These photos are from the Ports Cafe and Big Johnson’s restaurants in the Finger Lakes region of New York. Both are probably the best places to eat if a person was visiting. Of course the cuisine offered is polar opposites, but hey, I am all about fancy and dive locations. I’ll start with a meal from the Ports Cafe.
The really amazing thing about the Ports Cafe is that though they have a regular menu, it would be foolish to order from it. Everyday the chef creates a list of specials almost as long as the menu from the many fresh local ingredients available in the region.
On the other end of the spectrum was Big Johnson’s. A true dive bar with one of the most prolific collections of stuffed animals adorning the walls. Most of the animal kingdom is represented short of an elephant. The food is simple bar but, it is prepared fresh on order and made with excellent ingredients. Don’t expect to eat quickly, the food does take awhile to cook, but it is worth it.
I went to school in upstate New York and, while there, ate a lot of hot wings. The thing about hot wings is no one outside of New York seems to know how to make them right. They need to be spicy, but have excellent flavor in the sauce and don’t even talk to me if they are baked. I have tried many restaurants all over the country and none of them ever get close. What really amazes me is that no one has succeeded in exporting this food outside of the state. I guess it is a lot like fish tacos, the ones you buy in California are just better.