Friday, April 24, 2009

Sullivan’s Diner (Horseheads, NY)

3 comments -leave your own

“What’ll it be, Hon?”

The American diner. Who doesn’t love these 20th century icons?

On a very cold day in March after a morning of punching through hard-packed road fill (not finding much more than recent roadside trash), the PAF staff headed to Sullivan’s Diner on Old Ithaca Road in Horseheads. One is drawn not only to the diner’s classic narrow, streamlined appearance, but the delightful smell of grease and seared animal flesh as well. The listing describes “an Irish-named diner serving great Polish and American food in a real 1940 made-in-New Jersey diner with 35 seats and most of the original equipment.” While the exterior could use a little TLC, the interior’s generous amount of stainless steel, tile and other shiny materials is well kept.

Sullivan’s owner-chef-waitress-clerk greets customers as they enter the diner through a sliding pocket door. Yes, menus are provided, but she will likely take your order without turning away from her position at the grill. The diner has obviously built a loyal customer base, which is evident by the friendly banter and familiar report.

In several locations throughout the diner there are small signs marking the water level from Elmira’s 1972 flood, the worst in its recorded history. The PAF crew on this particular visit agreed that the restroom end of the diner – the furthest from the delightful aroma of the grill – did indeed smell as if were flooded 3 decades ago.

Abandoning much of my more than adequate bag lunch, I was lured in by the suggestion of chocolate cake and coffee. With an expectation of the kind of coffee that helps your spoon stand straight in the cup, I was pleasantly surprised by a quality cup of joe – served in the ubiquitous heavy, cream-colored ceramic mug (dinerware?). As for the chocolate cake, it was unmistakably a Sam’s Club Triple Chocolate Bundt Cake. Although not homemade, this is the stuff of chocoholic dreams and Sullivan’s offers up a four serving-sized slice.

To sum up the Sullivan experience: good eats at GREAT prices, all to be had in a wonderful venue. Somehow food is more satisfying when you feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth (or better). I whole-heartedly recommend this establishment as a worthy travel stop!

I appeal to others who have dined at Sullivan’s to further comment on the variety and quality of food . . . from pancakes to pierogi.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Peck's Market (Livingston Manor, NY)

0 comments -leave your own

Pipe and Smoking Jacket Not Required

There's not too much to say about Peck's Market in the misleadingly, snobbishly named town, Livingston Manor (formerly called Purvis, a much more apt name!), save for its excellent deli. The best thing, other than the fresh ingredients and lively staff, is that they tell you to go to the bakery aisle and pick out your own roll, which is great! I don't think I have ever been in command of my own roll choice, and as many sandwich connoisseurs know, it's all about the bread. The other thing worth mentioning is the sign for cultural food, which states boldly, "Ethnics." They're not too worried about semantics.

Livingston Manor is a fusion of typical beat-up Catskill town and an arty, fly-fishing retreat for City Folk. The school in the middle of the village is quite a centerpiece, with really beautiful architecture and carefully laid stonework walls and bridge over the creek that runs alongside the main street. Bonus review: The bookstore in town is one of the only independent new book sellers within 100 miles. If you are in town, you have to stop in.
the well-appointed school

Friday, April 17, 2009

The Glaciers Have Receded, the Floods Have Abated.

0 comments -leave your own
We can see the soil again, we can smell the earth, so now it's time to get out there and dig, and eat! It's time to knock the dust off of this moldy blog and share our gastroarchaeogical triumphs and failures with the world! In our first few weeks back in the field, we have already found some great new places, so check back often to read and revel in our repasts.

image from