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Adirondack eatery tips

February 6, 2011
By DON WILLIAMS, For The Leader-Herald

Have you ever said to yourself, "I have Gramma's old pork belly and pot cheese recipes and I should open an Adirondack restaurant. People would come from miles around to get that good food!"? In my estimation, many have that dream of getting rich in the restaurant business but, tis true, more restaurants fail than succeed. However, with that great American optimism, we each think we have that winning combination for success; it takes good food, a good location, unique ambience and a winning personality to make it in the restaurant business. And, did I say "money?"

With that in mind, I will pass my "restaurant success" thoughts to someone who wants to take the risk.

"Food" tops the list; my formula for eatery success is to feature those "better" foods that we seem to ignore today. We all know that venison is far better for we humans than eating the red meat beef, yet, we feature and promote beef in our supermarkets and restaurants. Farm-raised venison is available today, but we do not take advantage of it. What a healthy nation we would be if we converted all our cattle ranches to deer yards.

My "successful" restaurant would have venison on the main menu; there are dozens of venison recipes that are delicious and so similar to beef that many would not know the difference. Woodchuck is another possibility; those who eat it speak well of its purity and taste. Woodchucks eat only the finest of growing greenery.

Vegetables are an important part of the meal and good vegetables appeal to many of today's restaurant goers. Our part of the country has a great vegetable offering in the milkweed plant. We have a local restaurant that has become famous serving milkweed stems. That can be taken a step further with the serving of the green milkweed buds. The springtime buds, blanched, and served with pepper and butter surpass any vegetable and are high on the list of what's good and healthy. Discriminating eaters from all over would search out my milkweed buds offering every spring.

In this day of fast food and drive-through breakfast, my Adirondack breakfast bars would be a big attraction. What more could a busy worker want than a quick and nutritious breakfast, the most important meal of the day. The breakfast bar has it all. It is made with orange juice, eggs, bacon, sugar, graham crackers, dates, nuts and fruit.

Another special feature of my restaurant would be Adirondack puffballs. Cheesy puffballs, much like creampuffs, can be filled with a special venison cranberry/catsup mixture, or any of the fish mixtures. Trout puffballs would bring out the crowds. They would be better than some of what we get today.

Have you ever eaten wild hog or boar? It has been approved to be sold commercially and would be a great source of food for a restaurant. It is not gamey or greasy and is sweeter than pork. The wild hog is lean and firm and has one-third less fat, less cholesterol, and fewer calories than domestic pork. Why not add it to our menu?

My Adirondack eatery would not be complete without a good choice of homemade ice cream. There is no end of good recipes made in the hand-cranked ice cream freezers. It is worth the time and effort to make ice cream that is superior to any manufactured product. Good ice cream would top off any meal

And to those who wish to imbibe with their meal, have you ever had an Adirondack Green Dragon?



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