Thursday, July 10, 2014

The Eating Tour of Rochester

I really appreciate my sister planning her wedding during the summer because it finally afforded me the opportunity to cross something off my bucket list. Granted this item was only added to my bucket list in April, and I don't technically keep a "list", but it's still very important.

The Eating Tour of Rochester

Every city has certain food and restaurants unique to that city, although I kind of feel like maybe Rochester has more than most, or at least more than most small cities. Maybe I'm just biased. Anyway, I grew up taking all these opportunities for granted. Like so many bright eyed bushy tailed college graduates, I moved away for a job and didn't even realize what I had until it was gone.
Of course, I suffered more than most, because I missed out on a lot of this delicious eating due to misguided, foolish vegetarianism for way too long, before I finally saw the light and realized: meat is delicious.

I've wanted to make up for lost time and eat all these delicacies, but it's a six hour drive, so during the school year my visits usually last from about midnight Friday night to noon on Sunday - limited eating opportunities. Plus, you have to account for the fact that I stay with my mom and she' a phenomenal cook.

Finally, after Darcy's wedding we had time to kill, and if there's a better time to stuff yourself with fattening food than the third trimester of your first pregnancy, I don't know what it could possibly be. I'm eating for two, after all, and I don't listen to Negative Nancys who try to convince me that's a fallacy.

Day 1: the best barbeque you will ever eat.

It became so famous there's even one in NYC now!

Apparently I was too excited to take a picture of the actual food, so imagine the most tender brisket and pulled pork with amazing corn and macaroni and cheese on the side. Fun fact: I've always hated pulled pork, but apparently the baby likes it because now it's delicious.

Day 2: Rochester's best fish fry

I waitressed at a little family owned diner through most of high school and college. I'm sure I complained about it as much as any job at the time, but now I look back on it fondly and I always loved my coworkers. Something about the restaurant industry makes you really bond - most likely what jerks all the customers are. I never had a fish fry while I worked there (I never tried the majority of the menu, actually). A few months ago, they were voted the best fish fry in Rochester. I finally lost my fish fry virginity. Good thing I still have some connections - we went on Monday, and they usually only do beer battered fish fries on Friday, but they hooked me up.

Bonus: my number one (and only) pregnancy craving, cottage cheese, was offered as a side. Seriously, I buy a giant tub every week.

After that, we went down to Charlotte beach for another classic: Abbotts custard.

My mom and I did not even plan to be twinsies.
We failed as Rochesterarians to warn Eric that the Abbotts portions are huge (he's from Ohio). He ordered a double and really struggled.

There were a lot of TWSS options going on.
Day 3: The next "morning" (this summer our mornings start around 11am) we got breakfast at the Public Market - Rochester's giant farmer's market. Mine was the sausage one - I don't really like ordering bacon from restaurants, it's always soggy and just gross.

Dinner on our last night there was the ultimate Rochester classic: the Garbage Plate.

Your choice of meat on top of two of the three: homefries, mac salad, or baked beans.
It probably sounds disgusting, but all I can say is that you just have to try it, it's freaking amazing. The above one was Eric's, since it looks more traditional. The below one is the one I split with my mom, and we were both still completely stuffed.

She doesn't like cheeseburgers - I don't even know how we are related.
Day 4: On our last morning, we went to a diner for breakfast that I'd never even heard of, but it was still awesome.

Eric's breakfast

My Greek omelet - pancakes always sound good but then I have to go for the savory.
With that, the food tour was complete. Not really though, because I have a fridge full of leftovers from everywhere we went. Eric and I approached things a little differently. He took it more as an Adam Richmond man vs. food challenge, and felt like a failure if he didn't finish every meal. I took it more as an opportunity to taste everything. I'm not generally a fast learner, but I did learn pretty fast that if you don't stop eating the second you feel a bit full during pregnancy, you're in for a world of hurt.  I actually had to skip a local all homemade ice cream shop snack with my family after my breakfast sandwich because I was too full - in my previous life, being too full for ice cream was just unthinkable. There's no arguing with a baby compressing your organs - he always wins. But actually it means I always have leftovers, so we are really both winners.

Although it is possible the food tour took several years off my life, I believe it was worth it. I hadn't heard anything about my glucose test from last week, so I finally called the doctor this morning and found out I passed! I think I was actually more afraid of having to the 3 hour test (fasting and four blood draws - basically my worst nightmare) than actually having to do the diet if I tested positive for gestational diabetes. But at least with this baby, I'm safe from that.

What city would you most want to do a food tour of, and why? My next choice would probably be Chicago - deep dish pizza and Al's beef.


  1. you need to come back to NYC with the baby so I can love on him while you and eric go on an epic food tour of the city.

  2. Abbotts... awesome.

    Chicago is an excellent choice! Previously I would have said maybe New Orleans, but based on our recent experience I can't think of anything I ate there that was better than a deep dish pizza.

  3. Being full when pregnant is awful. There were nights I couldn't sleep because I felt so miserable. It's good to be back to the land of eating a as much as I want again.

  4. Even though I've lived in Texas for 4 years and have eaten at most of the top barbeque places in the Austin area, I am still desperate to try Dinosaur BBQ because it seems like everyone on the Internet raves about it. And I'm with you on the misguided vegetarianism. I didn't eat my first cheesesteak until about 1 month before I left Philadelphia for Austin. For shame!

  5. YES come to Chicago!! we'll eat all the food.

  6. I hate deep dish! Too much dough. [ducks]

    Whenever I go back to my hometown of Albuquerque my food tour includes green chile everything: huevos rancheros, breakfast burritos, blue corn enchiladas. There's nothing in Indiana that even comes close.

    Yay for third tri! Homestretch! U CAN DO IT.

  7. Wow! So jealous of the Eating Tour. I was on the outskirts of Rochester that whole time so I'm still unsure as to why I was not more a part of this :( Garbage plate yummmmm

  8. That all looks delicious...but I'd want to do an eating tour of some place more exotic, like Rome or Berlin. Or maybe Athens? So much good food out there, so little time!

  9. Yay for Rochester!!! Great, now I want a garbage plate.
    And Abbotts 😋🍔🍦


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