as we always eat at the bar.
                I hope to give Downtown Diner a try next trip up as MCF was so positive about the place.
                Sorry to her you had such a bad experience there.
                At least the hockey final was exciitng except for the loud blaring music.

                1. re: catnip

                  I am distressed about your experience at the Downtown Diner - we've never had a bad breakfast there (and we've been going when it was "Ruthie's Diner"). I enjoy the candy from Candy Man.
                  I think that the restaurants in LP have been undergoing a 'shift' in the past 10 years or so - they are trying to appeal to a more discriminating crowd - but the fact is that LP is very dependent on tourism and Mother Nature. Winters have been extremely hit and miss in the past few years. If there is no snow - no "Winter Wonderland"- it really affects their tourism #'s. There have been excellent restaurants that have expanded, anticipating the 'foodie' and tourist boom, but haven't been able to succeed. LP is a beautiful, incredible destination. I think the food options will continue to evolve, but I do think they understand that the clientele is getting more discriminating!

                  1. re: phDuh

                    We started visiting the High Peaks about 4 or 5 years ago, and were shocked by how hard it was to find a decent meal, or, rather, how frequently we encountered truly awful food. We're wiser now, though, and LOVE the area.

                  2. re: catnip

                    I was there for the same thing, my brother plays for Gustavus Adolphus, the hockey was good accept for the last game we played... not sure what happened. I was very pleased with the announcer, and the band was a nice touch at times.

                    I ended up getting hit with a t shirt - that will teach me to pay attention.

                    I will be excited to go back next year as the chances are pretty good - we are only losing 3 players on our team (seniors), so we will see what happens and if it is at the same location.

                    1. re: ashii

                      We too were at the final!
                      Gussy's looked tired to me!
                      Band was too loud for us!
                      Food at the concessions was the worst I've ever seen for any spectator sport.
                      People around us complaining about the food quality constantly (while they keep gobbling up the chow---LOL!)
                      Glad we "saved" ourselves for Interlaken inn after the game!!!!
                      See you next year!

              3. Just about everything is open during hockey season.
                For all kinds of trout fish you might want to try The Hungry Trout Restaurant in Wilmington,about 10 miles East of Lake Placid.
                Trout,severed many different ways,is their speciality and the place is very good.
                Chicken is pretty much a staple at most restaurants but my wife has had the lamb at Mykonos greek restaurant heading out of town towards Saranac Lake .
                They have good chicken there as well.
                I don't know of any other good lamb places.
                The Crowne Plaza is the old Holdiay Inn.
                it's expesnive for what you get but the place has a lovely view.
                They have a restaurant across the steet from the Crowne(owned by the Crowne) call LaVeranda.
                The food is expensive but outstanding.
                We eat there now and then for really upscale food at upscale prices.
                We prefer the small,and more intimate Interlaken inn where the food is gourmet and the staff is outstanding.
                Like MCF said I'd skip the Mirror Lake Inn also and go to the Cottage across the street for lunch.
                Chair 6 can be good or bad;one never knows ,for breakfast.
                I've never done the Downtown Diner so I defer on a breakfast comment here.
                We usually have breakfast at the Adirondack Steak and Seafood on Main Street.
                They serve a great breakfast with a great water view on weekends only.
                We also hit the Blueberry Bakery next door to the Steak and Seafood for excellent strudel and fattening pastries.
                Enjoy yourself in Lake Placid!

                6 Replies
                1. re: catnip

                  We had a very disappointing dining experience at the Hungry Trout. I so wanted to like it, too, because management is so nice and the site is lovely. If you like thick, gloppy, sugary sauce on your trout, this is the place for you. If you like a spicy sausage soup without spice or noticeable sausage, it's just fine for you. My husband's venison was cooked nicely, that was the only high point for us, sorry to say.

                  My second choice for dinner would be Carribbean Cowboy, my third would be Interlaken.
                  But every time I go, I wish I'd eaten at The Brown Dog every night.

                  1. re: mcf

                    WOW---Sorry to hear about your bad trout experience at the Hungry Trout.
                    I mentioned this to Ashii because he/she said that "mom" liked fish and I've had great trout there over the years.
                    We ate there again twice last Fall while climbing and we really liked the place.
                    I usually have the fish plain broiled without any sauce on the fish.
                    Ashii also said that "mom" liked fish with just salt and pepper and I know that they cook the trout that way if you ask.
                    I've never had any soup there.
                    Caribbean Cowboy is a gret choice and for Italian we like Little Italy over in Saranac Lake..
                    Another fun place is Casa Del Sol over in Saranac for Mexican and really great Margaritas.----but I digress as Ashii said "mom" is finicy.
                    I don't think Caribbean Cowboy is for her from what Ashii said but it's good for you and me mcf!---LOL

                    1. re: catnip

                      You're probably right about the mom's tastes and the HT vs CC. It's a cozy place, too. Maybe simplest is best with them, and they mess up when they try to do to much. I've heard about Casa del Sol, haven't been back to try it.

                      1. re: mcf

                        Casa was just bought by a new fellow and I heard excellett reports about the place but I didn't have the opportunity to get over there this trip.
                        I heard the menu was expanded as well.
                        Let us know what you think about the place your next trip up and I'll do the same.

                          1. re: catnip

                            I don't normally post here, but I thought I'd weigh in on Casa del Sol. My wife and I have been eating there for many years, and we ate there a couple of weeks ago under the new ownership. It's been one of the better restaurants in the region, and definitely the best Mexican.

                            My impression of the "new" Casa del Sol is primarily that they are trying to do a good deal of what they did before, and also trying to make their own mark on it. Any time one of your favorites has a big change, the first reaction is often that all of the new stuff is bad, and perhaps that has clouded some of my judgment.

                            Anyway, the menu has been redone, with many of the old favorites back, and with quite a few new choices. Gone are the "no substitutions", "strap your kids to the chairs", and (thankfully) "cash only". I sort of found that stuff charming, though I know it turned the tourists off.

                            Several typical Tex-Mex type menu items have been added, and unfortunately a few of our other regular items have disappeared (like the sincronizada, and there are no more tamales, which is a shame). The margaritas appear to be unchanged. The prices are still very reasonable.

                            The decor is the same, but it looks like they're going to focus more on the outdoor space, which is a welcome change. I always wondered why they didn't do more with it. The same very, very old and tired plates are still in use. The waitstaff seemed cheerful, and we had no issues with service, despite it being busy.

                            So, personally, the jury is still out, at least until we go back once or twice more. It's definitely still the best Mexican restaurant in the area, it just remains to be seen if it will stay in our regular rotation.