Upstate Eats Trail
The Road Trip. It’s what Americans do. It’s what we’ve always done. There are entire shelves of books devoted to hitting the road. And jukeboxes full of songs about riding out to case the promised land. We’ve all gone to look for America at one time or another. But what are we usually looking for? A great place to eat, of course. A classic hot dog stand. A roadside scoop shop. Barbecue joints. Diners. Bake shops. The corner café with hamburgers sizzling on an open grill all night and day. These are the places that fuel our trips and spark the stories we share with family and friends when we get back home.
So, you’re ready to roll down your window and let the breeze blow back your hair—now what? Easy. Point your car in the direction of Upstate New York and some of the country’s best bakers, sandwich makers and chicken wing shakers. There may not be another cluster of regional specialties in the entire country like the one you’ll find along the highways that connect Binghamton, Syracuse, Rochester and Buffalo. The menu includes culinary traditions going back generations to a time when the region boomed with the opening of the Erie Canal and the flood of immigrants who followed. Chicken spiedies. Hot pies. Salt potatoes. Snappy grillers. Garbage plates. White hots. Buffalo wings. Beef on weck. Frozen custard. Sponge Candy.
It’s a legacy of comfort food that’s affordable, delectable and unforgettable.
The author of 5 books, 3 of which are New York Times bestsellers. I’ve been published in more than 100 newspapers and magazines and am a frequent commentator on NPR.