Syros Restaurant Review, Lewiston, NY

As many of you could probably tell by now, I am a lover of all things brunch and breakfast food. Seeing the words ‘all day breakfast’ on the menu for me is like walking into a store and seeing the words ‘clearance’ in large font.

One of my favorite places to go for breakfast in Lewiston and a top contender for Niagara County would be the restaurant Syros in Lewiston, right off main street. I first discovered this restaurant about four years ago with my family when they came to visit me at college for parents day weekend. We were walking around the town of Lewiston for the Harvest fest and happened to ask for a suggestion for a place to go for breakfast. Luckily for us the restaurant Syros was suggested and I have been loving going here ever since!

Syros is the place to go to enjoy a bite to eat amongst family, catching up telling stories, and enjoying the company of loved ones. Or a place I’ve found myself with friends recapping an evening after a long night out, filling in the gaps in each other’s memories. Or more recently, a place I’ve gone several times alone, enjoying a quiet breakfast eavesdropping on the ever-intriguing chatter of small town gossip from the locals. No matter what the situation may be I always find myself feeling welcomed here with fantastic service and even more incredible food.

Food wise Syros is basically your average diner style food but with some super unique specials. My go to here for the last couple of times has been to get a gyro and feta omelet, which comes with potatoes and toast, and then to kick it up a notch a side of tzatziki sauce. After having my breakfast with tzatziki sauce the first time, I really don’t think I can go back. Even if I were to find myself ordering something that tzatziki was not included with I would literally pay extra to have it.

Now I know the restaurant does do a lunch and dinner menu but I have never been during this time, and even if I did I would probably still order breakfast.

Another really great thing about this restaurant is that there is quite a lot of seating yet the restaurant still feels cozy, which in my opinion is the best sort of vibe for a diner.

I have been able to share some awesome memories, great laughs, peaceful mornings, and amazing food here at Syros and I always look forward to any opportunity to go here or recommend this restaurant.

So what are you waiting for???

Time to go try out Syros !!!

 

11.26.2016 Zagreb Croatia

Okay, so I have taken yet another hiatus from finishing these posts. To be honest I didn’t really realize how fast this semester was flying by until right about now, as I have less than a week of classes less this semester. That doesn’t really excuse my lack of writing but I think I just kept telling myself I had more time and well, now here I am.

So let me take you back nearly six months to the time I spent in Zagreb, Croatia.

This one is a slightly more complicated because I really only was in Croatia for evening time, so unlike the others, there was no daytime exploring happening and I can’t say I ventured too far but I absolutely LOVED my time there. Seriously, I have completely fallen in love with this little city!

So back to the start.

I arrived in Croatia a little bit before dinnertime. First off, I had sort of forgotten that they do not use the Euro here so I made sure to stop at an ATM in the airport and get a little bit of the local currency.

I had read online that my best bet to getting into the city was to take this shuttle to the main bus station, which was only a short walk or metro ride to where I needed to go.

There wasn’t really any place to pay before hand so I approached the bus sort of looked at the man and made sure this would take me where I needed to go, which he responded yes. At this point I had still yet to pay for the transit, nor did I know how much it would cost. But, I continued on the bus and plopped myself down in a chair. After everyone who would fit on the bus for the given departure time was loaded on, the driver started towards the back of the bus appearing as though he was checking tickets and I sort of had a little panic because there wasn’t one other English person on the bus, everyone seemed to be speaking Croatian, so I really wasn’t sure what the driver was checking until he had got to me. I had then found out that this was when I was supposed to pay. Unfortunately I don’t really remember how much it exactly cost me but I want to say it was between 20 and 40 Kuna each way.

So as the bus is going it makes its first stop and I start to realize that I am actually not 100% sure what my stop exactly is. I knew it was the main bus station area but I didn’t really know after how many stops this would occur and I seem to always have this persistent sense of self-doubt in me.

Eventually I got to the station, which was pretty obviously identifiable. As I am typing this I am trying to look for some sort of picture so I can better describe it to you but I really can’t find one. All I can say is just trust your instinct, you’ll know.

