Exploring Food and Lodging in Lake Placid

While visiting Lake Placid earlier this year, I spent a day exploring this northern New York town.  Because it was a rainy day, we skipped some of the outdoor activities but we got to visit some neat places and enjoy good food and drinks (of course!).  I shared already about the very well set up Olympics Museum, my “adventure” at the luge training facility, and my skating at historic Herb Brooks Arena (check it all out here).  Having covered those sites so tied to Olympic history, I should probably share with you more of what Lake Placid has to offer.  In this post, I will share about some of the lodging, food, and drinks that I enjoyed checking out during my visit.

A lodge you can dream of – and then go see for yourself!

One of our stops was the Whiteface Lodge. I had heard it was an incredible place and it did not disappoint!  I was staying in the town of Lake Placid proper at the Golden Arrow Lakeside Resort which was ideally situated close to many places I visited and with a great restaurant (Generations) right on site (more on the restaurant below).

The Whiteface Lodge consists only of suites, and there are suites of every size.  Even the “small” ones are well-equipped with nice kitchens, fireplaces, large screen TVs, and balconies.  Some of the suites are outright “owned” by private individuals who may live there, visit there, or partially rent them back to the Lodge to then put into its reservations system.  The most amazing suite was the Presidential Suite which the General Manager of the resort kindly showed us since it was unoccupied that day.  I can safely say the Presidential Suite is bigger than my house!!!

Lake Placid, Whiteface Lodge, Presidential Suite, decor, travel, accommodations. lodging

The living and dining room areas of the Presidential Suite

I was impressed by the beauty of the outdoor areas and how the space is well-laid out for different activities that guests may opt to take part in.  For example, there is a fire pit for making smores (I didn’t get to eat any!).  The resort also has indoor spaces for every age and interest.  From a two-lane bowling alley, to its own movie theater, to a game room, and to a phenomenal spa for lots of R&R.

While I did not stay at the Whiteface Lodge, I can assure you I was not going to miss its bar (open to the public) to check out its specialty seasonal cocktails and tasty appetizers while chatting with friends.  Though they had a series of interesting martinis, I opted for a specialty cocktail (as I seem to have become a specialty cocktail adventurer) named Jacob Marley’s Return:  Bourbon infused with apples, cinnamon, and cloves with Frenet Branca, and maple water.  All these ingredients came together excellently for a cocktail perfect for the season and area of the country.

cocktail, Whiteface Lodge, Jacob Marley, Bourbon, maple syrup infused, Lake Placid

Introducing… Jacob Marley’s Return!!

As part of my visit, I was invited to try the thermal pools which was great as it was snowing and being outside in hot waters watching it snow was priceless.

Whiteface Lodge, Lake Placid, heated outdoor pool, jacuzzi

The steam from the heated pool makes for a slightly less than excellent photo but you get the point!

A different lodge

Lake Placid is big enough for more than one lodge and certainly for different kinds of them.  The Adirondacks Loj, operated by the Adirondack Mountain Club,  is perfect for those wanting a more basic place to stay.  Sitting at the edge of Heart Lake, the Adirondacks Loj offers also more of a communal feel with shared dining room and even shared rooms (you can have a private one).  The Loj seemed like a great base for hiking and its staff clearly was eager to help with information or anything else.  It may be a great place to use as a base but I think I would also enjoy cold winter nights in front of the massive stone fireplace!

Photos of Adirondak Loj, Lake PlacidThis photo of Adirondak Loj is courtesy of TripAdvisor

Great food everywhere.  I am not complaining.

No visit to a new town is complete without sampling the food on offer.  The night we arrived we went to a pub which was perfect for the mood after a five-hour drive in from the outskirts of New York City.  The Lake Placid Pub & Brewery was packed yet we had no trouble finding a spot to perch ourselves on.  I drank some pints of the oatmeal stout which was perfect to help me recover from the long day.  That stout and a delicious flatbread pizza of the many on offer and ilivetotravel was a happy camper that night!

