Last week, Brien had to go up to Corning, in upstate New York, for a meeting.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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 .
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!
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.
Brien and I shared two items: a bean + quinoa burger (gluten free, on gluten free bun) and Cajun-spiced rice + beans w/ broccoli.
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.
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.
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?