Above: Lew Bowers and I grilling for the boys, as Kilian watches on the right behind the green stool,…(if you believe that, I have some swamp land for you,…)
Rt 9, Bolton Landing, NY
Yup,…there’s no end to the culinary possibilities in the North Country! We’ll be visiting quite a few right here, in no particular order. I thought I’d start out with one close to where I grew up. Bolton Landing is only a few miles up Rt. 9N from my old stomping grounds of Lake George. I’ve seen a lot of restaurants come and go there over the years, but the Algonquin has stood tall for as long as I can remember.
This is the view from the deck area of the Algonquin, located just a mile or so south of the center of Bolton Landing village on Rt. 9N. It’s been a favorite of the boating set for decades who come in seeking a quick bite, dinner, or one of their legendary Peach Daquaris. As good as the view is, the food is better. Their lunch menu “skates all the compulsories”, from killer burgers to a towering Club sandwich, but it’s their panninis that can’t be beat. A fine selection of brews, local , national, and international, together with a good wine list ensure you won’t go away thirsty.
The dinner menu provides choices for either a full dinner, or lighter fare if you’re just gnoshing. The Oscar selections, (Veal, Chicken, Filet, and Salmon) are all winners, but the steaks are the stars of this show. Desserts change form season to season, but an after dinner drink on the deck is a must here!
2090 Saranac Ave.
Lake Placid, NY
If a leprechaun in a sombrero seems a bit of a culinary/cultural oxymoron, put your mind at ease, the often seen proprietor ,Mr. Quinn, has put it all together here at Desperados. There is another fine Mexican restaurant in the next town over that we’ll discuss another time, and the two are often compared by locals and visitors alike. Both are very, very good, and if competition sharpens their game, then we are the winners!
What Quinn has done here is pay attention to the basics. From the basket of chips, (both flour and corn), to the two salsas, (both red and verde), Desperados flaunts its mastery of the details. It offers all the choices you’d expect to find in a good Mexican restaurant in Old Town in San Diego, enchiladas, tacos, chimis, and even a fine Mole choice, but it’s the specials that change daily that really allow the kitchen to shine. We’ve all had jalapeno poppers, generally a dismal disappointment with a heavily breaded, pathetically bland pepper, and a glob of non discript cheese. At Desperados, their “Mexican Roulette” redeems the genre with five real, fresh, batter fried jalapenos, stuffed with Monterey Jack and a jumbo shrimp. This comes with a side ramekin of sour cream to temper the bite, and you’ll need it, these are NOT for the faint of heart! A fine array of Mexican beers, and what seems like an endless choice of margaritas help put out the fire in time to cap it all off with to-die-for flan.