Today found our little group parting ways. Lana and Barry were heading to Baltimore to be with family. Lana knew that she would not be able to attend the funeral of her uncle who had just passed away the day before but wanted to be able to sit shiva with her aunt. In Judaism, shiva (in Hebrew the word means “seven”) is a period of formal mourning that generally takes place in the home of the deceased during which relatives and friends visit and comfort the bereaved.
So, we all said our goodbyes, gave each other hugs and waved as they went one way and the rest of our little band went another. Bob, Char, Randy and I were off to Saratoga Springs, NY. None of us had ever been there and wanted to see this historic race town. We had perfect weather and we took off highway roads so it was a perfect riding day.
I loved the city of Saratoga Springs! As soon as we entered the town I loved it. The city planners and residents have done a very good job maintaining the old while blended the new in architecture. The main road through the town was replete with wonderful old buildings with little cafes, bookstores, bakeries and many other shops. We drove through a part of town that had wonderful homes that had to be from the turn of the century/Victorian era that were in pristine condition.
Some of the homes we saw were very large. Of course, back then many homes were occupied by multiple generations of families. Porches were prevalent on most of the homes we saw. There were front porches and many, many wrap around porches. I loved the architecture. I could picture myself sitting on an overstuffed chair sipping a glass of ice tea and just watching the world go by on these porches. Wonderful!!!
It is very apparent as you drive through the town that it is a ‘horse’ town. We saw signs of this everywhere. There were hitching posts along the sidewalk, signs for parking with horse and carriages, and horse statuary everywhere. It was race day so we took a quick ride over to the racetrack and drove through one gate and out the other. It was around ten in the morning and the parking lot was already packed. Then we were off on the road again. After we left Saratoga Springs we got onto 50 W then onto 7 West.
About the time the lunch hour came around we came to a red light stop and I just happened to look to my right. There on the side of the road was a restaurant that looked like an old converted home called, .The Farmhouse Restaurant at Emmons. I alerted Randy and he check with Bob and we decided that we would stop there for lunch. There was a glassed in porch to the right of the building and you could see patrons talking happily and enjoying themselves. The restaurant just looked very inviting.
Now when I looked at the building and the name on the building I was thinking comfort food. Hot turkey sandwiches, BLT’s, meatloaf and mashed potatoes. Boy was I surprised when we went inside. Nothing could have been further from the truth about this wonderfully old yet new restaurant. From the moment I opened the front door I stepped into a very small entry way with a Tiffany overhead lamp along with a cobalt blue water fountain, an antique harp table, beautiful multi colored paned leaded glass window and small basket with various wine bottles. Charming was the first word that entered my mind.
I was not disappointed when I enter the main part of the restaurant. It really was charming. The wooden floors still creaked a little as you walk across them but the walls were beautifully painted and the room was filled with very simple wooden tables, white tablecloths covered by glass. The décor was a mix of old and new and very simply stated. There was a small fireplace at the end of the room and I imagined myself sitting at the table close to the fireplace with a warm fire glowing and enjoying a really nice glass of merlot.
I was immediately greeted and asked if I was the rest of the party of four. I said I was and escorted to the table already occupied by Char. Within a few minutes our server, Tim, who was whizzing by at the time, said, “I’ll be with you in just a moment folks”. Comforting when your server acknowledges your presence even if they cannot get to you right away. He was very engaging and funny and immediately told us of the specials for the day and then gave us the time we needed to make our decisions. As we were making those decisions we watched as other meals were being delivered to the many filled tables and were encouraged everything looked wonderfully fresh and appetizing.
The menu offered several luncheon salads, a selection of deli sandwiches, grilled selections including burgers, French dip, and a Maryland crab cake sandwich. They offered two soup choices French Onion and the soup of the day, which was that day seafood lobster bisque. For the first time on our travels I was happy when I was trying to make my choice I asked Tim what kind of bread did they have for the deli sandwiches and he replied, “White, wheat or rye”. I love rye so my choice was set roasted turkey sandwich on rye.
The presentation of the food was great. The plates were large with plain white centers and a blue, pink, white and green patterned border. I was instantly hungry when I saw that my turkey sandwich was wrapped in not rye bread by marble rye. The bread was fresh and soft, and the turkey oven roasted the sandwich was just wonderful. Char ordered a grilled chicken salad that was fresh, colorful and wonderfully appetizing to everyone at the table. Bob ordered the seafood lobster bisque and was very happy. Randy ordered a deli sandwich too and loved it. The fries that came with the sandwiches were homemade, crisp on the outside and soft inside.
The menu also contained a full listing of wine, beers and other beverages. While we were eating the owner and general manager, Tom DeMulder, came over and chatted a bit and asked us how our meal was. There was no hesitation we all said, “Wonderful”. This restaurant was a real find so if you ever find yourself on highway 7, Oneonta, NY stop in and enjoy!!!
Our plan was to stop near Hazelton, Pennsylvania for the evening but we ran into a real traffic jam on 81 south. The traffic came to a complete stop and extended for at least five miles. It was very hot. We happened to be at an entrance ramp and saw other cars pulling off and getting off the highway so we did too. We had noticed a sign for a motel just a few miles away and decided to stop for the night.
I had to laugh when we pulled into this motel. We had just spent ten days staying at very nice hotels/motels along the way and we were going to spend our last night on the road with Char and Bob in what can only be described as dismal. The room was clean and the bathroom was great but the mattress was like a board, someone had evidently dropped a hot iron on the carpet and there was a perfect imprint of the iron on it, the two chairs that were in the room were stained and ripped. But we were off the road.
I am not even going to tell you about the dinner we had at Mary’s Restaurant. Our first clue should have been one car in the parking lot. It was dreadful and that is that.
Tomorrow we head off to Amish country.