Once I got off the bus I technically had these screenshots of maps of Zagreb, as well as directions. However, as soon as I got out of the station I had this gut feeling that the directions were leading me in the wrong direction. So I followed my gut and honestly prayed that my instinct was going to take me in take me to the correct place (spoiler alert for my worried mom probably reading this: it worked out).

Basically when you get out of the bus station you walk towards the underpass and cross the metro tracks. And make a left. Once you make a left you will be sort of on a road where the metro acts as the boulevard in the middle of the road, you’ll want to follow this until you reach a cute little series of green areas. At this point I was following my screenshots of the maps on my phone; however, the screenshots were too zoomed out to include what the street names were so I was just kind of following I guess you could say ‘regionally’ where it seemed like I needed to go.

Basically once I got to the green area between buildings I made a right and followed it what I think was three or four blocks, or however many was till you reached the end of it. After I made a left and walked for about another block and then a right which took me right to the main, old city square (this was where my hostel was located).

A little mid way disclaimer, I am sorry if there directions don’t really make sense. I sort of needed to make a game time decision and I sort of memorized my location based on visual references rather that streets. So don’t necessarily take my word if you are trying to use these directions. But a quick tidbit of advice that is if you are lost follow a metro line because those are usually the main areas where people will go and or will lead you to where people go.

So once I got to the main square, I had this idea of where my hostel (main square Zagreb) was based on where it was located on my map screenshot. However, little did I know was that some of the buildings had two floors, SO I did not conveniently run into it like I thought I would. Fortunately I looked up in the air at the right time and saw ‘Main Square Zagreb’ on a glass window about 2 or 3 stories up. This led me to a sign where I was which brought me to a staircase that took me straight to my hostel.

Oh my gosh was this hostel absolutely perfect and I would 100% recommend staying here! The staff was extremely accommodating and helpful to me, and also spoke great English, which was nice after a long day of travel and I guess what you could technically consider lost (but I didn’t feel lost). The man at the front desk gave me a map and marked some recommendations for food and also helped orient me to where the bus station was, which allowed me to visibly see what path I took, which was comforting because it was actually rather simple. As well, he also pointed out where everything was in the hostel.

My dorm room was super cool. All the beds were aligned on the wall opposite to the door and were situated in a way, which made each bed its individual cubby. As well everyone had his or her own locker, which was nice. I just really enjoyed how I could have my own little space with whatever I wanted right next to me, and didn’t have to feel like I was bothering others.

After I situated my stuff and took some deep breaths, I followed the front deskman’s advice for dinner. As I walked out of the hostel (to the outside) I took a left and basically followed it to where I found my restaurant for dinner. Along this road there are plenty of options for dinner I just sort of kept walking until I built enough courage to finally enter one of the restaurants.

I eventually found myself in a place called Village Tavern and was able to sit in a little covered, seated area outside, which had a heat lamp near by. This was nice because I was in a place where I could also people watch as I enjoyed my meal. I decided to try a soup (I think it was mushroom) to start, followed by a risotto as my main. The food was really great and the menu was in English, which was nice because sometimes after a long day of travel having something that is arguably convenient is really nice. After my meal I decided I would walk around a bit and explore. As I walked back the way I came I decided to explore other little streets that seemed interesting because I figured if I realize there is nothing interesting that way it is easy enough to just turn around and go back the way you could say I now know.

I got to see the Cathedral of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary and take a quick peak inside. What an impressive cathedral! This thing is huge and the closer you get the more and more intricate detail you continue to notice. The archway over the main door you enter is absolutely breathtaking, there are so many tiny little carving, and it truly is absolutely incredible! I then continued left if you are looking at the road from the church which conveniently brought me into the actual main square area.

To try to give you a better idea of where I was in relation to where my hostel was, basically this main square is surrounded by buildings, my hostel is on an upper floor on one of the sides of the square, to get to dinner I went left through the underpass and followed the road, the square is on the opposite side. So basically from my hostel you can have a view of either the area I was for dinner on one side, and the other view is the main square.

I took a lap around the main square, enjoying everything it had to offer and eventually made my way back inside because now, it was safe to say I was pretty tired.

