At Macri’s: Road Bros Eating Their Way Through Lewiston

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Listening to Catherine Hustler talk about how she invented the cocktail.

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The Bros with Catherine…doesn’t look too bad for over 200 yrs old.

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Mike and Brian with Gary and Anne Macri. They tried the veal…but won’t be here all week! We hope they loved “playing Lewiston!”

Lewiston NY: The Center of My Universe

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20120620-071307.jpg My first memory of Lewiston NY was being in a grocery store the day President Kennedy was shot. I don’t remember the name of the store. Maybe someone can remind me which grocery stores were in Lewiston at that time. I do remember that there were two of them. Was it the A & P?

20120620-073724.jpg was it Loblaws?
I just remember my mother acting weird then not being able to watch cartoons.

I also remember Jay’s Drug Store and going with my dad to test the tubes in our television.

20120620-074024.jpg I can remember him mumbling “I hope it’s not the picture tube!” As a teen prior to the independence of a drivers license I remember being envious of my friends who lived in the village because they “walked into town” to hang out on the railing on Center Street by Jay’s. They were SO cool!

As soon as I could read my mother would bring me to the library on Saturday.

20120620-074505.jpgWe would get books and sit in those worn leather chairs by the fireplace. When I was old enough the librarians would let me sort the cart and restock books.

20120620-074946.jpgWhen my brother was old enough to drive my mother made him take me to the library. He always complained about it. What teenage boy wants his little sister tagging along? Later I learned he loved it because he got to hang out with his friends but just complained to irritate us!

20120620-072524.jpg I received my First Holy Communion at St. Peter’s RC Church on Plain Street and was the first Confirmation class, in 1971, in the “new” “oh my God that’s so modern what were they thinking” church on Center Street.

20120620-072542.jpg While they were building the new church we went to church in the school hall

20120620-072534.jpg because the church on Plain Street was so small there was overflow.

20120620-071343.jpg I took piano lessons here, across from the convent and original St. Peter School now rectory.

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I remember the sesquicentennial in 1972 and being a part of the 150th celebration at the Red Brick School.

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That same year a bunch of my friends who went on to be part of my 1976 graduating class at Lewiston Porter High School graduated from St. Peter’s School.

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I have many memories of Lewiston…I grew up here…I got married here…I go to church here…I love where I’m from and today the country will begin to know why Lewiston NY is the center of the food universe.

Welcome Mike and Brian, http://blog.bestoftheroad.com/2012/06/12/team-road-bros-en-route/ as they learn and explore #LewistonBest.

20120620-071224.jpgin the words of Norma Desmond in Sunset Boulevard:

Mr. DeMille, we’re ready for our close up!

Have a yummy week!

Jude
JudeTheFoodie.com
Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie
Facebook: Jude The Foodie

Second chance at Pub was world-class

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I had a great dinner this past Sunday at the Lewiston Village Pub (linked here).
This came as a considerable surprise to me because the one and only time I was there previously ordering off the menu was completely and totally forgettable.

As owner Ken Scibetta told me, our last visit was before he took the kitchen over.

When they first bought the Pub in January 2008 they sublet the kitchen out.

It was just Ken and his partner back then. Now they have a staff of 25. Back then it was 80 percent bar business and 20 percent food.

Now it’s 65 percent food and 35 percent bar which is a testament to how good the food is. When they started out the bulk of their profit came from the bar business.

They have this Mug Club where you get a personalized mug for $8 which is waiting for you when you return. The beer offerings are very extensive and he would like to expand the wine menu sometime in the future.

Ken has slowly and surely created a menu that has regular customers come back often. He likes to change up the specials frequently using as many local ingredients as possible.

He gets a great deal of his produce from Tom Tower and other Niagara County growers. He is quick to explain he is a self taught chef.

His previous experience was in “the front of the house” serving at higher end WNY establishments such as the Buffalo Chop House and Left Bank.
He told me he learned about food from the daily specials he had shared with diners. If he did not know an ingredient or cooking style he had to learn about it before the customers asked about it.

