Now that we’ve finally moved into our new home, it’s time to pay tribute to our temporary home and say goodbye to Brockport. For me, this was my first Brockport goodbye; for Mr. Bunches, his second (his first being when he left for college). So to do it right, we thought a Top Ten list was in order, although it was hard to limit what we’ll miss most about Brockport to only ten items, but whoever heard of a Top Fifty-Four list, right? Right. So let’s get to it . . .
#10 FOYO — FOYO is the Fountain of Youth Organics store in downtown Brockport that Mr. B and I were totally pumped to discover. Who knew Brockport was so progressive? We didn’t. But luckily we stumbled into FOYO one day and found a great spot to buy local eggs, meat, flour, and every possible natural supplement you could imagine. They even had CLO (that’s Cod Liver Oil for all you folks still not in the know)! And the owner was so fantastic and friendly; each time we shopped there it felt good to know we were supporting a local business.
Image from here.
#9 Our Borrowed Home — Thanks again to my M-I-L for letting us borrow her house! It was such a relief to know that we had a place to call home even while we were in between houses of our own. And even though most of our stuff was stored away in Moose’s warehouse . . .
. . . luckily the Mr.’s mom left us all the essentials (which, sadly for us, meant a bed, couch, treadmill, and TV–not sure what that says about us–totally lazy? couch potatoes? well, at least one out of four involved something active, right?!). The house was such a treat for us–moving from a 900 square foot condo (1,200 square feet if you count the basement, which they do in Boston . . . ya’ know, so that everything seems bigger) to a 3 bedroom home with a garage! We barely knew what to do with all that room! So thank you, thank you, thank you–we had so much fun in Brockport, and much of that was due to having such a great home base (nothing quite like my M-I-L’s new home, but that house is in a league of its own!).
#8 The Strand and Cinemark Movies 10 So this isn’t exactly cheating since it’s really one category and just two specific locations within the same category (see how I just worked that? good). Yep–The Strand is the local Brockport movie theater located right on Main Street and it’s totally got that whole vintage vibe thing happening (and as long as you don’t live in a cave, then you know that vintage is all the rage at the moment) . . .
And since The Strand movies cost only $7.50, it’s quite the bargain considering you’re getting to not only see an of-the-moment film, but you’re also getting to do it while feeling all hip and vintage-y at the same time.
Of course, if you’re more concerned with the bargain than with the hip vintage piece, well then, Cinemark Movies 10 is for you. And, er, it’s basically for me (when have I ever been that concerned with being cool? I mean, one look in my closet will pretty much sum that up for ya’: never). At Cinemark the most you’ll pay to see a movie is $2.50! Yes–$2.50! And that’s for Friday and Saturday nights. Matinees and weeknights can cost as little as ONE DOLLAR! You can find that much money in your seat cushions! Basically, Cinemark Movies 10 had me at hello. Of course, Cinemark doesn’t show the recent releases, but rather it has movies that have just left the big screen and are en route to On Demand, but who cares?! You know the Mr. and I don’t! Oh, and I thought the theater was going to be all skeevy and sketcherific (look it up), but it totally wasn’t. It was just like a regular theater. Only cheaper. Okay, ‘nough said. Although–quick disclaimer: Cinemark Movies 10 is actually located in Rochester, but since it’ll be too far for us to drive to from Buffalo, we’re lumping it into Brockport. You may or may not see that happening in other categories as well. On to #7 . . .
#7 Springdale Farm Yes, I do mean this Springdale Farm of We Got a Goat fame. Who knew that so many of you would be so
upset enraged that we did not, in fact, get a goat?
Although, I still totally wish we did . . . but we have gone back to visit this little guy. How could we not with that face?!
