Friday, December 12, 2014

Out to Lunch?

by Lorraine Bartlett / Lorna Barrett / L.L. Bartlett

Earlier this year, when my mother-in-law went into the nursing home, Mr. L and I decided we needed to spend some quality time together away from worries and the hustle and bustle (and Internet) of daily life.  And since we like to go out to lunch, we thought we might like to do it once a week.  Since we often paired our lunch dates with a visit to his mother at the home, we went out a lot during the week.  Sadly, we lost her in August.

At Coleman's -- toasting Jeff.
Over the summer we also took little day trips on the weekend to places like Coleman's Irish Pub in Syracuse and The Sherwood Inn in Skaneateles, and a bunch of other wonderful restaurants outside of Rochester and had wonderful meals. I should also add that we don't go to franchise places. Nope, we like to go to locally owned restaurants where the food is freshly made--not microwaved and served by kids who don't know a spice from an herb.  (Sorry, kids.)

But now it's WINTER and we're not driving very far to get a bite to eat. And we aren't doing it on weekends, either. Why?  Because it seems there's some kind of conspiracy among the locally owned restaurants NOT to open for lunch on Saturday.  What's with that?

We checked (online menus from) restaurants in Syracuse and Buffalo and lots and lots of them are open for lunch on weekends, but not here in Rochester.  The only exception appears to be Keenan's. Okay, we like Keenan's. They make good martinis, have wonderful food, and they have a popcorn machine where you can help yourself, but we don't want to go there every week.

So .. I guess we're stuck going out to lunch on weekdays.  Today we're heading to one of my favorite restaurants, Bernard's Grove, where they have a wonderful beer-battered fish fry and lovely martinis.

Do you like to go out to lunch, and if so -- what kind of restaurant do you frequent?


16 comments:

Gram said...

Yes we like to go for lunch. and yes we prefer small restaurants. However when we meet friends for lunch they mostly like the chains, so....

mary kennedy said...

Love going to lunch. Usually Panera because they have some good veggie choices and it's 3 minutes away.It makes a nice break in the day.

Andrea Stoeckel said...

I was a chef once....kinda picky about my meals at times. You live near me....did not know that. Colman's is great. Have you tried Dino? I like Fugi Buffet too out on Erie. And China Road in Mattydale near the Hollywood Theater. Have you tried Francesca's or Attiling on the Northside? Or Byblos near the old Post Standard? How about the little hole in the wall Veitnamese place on block from Clinton Square. Or picked up a DeLuna from DaLauros on Lodi. Or the wonderful Red Dragon, our newest restaurant on the Northside.

And of course, Ruby Tuesdays if you want to "graze" or Strong Hearts on Genesee if you want veggie, and Tandoor near the Centro Hub for great Indian. We don't do alcohol too much so that doesn't effect us

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I do like Panera, but ... no martinis. It's really still fast food, but much better quality. We like to sit and linger and TALK. While Panera is an attractive place, there's no romance. I love their soups, especially black bean and the baked potato soup.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

We only get to Syracuse once or twice a year, and Coleman's is our favorite. I've only been to the Dinosaur here in Rochester once and my food was stone cold, so no return trips for me. My brother likes Sticky Lips and goes there often. I LOVE Indian food, and we have a couple of really good restaurants here ... the food is excellent but for lunch the buffet is never hot enough. : ( And once again...not a lot of ambiance.

Annette N said...

First I am so sorry for your loss.

I like lunch out with friends. A group of us try to do a Saturday lunch together at least once a month. I live in Austin and there are many terrific local places. Unfortunately, my friends are more likely to want a chain than to try local. Every now and then they are adventurous and those are always enjoyable times.

Grandma Cootie said...

My mother used to love to go out to lunch, and to take every morsel she couldn't eat home in a doggy bag. We did it often when she came to live with us as she got older. That "lunch" gene was passed on my one of my daughters and now a granddaughter who will never pass up the chance to "do lunch." I agree, it's fun to try locally owned restaurants or something a little different than the drive-thru fare.

katherine is love said...

When the weather gets nice again, instead of driving all the way to Syracuse, come to Auburn! Try Osteria Salina for some amazing wood fired pizza, the AT Wally's for a specialty martini...they're amazing.

katherine is love said...

that should read *THEN instead of the AT Wally's :)

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I don't understand why so many people are reluctant to try local instead of chain restaurants. Honestly, those chain places really do just nuke frozen food instead of cooking it fresh. I actually love going to family restaurants and diners simply because the food is fresh made.

Lorraine Bartlett said...

I love Auburn. It's such a pretty city. I used to work with a guy from Auburn who couldn't understand why I liked it so much. He moved away as soon as he could ... but me, I like smaller cities best.

Margaret said...

I prefer going out to lunch (more than dinner.) I especially like going to lunch on weekdays, there tends to be a more mature crowd. Even tho I have a few favorite chain resturants we prefer local. Locally here in the Capital District (NY) we have many great locally owned spots.
When in Syracuse my two favorite resturatns were (both sadly closed) Traditions on Salina Street and The Green Onion on Old Collamer Rd. There is nothing worse then a favorite resturant closing, especially when you only get there occasionally.

Sally Lippert said...

We only go out for lunch and only go to non-chain restaurants. Favorites are Lazy Loggerhead, Guanabanas, and Juno Beach Fish House.

Laineshots said...

So sorry to hear of your loss. Mr. B and I have a reputation - people ask US where to go around town for lunch, because we've spent 15 years seeking out the places that are special in some way (which precludes the chains, of course). We like the local places that are unique, that source locally, that use fresh ingredients. There are an amazing number of them, of all kinds. Our closest favorite is Pearl Cafe, a small Thai place. Oh, and there's Hendel's, a real charmer with well-crafted food, a fireplace for winter and a lovely garden for warm weather.

Linda Rima said...

Yes, we do lunch! Usually a smaller locally owned places. But occasionally larger national chain ones.

katherine is love said...

It is a nice place to live and raise a family! We live right near Hoopes park and the community college, which has a nice little nature trail. People are friendly and downtown is growing with the new addition of restaurants that are popping up. Plus we have a cool little bookstore, Downtown Books and Coffee. :)