The next day I had planned to take a morning bus trip to Graz, Austria, which departed from the same main bus station I had arrived at and was already familiar with. So it kind of worked out that I was forced to figure it out the day before because I knew exactly where I was going this time.

I made sure I got there early enough so I could find my terminal and also have enough time to get a pastry and cappuccino. Everyone at the station was extremely helpful because instead of guessing where I needed to go, I straight up just walked to a ticket counter and asked which terminal my bus would leave from. I was not going to push my luck with this one.

I’ll write more about my time in Austria in another post but now I’ll bring you back to my final evening in Zagreb. I got home, once again, around dinner time and chose to walk around a bit before calling it a day, as it was a pretty tiring, long day of walking. I walked around the same streets as I did the night before taking in any little details I had missed the first time, truly. For dinner I just went to a simple walk up place that sold pizza basically right across from the cathedral right on the corner to the road that brought me back to my hostel.

The next morning I had planned a decently early morning bus ride to Ljubljana, Slovenia before I left for Poland. Although this had me up around 5:30 in the morning to catch a 7am bus ride I am so thankful I did it. Who would have thought walking around a town between 6 and 7 in the morning would seal the deal and literally cause me to fall in love with it.

Let me bring you into my world for a second.

There is something special about this time of day because only a few people’s days have started. The sky was still dark so all the lights set up for winter happened to still be illuminated. In fact, the park that I follow to get to the bus station had all of its trees and pathways covered in white lights which at this time of day with so few people out felt like a fairy tale. This feeling was very similar to my magical Eiffel tour feeling because indeed, the lights surrounding the pathway I was taking were glittering. I actually could have seriously cried in this moment, everything was so perfect.

After coming back form Ljubljana I stayed at the bus station and caught the next bus back to the airport, which was extremely easy to find because there terminal to get to the airport is in its own little area.

So that was my time untraditional time spent in Zagreb! Yes it was a little on the unconventional side but I tried my best to make it work and make the most of it and I am more than satisfied with my takeaway from the experience. My heart will always remember the magic of this beautiful little city.

Have a great day!

xxHannah

04.22.17 Tast of Niagara Falls

This past Saturday I had the luxury of being able to eat out three times. So this may not have been the best thing for me but I was happy to have been able to revisit one of my favorite places in the area, as well as try out some new restaurants.

First off, I am very proud to say that this summer I will be interning at Old Falls Street in Niagara Falls doing Event Planning and Marketing. Because of that, on Saturday I had my first day of job training. Little did I know that at the end they were going to treat us to lunch. We went to a place called 3rd street retreat, which has been open for I think a little over a year now.

I was very excited to try it as I had heard a lot of good things about it. Thank god I went there with my work because I would have got totally lost if I had tried to find it myself. This restaurant is neatly tucked out of the way under an apartment building. Don’t let that deter you from coming to this hidden gem, I was shocked at how cute the interior of this restaurant is, as well as how amazing the menu was! Seriously, I think I am going to make a goal for myself to eat through the entire menu before I graduate. I don’t think there was one item on the menu I didn’t want to try. On top of that they have daily specials and the prices are extremely reasonable. There menu features all day breakfast and a vast variety of sandwiches as well as salads and a few other things.

For my lunch I chose one of there specials: fish tacos. As I ate I thought of my Dad who says if he doesn’t know what to order he always chooses fish tacos if available. Today I was thankful for these words of wisdom because by entrée was incredible! The fish tacos featured breaded haddock, a spicy slaw, and some sort of pineappleish salsa.

As my training finished, I found myself back in my car with a slue of messages from my friends asking if I wanted to go to the silo because it had just opened for the season. Even though I had just ate, the silo is simply one of those restaurants I can’t say no to. The Silo is a seasonal restaurant in Lewiston, NY that was made famous by Man vs. Food for its Haystack sandwich.

This sandwich is one of those things that when I explain probably never makes sense why I am so in love with them, so if you are reading this and are still skeptical you will just have to trust me and try one.

Basically it is shredded sort of beef with mozzarella cheese and I think a little mayo topped with the haystack variety of potato chips. The best part, in my opinion, is the Silo also makes a vegetarian version, which tastes exactly the same (Go Silo!!). There is also something special about enjoying this sandwich with the waterfront view of the river, outside on a nice spring, summer, or autumn day with great company. The best part? If you still have room after you meal there is an ice cream place right next door, which features a variety of sundaes and more ice cream flavors than you could have even imagined existed.