The next night we went Lisa G’s known for their excellent chicken wings.  I had some as an appetizer but dove in for an incredible chorizo risotto with Manchego cheese that was out of this world.Lisa G, Lake Placid, restaurant, food, cuisine, cooking, foodie, chicken wings

Lisa G, Lake Placid, restaurant, food, cuisine, cooking, foodie

The chorizo risotto

For my beverage, I kept up the theme from the cocktail I had had earlier that evening at the Whiteface Lodge and chose a Bourbon-based cocktail:  The Sassy Cider – Bourbon with maple syrup, lemon juice, some cider, and a little cayenne pepper – perfect to warm me up after a cold and wet day!

The morning I was leaving, we went for brunch at the Generations Restaurant associated to the Golden Arrow (where I stayed this weekend).  With a great view of Mirror Lake, we enjoyed all sorts of good and impressive stuff, local-sourced and fresh.  The cinnamon roll with strawberries and maple syrup clearly hit the right spot for my sweet teeth (in plural, because I have more than one sweet tooth).

cinammon roll. strawberries, maple syrup,, Generations, Lake Placid, foodie, cooking

Mmm!!!!

Everything we tried was great and then the piece de resistence came to us:  bison burgers cooked on a Himalayan salt block.  I had never heard of the concept but a large salt block is heated to high temperatures and then brought to your table.  The bison burgers are laid on it and you let them cook until your preferred level of “cooked”  Ir was amazing to see this salt block cook my burger.  Here are the before and after pictures of this neat trick!

bison burger, Generations, Lake Placid, Himalayan salt block, foodie, cooking

Before…

bison burger, Generations, Lake Placid, Himalayan salt block, foodie, cooking

After!

Now that I have shared all this with you, I am developing quite an appetite…  I think you get the point:  Lake Placid offers great experiences beyond its Olympic history and outdoor activities (which I hope to experience in the near future!).  It sits in the beautiful Adirondacks, a blessed corner of our country and one I am glad to have discovered!

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My activities in Lake Placid were facilitated by its Convention and Visitors’ Bureau, and local businesses.  Opinions my own!

2013: A Year in Food and Beverages

I traveled a good bit this year for both business and pleasure.  As with most travel, eating out plays and essential part of the experience, as do the places at which I stay.  This year offered me some memorable experiences in both areas.  Here I take a quick look back at the food and beverages of 2013!

January blues:  go away, I say

The year opened up with a traditional get together among a group of friends to celebrate the new year and good friendships.  It is our way of extending the holidays into drab January with the cold weather and nothing exciting immediately in the horizon (like, say, spring).  The highlight of the evening is an exchange of gifts but the food and wine usually shows our good taste in the finer things – at least for this little party.  My favorite items are usually the sweets/desserts, as you can tell…

sweets, dessert, chocolate, food, party, photo, Olympussweets, desserts, chocolate, macaroon, macaron, food, foodie, photo, Olympus

Mt. Kilimanjaro

However, I mis-type a little as I did have something exciting coming up early in the year:  my climb of Mt. Kilimanjaro in February.  Yes, the mountain is not going to be the paragon of fine dining and beverages.  On the latter, our beverages on the mountain consisted mainly of water, hot chocolate, and the morning cup of coffee.  Now AFTER coming down the mountain, that is a VERY different picture!  That first cold beer as we exited Kilimanjaro and that first glass of cold South African wine that evening were glorious!  But while we were not enjoying gourmet dishes up on the mountain, we ate well.  The food may have been basic outside of the context of the hike but, during the hike, these lunches and dinners were royals-worthy.  My favorite had to be when we were surprised with grilled cheese sandwiches!  Comfort food indeed!

grilled cheese, Kilimanjaro, food, climbing, hiking, Olympus

Washington, D.C.

After two years of working with a client in Washington, D.C., it was time to end my frequent travels to the U.S. capital (which I knew was going to be hard for me).  I would have to say goodbye to my favorite bar:  Le Bar at the Sofitel Hotel (near the White House), where I discovered the enjoyment of specialty cocktails.  I know the reason God doesn’t make me President of the U.S.A.:  I would be going to Le Bar for some evening relaxation a little too often!

cocktails, drinks, Sofitel, DC, beverage, travel, barcocktails, drinks, Sofitel, DC, beverage, travel, bar

Jordan

Leaving D.C. was hard to do but helping with that was my trip to colorful Jordan in April where the delicious food seemed ENDLESS!  Whether in Amman, Mardaba, the Dead Sea, or the Wadi Rum, I do not know how I didn’t gain any weight in that trip.  Or did I…

food, Jordan, Middle East, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel food, Jordan, Middle East, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel food, Jordan, Middle East, travel, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

