Welcome to our list of favorite dining destinations in New York's Hudson Valley and Adirondack regions. We visit restaurants, wineries, barbecues, and a smattering of off the beaten path culinary destinations like maple sugar shacks and fromageries. My friends and I have been dining out together weekly for over twenty years. The locations we write about are our favorite destinations. We are not claiming they are the best, just our favorites. The posts are not "reviews" in the classic sense. - we offer only our picks, not pans. We will leave the criticism to others. We are a happy blog. We much prefer a good bistro to "haute cuisine", especially if they also have a nice bar. We prefer a crock of cassoulet and a bottle of Beaujolais to just about anything else. If you enjoy simple home style rustic cooking with a decent (but not too expensive) bottle of wine, then pull up a chair and join us.

This Month's "Well Said!"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

Ferran Andria

Monday, April 4, 2011

Martha's Dandee Creme, Rte 9, Lake George, NY

Martha's Dandee Crème
Route 9
Queensbury, NY

Open 7 Days from 11 AM

There is no surer or more welcome sign of spring in the North Country than seeing the lights come back on at Martha's ice cream stand in Queensbury. Located on Route 9 just south of Lake George near Great Escape, Martha's has been a local summer destination for over sixty years. The Lafontaine family has been in the picture for thirty of those years. Dennis Lafontaine and his wife Beth recently repurchased the property from Great Escape, who had bought it from his parents in 1999. The ice cream stand was part of a larger complex that included a restaurant, motel, and cabins in an earlier age. All of this was built by the eponymous Martha and and her husband Carl Freiberger starting in the 1930's on an on old chicken farm. A holdover from the farm was a rooster named Charlie, who entertained the original patrons and is memorialized with Martha's iconic road sign, depicting a large rooster.

Martha's offerings include all of the summer favorites – ice cream cones and sundaes and splits, in dozens of flavors and toppings. The complete list can be found here. For myself, I always order a vanilla shake. Milkshakes always taste better at Martha's. You probably feel the same way about their sundaes. I believe it has as much to do with terroir – the sense of place, the entire experience - as ingredients and recipes. Martha's milkshakes could not be duplicated at home, even if you had access to their ingredients. It is the same reason lemonade always tastes better at family picnics, hot dogs always taste better at the stadium, and meatloaf tastes better at mom's. The experience transcends the dish. So it is at Martha's.

They're open for the season. Let the summer begin. Go enjoy!  

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