Friday, September 28, 2012

Swan Market Review (aka Best German Food I've Ever Had)

So, an old friend and I began having bi-weekly lunches together a couple weeks ago and for our second outing he was craving German food.  I did a quick Google search and it led me to an old neighborhood place called Swan Market.  After looking at the website I couldn't believe I'd never heard about this place: it's a small, family owned establishment refusing to fall victim to the neighborhood around it - a sign of GREAT food.

They have "communal tables" meaning when it gets busy you would find yourself sitting elbow to elbow with complete strangers. Nice.  The atmosphere is relaxed, and since they are (only) open for lunch there was a nice mix of people: business people, old German folks, casual diners.  Upon being seated I was approached by a friendly woman offering drinks and then dropping off this basket of fine bread.

I ordered what they have dubbed the "German Garbage Plate."  It was AMAZING.  They give a tasting of four daily meats and four sides covered in some delicious gravy.  Typically the sides are German potato salad, sauerkraut, red cabbage, and noodles with gravy.  However, they gave me mashed potatoes instead of noodles, but I certainly can't complain, it was delicious.  Okay, so I'm not 100% sure which meats I got, but I believe we're looking at Schnitzel, roast pork with filling, Rouladen, and...I don't know what else, but that piece of Schnitzel was awesome.

My buddy, Mac-D ordered the Rouladen - rolled beef with sausage, mustard, onion, and bacon with brown gravy.  They gave him a hearty serving with two sides, and he was extremely pleased.  Everything we ate was cooked perfectly and extremely flavorful.  

Oh, also they serve beer and freshly prepared/cut meats.  Unfortunately, we were too full to try the dessert, but I'll bet it is amazing.  I couldn't believe my dad never pointed me to this place, especially since he used to live in the neighborhood.  Turns out they didn't always serve lunch, so he only knew of them for their amazing butcher shop.  Anyway, this place is worth driving out of your way for.  The staff was extremely inviting, the prices were VERY fair ($8.50 for the garbage plate and $7.50 for the Rouladen), and the food was the best German I have ever eaten.  5 stars: stop whatever you are doing and immediately go to Swan Market for lunch.

Swan Market on Urbanspoon

Friday, September 21, 2012

Where Things are Most Likely to Attack Me (One Year Later)

As you all may remember I had a class in the basement of my law school last year.  The area improved briefly, but then a new school year rolled around.  What would a new batch of 1Ls do without the chance to be murdered in the basement?  It's really a right of passage around here.

These signs are very adamant that each particular table not be removed.  Seriously.  Do not remove the table.  They're watching...they're always watching.

Oh wait, now they don't want any tables removed??  This is getting ridiculous.  Why would a serial killer need so many tables?

Little brother White Tiger should appreciate this "graffiti."  It really cracks me up that no one actually defaces property.  Ah, law students.  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

D&R Depot Restaurant Review (Leroy, NY)

I'd like to kick off this post by apologizing for the lack of postings lately.  I strived to hit two posts per week for a while, but realized lately it just isn't consistently possible.  Therefore, I'm going back to a one post per week regiment.  I'll still try to post more frequently, but school is a bit time consuming.  

Additionally, I'm just not sure readership is terribly high.  It's harder for me to push for/enjoy blogging if I feel that no one is reading.  Oh, and I'm waiting for my HD cord to come in for my sweet new camcorder so I can upload the Pike parade shots.

Anyway, this is the D&R Depot in Leroy.  It's (unsurprisingly) a renovated train depot, but the ambiance doesn't stop there:  they have creepily stuffed people in the entryway, a sign in sheet with historical curiosities, and an upside down golf centerpiece on the ceiling with a train circling it.

This restaurant strives to stand out and puts their spin on just about every aspect of your experience.  The menu is mainly comfort food with the usual sandwiches and steaks sprinkled in.  Oddly, they also make a hell of an effort to provide healthy off-beat options like the "salt" pictured above.

The BEST part of this place is the homemade muffins and scones given with the dinner rolls.  They are amazing.  Seriously.

Fancy had the Monte Cristo.  It was fine.  Maybe the problem is that we aren't huge Monte Cristo fans in general, and it just sounded good.  Or maybe the muffins set the bar too high, but either way the sandwich was just average.  The fries were really quite good, however as they were crispy and flavorful.  It makes me wonder if they use their "saltless salt" as seasoning.

I ordered the past with "Marie Perry Snow's Homemade red sauce."  I know what you're thinking: why the hell would the okapi order Italian from a place like that??  It was a lapse in judgment (made twice since I ordered the same damn thing there last year and couldn't remember if I liked it or not).  Maybe I had misguided faith in Marie Perry, whoever she is.  But it was bad.  Canned lunchroom spaghetti bad.

It was so bad I brought it home to the dog.  Anyway, I had to show you guys the bathroom.  This one was labeled "Ladies" and the other was labeled "Whomever."  I want so bad to be able to give this place a great review.

This is the rest of the ladies room.  So, here it goes:  I give the place 3.75 stars.  The ambiance is unbeatable as is the muffins and scones.  However, the actual meals ran between average and just plain bad.  That would give us 3 stars, but then I added in the sweet little old lady waitress and perfectly made cherry-coke (mixing Coke with maraschino cherry juice and a cherry).

D & R Depot on Urbanspoon