And in terms of beverage, though I had been to the Middle East before, I gained a new appreciation for drinking tea (hot tea).  It may seem that what helps in warm weather is iced tea but, actually, a hot beverage is better for you – and I got to understand why!  So good.

tea, Jordan, Middle East, Canon EOS Rebel, travel, photo

Miami

Going to Tampa or Miami is always something I look forward to because I know I will eat some the most delicious food around:  Cuban food.  I may be biased (OK, I AM biased) but it is just such an enjoyable feast for the palate to eat any of the number of traditional Cuban dishes.  And many places around places to do so.  Versailles and La Carreta are good traditional places (I enjoy the latter more) but I “discovered” El Palacio de los Jugos which is more of a take-out place than sit-down place (though there are some tables to go sit after you get your food).

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Manila

My flash trip to Asia took me to Manila where I enjoyed great hospitality, exploring its history and good food.  I really enjoyed M Café in Makati, where traditional food was served with some really neat twists.  Thanks to my local friends for picking this place – loved it.

Manila, Makati, food, tropical cuisine, photo, travel, Olympus, Philippines Manila, Makati, food, tropical cuisine, photo, travel, Olympus, Philippines Manila, Makati, food, tropical cuisine, photo, travel, Olympus, Philippines

Atlanta

While this is a travel blog, others travel to my hometown so I think it is fair to talk about food in Atlanta.  We ARE an eating out city and there are plenty of options from ethnic to mainstream to “nouveau” (whatever the proper term is for places like Local Three, 1 Kept, etc.).  Lots of incredible new ideas in these nouveau-type restaurants.

Local Three, fruit tart, dessert, Atlanta, chocolate mousee, Local Three, Atlamta, food, caramel,foodporn, travel chicken, waffle, Local Three, food, Atlanta, foodporn

Oh, and I also enjoyed a great chocolate tasting from Chocolate South at Perrine’s Wine Shop.  They were innovative and tasty little creations!

chocolate, bombom, foodie, food, Atlanta, gourmet,Samsung

Minneapolis

Before the year ended, I squeezed in a long weekend trip to Minneapolis, a city I had never visited before.  I enjoyed exploring culture in this great city – and some great meals!  One was at Wilde Roast Café, on the east shore of the Mississippi River – the crabcake was THE best crabcake I have ever had by a bit.  The turkey meatloaf was really good and certainly made me feel much less guilty about ordering it and what was to come after the entrée:  the flourless chocolate cake.  It TRULY changed my mind about flourless cakes which never really knock it out of the park for me.  That one sure did!

crabcake, Minneapolis, Wilde Roast Cafe, food, foodporn, photo, Canon EOS Rebelturkey meatloaf, Minneapolis, Wilde Roast Cafe, food, foodporn, photo, Canon EOS Rebel

I also enjoyed brunch at Café Maude where the only bad thing was that my stomach could only handle one of their dishes!  I had the hardest time deciding on ONE plate – I chose the country hash which had chicken confit, red peppers, onion, potatoes and a tomato marmalade.  I did not go wrong (but the Eggs Benedict were very tempting too).

Cafe Maude, Loring Park, Minneapolis, food, foodie, travel, Olympus

So, that wraps up my year in food though I will be having some great food still in the days left in 2013!   Happy food and new year to all!

Innovative Dining in Atlanta

Atlanta has always been an eating-out town.  Are you buying a house?  That kitchen is likely not far from brand-new more than likely!  OK, I exaggerate but we are not known to be a cooking urban citizenry – we love to eat out!

And food in Atlanta has evolved nicely thanks to many young cooking hands bringing innovation.  Ecco, Rathbun’s, Pura Vida, and others helped break ground in terms of new concepts.  Lately, I have finally gotten to branch out and try new places, some of them as new as a couple of months old.  And all close to me (within 3 miles) – which is great given how much I enjoyed them.

So if you visit Atlanta for business or pleasure, be sure to get out of that hotel, of downtown, or trek in from suburbia.  Atlanta’s great eateries are waiting for you to experience them!

