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I-87 from NYC to Lake George

This is my first Chowhound posting since 1999!

My g'friend and I drive to Southern Vermont every February for a family reunion/broomball tournament. We take the 87 from NYC to the Lake George exit, and I was wondering if there are any spectacular eats/foods/meals along that 200 miles.

To date, we've been stopping at Absolute Bagels on Broadway for their lox and cream cheese sandwich, which steels us for the 5 hour drive, but I'd hate to think we were missing a great diner, excellent pizza, or an exemplary chili dog along the way. Please advise.

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  1. We sometimes stop at Armadillo's in Kingston on our way upstate. It's not necessarily quick, but it is tasty.

    Armadillo Bar & Grill
    97 Abeel St, Kingston, NY 12401

    1. I like to stop at exit 19, Kingston. when you get off the exit it is on the south bound side of the thruway you will see a sign that says "steak" it is a part of the hotel there. I do not know the name of the place but I stop there for a good steak house burger and fries. I have had several meals there and cant say that any were ever bad. Its a good place to break up the trip and have a decent meal.

      1 Reply
      1. re: HDT

        maybe you're thinking of skytop steakhouse. never been but hard to miss the (massive) sign.

      2. based on your examples, it sounds like you are looking for casual dining. here are some options we frequent and love, all not too far out of the way from exit 20 saugerties/woodstock...

        cafe mezzaluna, latin bistro

        love bites- relatively new cafe, vegan/vegetarian friendly, cozy with just a handful of tables

        fez- middle eastern

        of these three, i favor cafe mezzaluna, where we will be going today. in need of their freshly squeezed oj mimosas.

        if you're looking to grab a quick bite to go, dallas hotdogs i hear is good.

        1. jakeklis, what's "spectacular" mean to you? IMHO best food exits are:

          *GW (Korean)
          *Albany (Miss Albany Diner aka MAD, ethnic choices, etc.)
          *Schenectady (Italian, pizza, Little Italy, dogs)
          *Troy (Italian, pizza, dogs, pubs)
          *Saratoga Springs (Compton's - not sure I'd call it "a great diner", etc.)
          *Lake George (except for Oscar's Smokehouse, Top of the World and a lunch place near the outlets not a food destination)

          Miss Albany Diner (MAD) is just outside of downtown Albany, not far from Huck Finn's Warehouse. I read MAD is for sale so hopefully they're still open for business. Please note CASH ONLY. Closed Mondays. Hours: Tues. - Fri. 7:00 - 2:15, Sat. & Sun. 9:00 - 2:15.

          You might want to do a search of this Board, there are a lot of threads (search is your friend). To get you started:

          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/622265 (pizza


          Happy eating :)

          1. Found this thread (I-87 NYC to Montreal) when I was searching re: Montreal:


              1. re: financialdistrictresident

                First off, thanks so much for all the advice. Second off, I erred about my last post. Though I was on Chowhound a ton in the late 90s just after Jim had set it up, I forgot about a plea for good pecan pie in New York I made a couple of years back.

                By spectacular, I mean a restaurant well worth the detour off the Thruway and one that obviates the need to buy the bagel sandwich at Absolute before we leave New York City.

                I've been doing the New York-Montreal drive for 24 years and the only restaurant I've really ever gone out of my way for is Gus' Red Hots outside of Plattsburgh. Best chili dogs and fries this side of the 49th parallel (north of the parallel, you gotta go to Lafleur's).

                That said, I'm not going quite so far north this time, exiting at Lake George. So I appreciate the suggestions and will try to do some exploring and report back.

                Gus Red Hots
                3 Cumberland Head Rd, Plattsburgh, NY 12901

                1. re: jakeklis

                  I make this drive every weekend and well there's not a ton, but here what I've got and it's totally contingent on how far our of your way you want to drive from the Thruway. I'm nuts enough to take the Taconic for a meal if needed and cross the bridge south of Albany to the Thruway, you however may not be so inclined.

                  -Local 111 - Philmont
                  -Aroma Oesteria - Wappingers Falls
                  -Mexican Radio - Hudson - well hype, but just ok for me
                  -Skytop - Exit 19 - serviceable american
                  -Ruby's - Freehold, chef is an instructor at Peter Krumps or one of the culinary schools, but it's a good 30 minute detour

                  Finding a good get right off the Thruway is a tough go, but if someone has suggestion I'm all ears

                  Albany and Saratoga have plenty of options if you're looking for albany options the Albany Times Union has an very active food blog that will pint you in the right direction.

                  1. re: jakeklis

                    There are two places for which I'd take a detour. One is CCH, a terrific Chinese restaurant, especially for dim sum off the menu, in Albany. It's pretty convenient to 787, which is the shortcut road to take from Thruway 87 to Northway 87--if you don't already go that way, you should check it out.

                    In Saratoga, right on Broadway (you can take Exit 13 or 14, depending on your mood), is Max London's.

                    Oh, also, in Saratoga in the nicer weather, there's a BBQ place, can't remember the name (might even be A&W, or maybe that's it's years-ago incarnation) on Rte. 9 just a few miles north of Exit 13 on the right side as you drive toward Saratoga. Wouldn't be a huge detour off the Northway and my memory from quite a few years ago is that the food was chowhound-worthy. Maybe someone has a more recent update on the place.

                    Max London's Restaurant
                    Saratoga Springs, NY, Saratoga Springs, NY

                    1. re: Elisa515

                      Elisa515, do you mean CCK? Second CCK for Chinese in Albany.

                      I am not a fan of Max London's.

                      1. re: financialdistrictresident

                        Oh right, CCK! Sorry...was thinking about some financial publisher I think. :-)

                        My only sadness about my son's stint at UAlbany not working out is going to CCK more regularly. We wouldn't have found that place without Chowhound.

                      2. re: Elisa515

                        You are referring to PJ's which is closed off season (although in 2012 it will be open all year). I fear Saratoga is too far from NYC to drive on an empty stomach. If not, how about Hattie's at Exit 15.

                        1. re: Elisa515

                          Sounds like you are talking about PJ's -- just a couple miles at most outside of downtown Saratoga Springs. Not sure if they are opened year-round. Good recommendation.

                          1. re: Elisa515

                            Just saw gerchak's post. Thanks for the heads up on open all year long. I am only up there during the racing season, but good to know.

                          2. re: jakeklis

                            I just went to Gus' Red Hots based on this recommendation, but did not enjoy the "michigan." The meat sauce smothering the pale hot dog was just spicy and not savory at all. I could feel the heartburn starting even before biting into it. It was so disappointing that I ordered a rice pudding for dessert, and, after eating my way through 6" of delicious whipped cream, I found that that rice in the pudding was hard and chewy and that the pudding flavor had taken on the odors and taste of the fridge. Perhaps it hadn't been covered properly in the cooler. The two dishes only cost $7, so I guess you get what you pay for, but I wouldn't go back there myself; I'd rather wait and stop by a service station instead.