Today is the 31st, and as springtime starts to fill the air, I finally have a moment to reflect on the craziness that has been the month of March. A lot happened this month. I found myself in a different city for 3 consecutive weekends, never really catching my breath as a I rushed into busy work week after busy work week. March also stayed true to the in like a lion, out like a lamb mantra as the early weeks brought massive blizzards back to back here in Upstate New York. In the recent weeks, March brought a jury duty summons and the passing of my beloved and crazy grandmother, Grandma Rose. In short, this month has been a roller coaster.
Despite how trying the last 31 days have been, I find myself coming out the other side as I sit in a newly discovered coffee shop and sip on America’s best nitro cold brew. As I’ve barreled through the last month, I’ve been hard on myself for not opening up my laptop and working on my blog. I’ve been frustrated as my lack of posting on Instagram resulted in declining statistics. But it’s that frustration and pressure that hindered me the most, so instead of being hard on myself for not writing, or sharing, or working as hard as I could on the blog, I am doing my best and laying it all out there for you now.
I kicked off March with Schenectady Restaurant Week in which I had my first and perhaps last experience with Chez Nous on Union Street in Schenectady. Only able to grab an 8:30 reservation I was hangry and exhausted by the time we walked into the restaurant. Immediately greeted with a scolding by the hostess (who I am under the impression is also the owner) to close the door before we were even all the way through it, the dinner started off on the wrong foot.
I have no complaints about the food. I tried french onion soup (though I suppose you don’t need the french in this case), beef bourguignon, and a ice cream filled profiterole. While the food earned an A, the atmosphere is 50% of the grade, and it was a bit stuffy and harsh. I would give it a C.
Mid-March I headed out to Syracuse to support my friend, Alexis, as she reached her fundraising goal for the Boston Marathon. After a fun Saturday of day drinking, there was nothing more satisfying than a calorie-filled brunch at The Modern Malt in Downtown Cuse.
There was no holding back as Chris and I dove deep into our respective milkshakes. The irresistible “thinnest of mints” was my shake of choice and was everything I could’ve asked for on that Sunday morning. I continued to make very ~healthy~ choices as I moved onto my entree… Tater Tot Breakfast Poutine. Yep– tots, NY cheese curds, bourbon au poivre, poached egg, onion frizzles, and scallions. I know what you’re thinking, cheese curds sounds disgusting, but trust me on this one.
P.S. If you’re still not sold on the poutine, be sure to check out my Toronto blog post.
Halfway through the month I found myself in Downtown Albany as I continued toward the goal of finishing the Nine Pin 26er Challenge. It was suddenly apparent that simply going home after would mean a wasted opportunity to eat out in Albany, so I took a quick detour to the corner of Quail and Western Avenue for a big, juicy cheeseburger and a side of fiesta fries at Crave Burgers & Frozen Yogurt.
In case you haven’t already noticed, this isn’t a #healthyeats blog. Crave, lives true to it’s name, because I’ve been thinking about this burger for 2 weeks now.
My sister has been living in Clearwater, Florida, so mom and I took a short spring break trip to visit. Of course while I was there I made it a point to try grouper, which is apparently a Clearwater Beach classic. I also had a delicious beachside salad that complimented my sun burn well, but it was the chicken and waffles eggs benedict from Lenny’s that was truly the shining star.
If you happen to be a Phillies baseball fan, or a fan of diner’s in general, do not miss out on this Clearwater landmark.
March 24th was an emotional weekend. In the morning, we said our final goodbyes to Grandma Rose, and by the afternoon I was on the train to Penn Station. It’s not the most traditional to get out of town after a funeral, but I had bought hockey tickets for my boyfriend’s birthday gift and Grandma Rose would certainly not have wanted us to sit around being sad. So we celebrated her life in Manhattan, where she lived as a young girl.
And in true @erin.eats.upstate fashion, we celebrated with tacos and guac from Dos Caminos, and with beers as the Sabres lost to the Rangers at Madison Square Garden. We celebrated with a flight of boozy ice cream at Tipsy Scoop, and with green eggs and ham from Cafeteria for brunch. We celebrated Grandma Rose in a whirlwind of food, drink, and fun, exactly how she would’ve wanted.
The month would end with my first time dining at the Schenectady County Community College (SCCC) Casola Dining Room. The students in the SCCC Culinary and Hospitality programs put on a series of dinners throughout the semester in which the public can enjoy a 3 course meal prepared and served by students for around $25.
Each menu has a theme and is available online ahead of time. The food is good and there are plenty of options for a low cost. Although the reservations aren’t easy to get, I would highly recommend it, you might be surprised at how nice it truly is.
If you’ve made it to the end of this post, thank you. I truly enjoy sharing my adventures and appreciate everyone who takes the time to read, share, or simply enjoy my writing. This roller coaster month of highs and lows has brought me to many places, old and new, and for that I am grateful. When was the last time you tried something new? Time flies, make it meaningful.
See you soon & as always, don’t forget to follow along in Instagram, @erin.eats.upstate.