The Spence

A true foodie’s place, located on 5th & Spring Sts. right at the edge of the Georgia Tech campus.  Pick platters like tapas and sample anything from beef tartar to quail deviled eggs – of course, the menu changes so these may not be on it if you go (which seems to be a trend in-and-of-itself) but know that every platter we had and shared amongst the three of us was great.  The Spence is also a great place for a happy hour, especially if the weather is not too hot and you can sit outside.  Never-ending streams of people walking around.

1Kept

In the former location of Toulouse on Peachtree St. right by the creek, 1Kept is well-situation in Buckhead in an unusual lot.  Easy parking is very welcome in a part of town that doesn’t know what that means and how important it is.  On my first visit, though the menu offered interesting specialty cocktails, I was feeling like a good old whiskey-based cocktail so I asked for a whiskey sour.  Thaddeus, the owner, was at the bar and he presented a whitish drink and said he had taken the liberty of making me an unusual whiskey sour:  made with white whiskey and gin with fresh lime.  It was outstanding.  So much so that I have returned there to enjoy it again.  And we named it a “frisky sour.”

1Kept, Atlanta, restaurant, food, whiskey, white whiskey, whiskey sour, photo, menu, cocktail

The white whiskey sour which we appropriately named “frisky sour”

But the white whiskey sour was not the end of it, the pulled pork flatbread, the bacon caramel popcorn, and the kale salad were all outstanding too!

food, popcorn, bacon, caramel, foodie, food, restaurant, delicious, Atlanta, 1Kept

The delicious bacon caramel popcorn

Atlanta, 1Kept, restaurant, food, foodie, eggs

Deviled eggs

Flip Burger

OK, not one of the newest places (at least the location on Howell Mill Rd.) but I have to call it out in its own section because its chorizo burger is my favorite!  Their specialty cocktails are quite nice too.  AND the burnt marshmallow and Nutella milkshake rocks.  Drink it up and forget about the calories:  you can worry about those the rest of your life but you can only enjoy the milkshake while you are there!!!!

Local Three

Located off Northside Parkway right where it is joined by Howell Mill Rd., Local Three feels like a speakeasy, tucked away in the lobby of a building with a non-descript entrance.  Cool.  They offer a KI-LLER whiskey cocktail – the Junior Healy – a great twist on an Old Fashioned make with bourbon and snap ginger liqueur.  Well done!  By the way, their Vesper Martini is so powerful only one per customer is allowed – yowza!  Other things to highlight to be sure you don’t miss them:

  • The Meat Butter was just that:  foie gras that melted on your mouth.
  • The “Bacon” (pork belly) was very tender and flavorful.
  • And the Chicken and Waffles was delicious.  Great job, Chef Chris Hall!
Atlanta, Local Three, restaurant, food, chicken and waffle, foodie

Chicken and waffle

And I can’t stop there.  Let’s talk dessert!  The chocolate mousse with caramel and the key lime tart topped with blueberries – don’t know which I liked best (almost – I am a chocoholic)!

chocolate mousse, caramel, Local Three, Atlanta, restaurant, food, dessert, foodie

The chocolate mousse with caramel – somebody stop me!

The Optimist

I had heard about this place but did not know much about it.  Until a friend said she was going there with some folks the next day and she wanted to know if I was interested in going.  Besides seeing my friend, I also thought it was a great opportunity to check out a new place.  I really liked how the place is set up in an old building in the west part of town (immediately west of Georgia Tech, around 9th St. and Howell Mill Rd.) that is very slowly finally moving away from industrial-decrepit.  The focus is seafood.

My friend had a shrimp appetizer with a spicy sauce that was worth scraping the plate with bread to leave it clean – and she did!

Atlanta, The Optimist, food, shrimp, sauce, foodie, restaurant, delicious, spicy

The photo does not it justice – it is superb!

I had grilled mahi mahi with a garlicky ginger sauce that I ended up also scooping up with bread.  Clearly, they know their seafood and they know sauces!  The blackberry Chambord “ice cream” was very smooth and not over-stated – it has my seal of approval!

Atlanta, dessert, The Optimist, blackberry, Chambord, foodie, restaurant

The blackberry Chambord frozen dessert

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I will keep exploring new places in Atlanta now that I am on a kick but I also do plan to return to these places because they do a great job with the food and service.  Bonus points for the ones with non-valet parking available!

Do you venture out and check new places out often?  Do you have any recommendations for your hometown?  Please share!

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