To start we ordered calamari served with the house tomato sauce.

20120611-082433.jpg I liked the sauce very much, not to salty and almost sweet. The rings were described as “jumbo” and they certainly were.

We had a Rex-Goliath Merlot, a great value at $20 a bottle. We took advantage of the Sunday special, steak for two. I got a salad with cucumber wasabi dressing which had heat without pain. It was delicious.

20120611-082426.jpgThe steak was cooked exactly to order and it was served over buttery mashed potatoes. There is always room for dessert and we ordered a slice of cheesecake.

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When I see the website and the pictures of the food I’m very impressed he taught himself to cook. He tries to create his menu so that when a diner reads it they cannot decide what to have. I can say that worked for me.

I look forward to going back and having the crab legs or maybe the Kona crusted sirloin … I cannot decide!

Have a yummy week!

An Orange Cat social life, five minutes at a time

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The Foodie:

If Lewiston had the equivalent of Cheers, that Boston bar where everybody knows your name, it would be the Orange Cat Coffee Company on Center Street in Lewiston.

My coffee pot sits idle for weeks at a time and I use my coffee press occasionally (with either Orange Cat or Starbucks Anniversary Blend) but prefer to pull the iron handle on the cool door and be greeted by wonderful smells and friendly people.

I have friends that I met at the Orange Cat. My friend Dorothy and I are friends because of the OC and Facebook. It’s a new world. So new, in fact that they Tweet their soup and salad specials each morning like a lunch menu back in school. See below for their Facebook and Twitter links.

Robin Faulring and Michael Broderick opened the OC back in 2004 and they were the only folks who worked there. They now have 9-10 employees depending on the time of the year. They do not look for baristas with experience; rather they look for friendly local people who have a connection with the community.

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I asked Michael about the culture of coffee and he explained that people experience coffee today much like they experience wine. They have discovered new flavors from regions long ago unfamiliar. I remember, back in the day, when we considered it fancy to buy “Columbian” Maxwell House coffee (of course that was when a “pound” of coffee actually weighed a pound). Today we can sample coffee from around the world and know that like wine, the climate, soil conditions and growing practices change the flavor of coffee bean. Michael says we now enjoy, experience and experiment with coffee.

They have many offerings each day – always Roastmaster Rick along with a single origin coffee. The next two are flavored (I don’t prefer coffee that tastes like fruit – that’s what tea is for). Jamaican Me Crazy is an all time favorite of my son who has frequently requested it ground and sent to school for brewing. The bottom two are decafe coffees.

Michael knows people come to the OC for a break in their routine. I know people come there because the coffee is of high quality and the baked goods are made with organic ingredients. They both have seen many wonderful relationships develop over time and are often awed by the sense of community felt in Lewiston and Youngstown.

Robin and Michael believe in the community and are very philanthropic. They began a charity called Pour the Love inspired by Jonathan Miller, a local student who passed away two years ago. JMill’s parents are regular customers and their daughters have both been barista’s there. With Pour the Love they find ways to center donations, to give larger amounts to a few community based charities.

They have many people who begin their day waiting in the fun line where they are most likely greeted by name. Robin and Michael believe their business can be simply defined by the incredible community. I have them to thank for the opportunity to perform on the front lawn of the Orange Cat during the Jazz Festival. My singing partner Loretta Frankovitch and I started Accidental Jazz with the encouragement of Robin who gave us the gig.

When I go in there I feel like the mayor. I am not alone. Everyone seems to know everyone there even if they never knew them before meeting them at the Orange Cat. I am looking forward to Christmas Eve morning where everyone sits around a great big circle sharing a few minutes together before celebrating Christmas with their loved ones.

For me, those wonderful minutes between getting in line, ordering, paying and putting the milk in my cup are my social life, five minutes at a time.

See you at the Orange Cat!

Have a yummy week.

Social media:

Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Orange-Cat-Coffee-Co/16993583882#!/pages/Orange-Cat-Coffee-Co/16993583882?sk=info

Twitter @ohrangecat

Next week: I Blame D’Avolio for my Olive Oil addiction!

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