Food & Drink Magazine

24 Hours Upstate

By Lilveggiepatch @Lilveggiepatch

Last week, Brien had to go up to Corning, in upstate New York, for a meeting.

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It’s one of the only upstate towns that is still thriving (their main industry is glass), unlike a lot of other areas that have been completely crushed economically. I was curious to see what it was like, and as I was still on Spring Break, made the 4.5 hour drive up with Brien. We were there for less than 24 hours, but it was a nice little visit.


We got into town just in time for dinner, so after checking in to our hotel, headed straight to Market St. Brewing Co. There were some gluten-free options available; we split orders of scallops + swordfish, both served over risotto. I’ve been on a big risotto kick lately! I felt a little heavy after this meal (and it probably didn’t help that I chased it with delicious ice cream from Dippity Do Dahs), but we didn’t have to do anything but go back to our hotel and watch August: Osage County.

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Brien had to work the next day, so after sharing breakfast together at Heavenly Cup (steel cut oats for the win), I took a nap and went to the gym. (Is there anything more luxurious than a post-breakfast nap?) We met for lunch at Poppleton Bakery, which I was excited to learn was extremely gluten-free friendly.

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We shared two buckwheat crêpes, which were delicious and filling but didn’t leave me feeling weighed down. They also came with a side of sliced apples and homemade peanut butter… which was still warm!

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We loved this place so much that we stopped in on our way out of town. We split a slice of lemon pound cake (gluten free), and got some stuff to go, too.

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We devoured two buckeyes in the car, and saved this German chocolate cupcake for home. One downside (or upside!) of finding a good gluten-free spot is that I feel it is my duty to sample as many products as I can

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On the way home, we stopped for dinner at Lost Dog Cafe, in Binghampton. It’s a quirky- and huge!- restaurant with a big, special diet-friendly menu and great beverage list (alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike). And from the calendar on the wall, it appears to turn into a club at night!

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Right away, I loved this place for donating proceeds of some of their wine to Operation Homefront, an organization that serves veterans and their families. I currently work for a nonprofit that also serves the military, and I’m always so impressed when local businesses show their support.

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Brien and I shared two items: a bean + quinoa burger (gluten free, on gluten free bun) and Cajun-spiced rice + beans w/ broccoli.

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I’m not used to being able to eat sandwiches or burgers in restaurants, and it stirred up a major craving. When we got home, I whipped up a batch of veggie burgers, which I served on my favorite English muffin.

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I also couldn’t stop thinking about that plate of rice + beans, so I made my own, using white beans, broccoli, and Cajun spices (a blend sold at Whole Foods, in the seafood section). Shown with a side of spinach + quinoa, and leftover buttery squash from a Passover seder we attended last week.

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Our trip was short and sweet, but it inspired me to recreate some simple dishes at home. We’re trying (trying) to get ourselves in a good budget-groove by cooking more interesting things and eating out less. This happens to be a pretty expensive month, but we’re figuring it out.

Do you stick to a budget? Any tips for us newbies?

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