#6 Jimmy Z’s Now, I’m going to have to tread lightly here as I know many Rochesterites out there probably have a strong opinion on the topic of Garbage Plates. But first, let me bring everyone up to speed; if you’re not from Western NY, you’re probably wondering, ‘Mrs. Bunches, what is a Garbage Plate?! Surely it can’t be something you eat. Not with a name like Garbage Plate?!’ And there, my friends, is where you would be wrong. For a Garbage Plate is in fact a plate of food. Or, more precisely, a large styrofoam container of assorted food stuffs. Kind of like this:
Looks a little like cat vomit, doesn’t it? Or at least, that’s my opinion. Of course, the Mr. (and Idiot Nation) might disagree, but why don’t you be the judge . . . here’s a breakdown of what’s in a Jimmy Z’s Garbage Plate (while the basics of a garbage plate are all pretty much the same, each restaurant has some unique options, so these are what’s available at Jimmy Z’s) . . .
First, you pick two of the following:
- Home Fries
- French Fries
- Baked Beans
- Mac Salad
Then, you choose one of the following to go on top (or mix and match as you like):
- 2 hamburgers
- 2 cheeseburgers
- 2 white hots (translation for non-Western NYers: two white hot dogs)
- 2 red hots (yep–that means two red hot dogs)
- 2 chicken fingers
- 3 fried eggs
- 2 mozzarella sticks
- 2 pizza logs
Then, as if that wasn’t enough, the plate is topped off with a “special” meat sauce (that’s the stuff that looks like cat puke), onions, and mustard. As an example, the one pictured above was home fries, french fries, two white hots, meat sauce, mustard, and onions. And this guy thought it was the bee’s knees . . . just check out that look of longing as he waited for it:
Even Pauly was so excited for it to arrive that he could barely contain himself . . .
In short, Mr. Bunches thinks Jimmy Z’s has the BEST Garbage Plates in Rochester . . .
Even beating out the apparent inventor of the Garbage Plate, Nick Tahou’s . . .
I can’t really compare as I’ve only eaten one Garbage Plate. It was at Nick Tahou’s and let’s just say it didn’t go so well for me. Or for the Garbage Plate. But, with such an extensive menu at Jimmy Z’s, I was sure to find something I liked . . . or at least something not fried?
But to finally end #6 . . . my fave was the Pulled Pork Sub. Sub–not sandwich. It’s delish.
#5 Abbotts Custard and Esther’s Country Market Well, while we’re talking food, we might as well talk dessert. And if you know the Mr. and I, then you know we love us some ice cream/frozen yogurt/custard (in case you missed it, the Mr. debuted his first dessert masterpiece right here). Luckily for us (and unluckily for our waistlines), there was an Abbotts located just down the street from our borrowed home in Brockport. Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup with chocolate sprinkles in a cone? Um, yes please!
Of course, it was only after a few months of being in Brockport that the Mr. remembered Martin Farms’ ice cream stand, Esther’s Olde Tyme Country Market, which not only sold some of the best custard around, but also some healthy stuff too . . .
Nothing like buying some tomatoes to offset eating ice cream, huh? Their ice cream was killer, though. Especially the soft-serve! It even rivaled the stuff we had in the Adirondacks (sorry D, but it’s true).
#4 Wide Open Spaces It was such a nice change of pace to be surrounded by so much space (stop rhyming–I mean it! Anybody want a peanut? Ten points to anyone who can name that film). From riding bikes along the Erie Canal . . .
. . . to hitting balls at any one of MANY local driving ranges . . .
. . . the Mr. and I couldn’t get over just how much space Brockport had to offer. And with the SUNY Brockport campus right in town, we took full advantage (mostly by pretending we were in college again when we went for runs around campus, but whatever). It’s amazing how much being surrounded by space can really lower your blood pressure. Sigh.
#3 Goodwill Finds There’s something about being in small-town America that just makes Goodwill hunting so much better. From finding steals in the neighbor’s yard sale . . .
. . . to little gems at the local Volunteers of America . . .
. . . and even to the one that got away from Carriage Place Antiques (I’m still kicking myself about this one) . . .
