Lewiston NY: One Of The 2012 Best Small Towns in America



My friend Mary Lesa posted something on my Facebook wall yesterday. My beloved home town was included in the 10 Best Small Towns in America..

Lewiston NY was ranked fifth on the list. Our town participated in the 2012 Best of the Road contest and rallied together to host the Road Bros in what turned out to be an epic visit.

Small towns can be quite amazing. It is difficult to explain unless you experience it. When you walk into your local cafe someone will know you. Your local pubs are filled with folks to clink your glass. The food you eat in local restaurants are not only prepared by your neighbors but they are likely family recipes passed from generation to generation.

To my friends in Lewiston and Youngstown, feel free to comment on this column and plug your restaurant or shop. Let’s build some momentum for Shop Local Saturday.

“Like” my Facebook page and give yourself a shout-out to let folks know why it’s not only fun but smart to shop locally.

I will feature as many as possible so come on, play!

Have a yummy day!



The Travel Channel Tonight at 8:00 PM

Look! My nose is going to be on the Travel Channel!! What girl wouldn’t be excited? That’s me bumping the “B” in BEST! Priceless!


Lewiston: Let’s Keep This Ball Rolling!

20120717-181825.jpgThat fateful day, January 27, 1991 when Scott Norwood kicked that ball into the air during what is now referred to as Super Bowl #1(or the wide right game) we were convinced we were going to win. Nope and the rest is Buffalo Bill’s and WNY history. Our psyche has been knocked around for a long time, and ever since Johnny Carson joked about all of the snow we got during the Blizzard of ’77 we started thinking as if we were nothing but a bunch of losers. 20120717-181836.jpg

Hell, everyone knows Dallas Star Brett Hull was in the crease during Game 6 at the Arena in June of 1999…but we’re not bitter…well…maybe just a little.

20120717-181843.jpg“Baby” Joe Mesi, the undefeated heavy weight boxer from Tonawanda, referred to as Buffalo’s Third Franchise, ended up losing his chance at the big fight due to that last hit…I guess it always does…that ended his career…we just can’t win!

Lucy ALWAYS lifts the football and Charlie Brown ALWAYS tries to kick it anyway.

Something strange happened to me today. First, and I think it is so much of my WNY brainwashing, I was fully prepared to lose the Rand McNally Best Of The Road contest. I cannot say it was based on rational thought, maybe perhaps, simply based on trying not to be too disappointed. It’s sort of like talking yourself out of getting the Schwinn Stingray bike with banana seat when you can only hope for the girly bike with the streamers coming out of the handle bars (too specific?).

I have never been a part of something so special in such a short amount of time. We moved forward so quickly we did not have time to over think the process. I think we were very successful and should feel like winners. Mike and Brian had a blast and fell in love with our small town.

‘Okay…so, we lost. We are not going to “get on the map” on their GPS. We are, however going to be on the Travel Channel on July 25th at 8:00 PM. It may only be for a minute but who cares? The winners will not likely get much more time than we do. How do we keep this momentum and build on it?

We have such an opportunity. What are we going to do with it?

It’s not an end. It’s a beginning.

Lewiston – what’s next?

Have a yummy week!


Lewiston NY: The Center of My Universe



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.

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

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.

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!

Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie
Facebook: Jude The Foodie

Best of the Road



Here is a quick schedule for the Best of the Road competition coming to Lewiston NY

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

7:00 pm
Public Welcome
Silo, Water Street, Lewiston


Thursday, June 21, 2012

The judges will go on a guided tour of the village, hosted by yours truly. If you see them, stop and say hi. They will be in a heavily logoed SUV.

Friday, June 22, 2012

The judges will be “free to roam” the village and area. Be sure to keep the welcome mat out!

Remember, I will be Tweeting #LewistonBest throughout the competition.

Drop me a line here, Tweet with me or join me on Facebook. But whatever you do, help us win!

Twitter: JudeTheFoodie
Facebook: Jude The Foodie

Have a yummy day!!

Dear Judges: #LewistonBest Small Town for Food!


This just in: get ready to welcome Team ‘Road Bros” to Lewiston. We will update dates as soon as they are available.



Hold on to your hats, ladies and gentlemen because Rand McNally, USA Today and CBS for the Travel Channel are coming to Lewiston NY!

Prepare to roll out the red carpet because in the next few weeks judges from http://www.bestoftheroad.com/ will be in Lewiston, NY as they tour six small towns across America competing for the title “Best Small Town for Food” in the USA!

The road rally begins tomorrow in Washington, DC as five sets of judges are announced. Each set of judges will visit 6 small towns over the next month and descend upon Seattle on July 13th where the winners in each category will be announced July 16th.

Lewiston is unique and special for so many reasons. First, of the 177 small towns vying for the six finalist spots Lewiston garnered the most votes. And, of the six finalists, Lewiston is the smallest, by far.

Best of all, there was no “Chamber of Commerce” media blast, no carefully coordinated ad campaign or expensive consulting firm waving the banner.

No, it was a grass roots campaign made up of volunteers who just love the little square mile of Food Under Niagara – F.U.N! Lewiston takes pride in knowing that in over 30 places to eat there is only one chain.

Here is how it works: the judges will let us know when they will arrive. We can engage them immediately and plan a rally at the Silo (details to follow when available). The next day they go on a tour of the towns restaurants and attractions with one host. I am honored and proud to say that I have been selected to act as guide. I travel on my stomach and I am very excited to show these folks how to that very thing in Lewiston.

How can you be a part of the F.U.N.?

1. Check out JudeTheFoodie.com everyday as I announce more details as they become available. We should have a better idea of the judges schedule tomorrow (June 15, 2012)

2. Prepare to bring all your friends and family to the rally at the Silo on Water Street with posters, placards and anything you can think of to make a big splash welcome for the judges. Date TBA

3. Follow @BestOfTheRoad on Twitter as they Tweet information about the road rally.

4. Download the Best Of The Road app on your smartphone and follow the fun.

5. Follow me @JudeTheFoodie as I Tweet #LewistonBest throughout the competition.

6. Follow Historical Association of Lewiston and Museum on Facebook

7. “Like” JudeTheFoodie on Facebook for more information

There is more to come!

Have a yummy week!


Facebook: JudeTheFoodie
Twitter: @JudeTheFoodie