Brockport was such a great place to find those hidden gems. Hmm . . . maybe with all the brownie points I’ve earned from hosting Idiot Nation, maybe the Mr. will be up for a quick trip to some of those Brockport hot spots? Waddya’ say Mr. B?
#2 Carnival Nation Living in Brockport over the summer meant that we got to experience our fair share of carnival craziness–it seemed like there was a carnival every weekend! From our first Fourth of July . . .
. . . with its introduction to one of the more interesting local characters . . .
I’m still having nightmares about that one.
Next was the Monroe County Fair, where we got to learn a little about some chickens . . .
. . . and have some fun playing carnie games (one of the Mr.’s favoritest pastimes mind you).
But possibly one of the best carnivals was the Hilton Carnival–you know, the one with a different sort of zoo . . .
And some serious fried goodness (anyone else noticing that a lot of our top 10 seems to involve food?).
And while we didn’t necessarily go on any rides (we don’t have a death wish–I mean, seriously, have you seen the people that operate those things?), they were still fun to photograph.
So yeah–we partook in our fair share of carnivals, but next year maybe we’ll challenge ourselves to go to one every weekend! Can we do it? YES WE CAN!
#1 Ralph & Rosie’s If you’ve hung in this long–congratulations. 1,700 words (so far) is probably a bit too long for a top ten post, but, well, we clearly had a lot of love for Brockport, so you’ve got to forgive us. Alright, but now onto #1 . . . and, of course, we’re back to food. Remember back when we first got to Brockport and we did a pizza and wings review? Well, if you do, then you’ll remember that our winner at the time was Mozzeroni’s.
But you better believe that we didn’t just stop there. Oh haaeeyyll no! We tried Mozzeroni’s again (okay, maybe multiple times), and each time the wings were horrible, although the pizza remained a strong contender. So we had to try others. Starting with a Western NY chain, Mark’s Pizzeria, with the absolute worst jingle ever “Mark’s Pizzeria, we’ll treat you like family . . . Mark’s Pizzeria!” Trust me, it gets stuck in your head and you can’t stop singing it, and you just want to scream!
And their pizza was just okay. Same with the wings. Nothing to write home about.
Oh well, we tried; but turned out their food was on par with their jingle.
Up next? Krony’s Pizza in Hamlin. Despite being located in the middle of nowhere, this place was packed.
And for good reason!
Particularly the wings. Check out that meatiness:
So yeah, it was good, but not exactly super convenient. So, in search of convenience, where do you go? Well, to a convenience store, of course . . .
Doesn’t really look like the type of place that you would choose to eat, right? More like the type of place you’d go to grab a bag of ice. But, upon some sage advice from Moose, the Mr. and I decided to try the pizza at Ralph & Rosie’s in Bergen (I had a bit of trepidation at first, but if there’s one thing Moose knows, besides carpet that is, it’s good pizza).
Of course, there’s no menu inside, so you just have to make a guess and order. Oh, and I’m not sure what the whole ‘Mexican Food‘ thing is all about, but I’m pretty sure they don’t have any; my guess is maybe they just don’t want to change the sign?
The only trick to ordering pizza is what sauce you want: regular or sweet. Both are tomato-based, and both are excellent. However, the sweet sauce is by far their best-seller.
And they cut their pizzas into squares. Not sure why we like that so much, but we do. Maybe because you don’t feel like you’re eating as much, so there’s less guilt involved? Regardless, their pizza is BY FAR our hands-down favorite.
And the wings? Oh yes. Yes please.
And they sell them by the pound! Gotta love that, right? Overall, I’m still a little in shock at how much pizza and wings we ate . . . I think it’s best if we just don’t mention it anymore. So let’s keep it our little secret, okay? Okay.
So there you have it–our Brockport Top Ten, and a little trip down memory lane to remember our ~6 months in Mr. Bunches’ hometown. Aww . . . how sweet it was! Did I miss anything?