I would be 100% lying if I said I didn’t get ice cream after. Too be honest, I really don’t think I was even hungry anymore, actually, I know wasn’t hungry. There was simply just this sensation inside of me that made me feel as though I needed it. Like this gravitational pull to the ice cream place, I like to believe that in that moment there was a similar dependency between the shop, and me like in that moment we both just simply needed each other.

Okay so enough about that, on to the next one.

Probably a week ago or so, a friend had mentioned to us that there is a taco place (Colosso taco) in Niagara Falls that is opened 24/7. I’m not going to get into details about how we ended up there, but we were excited to eat at a 24/7 place that wasn’t McDonalds.

To be honest, I can’t necessarily say I was 100% impressed. Compared to chains, I wouldn’t say that this place was anything special and the prices also weren’t necessarily brilliant. That being said the prices were decent and the food was good, just not great—especially compared to the food I had tried earlier.

I decided to try the Chicken tender taco, which as I said, was good but not great. I think next time I’ll just go to mighty taco if it is open and I am in need of a taco.

It was an exciting day of trying and getting to eat at all sorts of different restaurants in the Niagara Falls region. As well school year comes to a close I look forward to being able to try more local places and share with you which ones are my favorites!

Have a great day!

xxHannah

05.31.16 Two more days exploring Chiang Mai

Before I even begin, I’m going to apologize in advance because this is about to be another long one… so once again, kudos to those who actually read until the end.

Waking up on Monday was an absolute blessing because it was the first day I actually slept through the entire night and woke up pleasantly around 7. After waking up I went downstairs to the lobby where I had wifi to catch up on what was happening with my family and friends, as well as write a bit. After looking at my computer time, I had a mini freak out because I thought it was 9:30 and I only had 30 minutes to eat breakfast and grab my stuff until we were picked up. I sped over to the morning buffet area to eat quickly when I looked at my phone and realized it was only actually just about 9:00 am. I had made the mistake of not adjusting my computer time for the new time zone so when I thought it was 9:30, that was the time it was in Philadelphia.

IMG_3742.jpgAfter a quick laugh, my friend and I decided we would take a quick walk to the market to see what sort of treat we could find. We ended up coming across a fruit stand that sold coconuts for 25 baht. After giving the old lady who spoke no English the best symbols I could to ask if she could cut the top off so we could drink, she all the sudden nods her head, pulls out a literal machete and then points to the coconuts for us to pick one out.

First of all, I was completely caught off guard my the at least 80-year old Thai women sitting in front of me casually holding a machete and second, how could I resist—how often do you get to spend your morning sipping fresh coconut water from the coconut for less than a dollar? When you go the Caribbean it costs at least 5 dollars, which I always thought was a good bargain.

So I picked out my coconut and then for about the next minute watch this lady gracefully stab at a coconut until a straw good be stuck in… how cool!

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After we walked back it was just about 10 o’clock and time to drive up the mountain that has been making my heart happy ever since I arrived: Doi Suthep. Today we had the privilege of being able to not only be on top of the mountain and see the view of the city from above the clouds, but also visit the temple up there, which is one of the most famous in Chiang Mai.
IMG_2918Up the mountain we went in our trusty red cab truck holding on to the railing tightly during every tight turn the car had to make. Once we reached the top we got in line to take the cable car to the top instead of the crazy amount of stairs. As per usual with everything in this country, the temple blew me away, and honestly I found myself more jaw dropped and lost for words than before. This temple was gold contrasted by whites, yellows, orange, and reds. If this wasn’t enough beauty all you had to do was look out at the incredible view. Absolutely out of this world. After seeing the main temple area, we ventured around the other areas in the temple.IMG_2947

We ended up finding the place where the stairs led. This was super neat because the side of the stair resembled a green snake, IMG_3039which I like because it was green. It was also beautiful because of how high up we were, all the fog was at the bottom, so it quite literally looked like we were sitting on a temple in cloud. It was honestly one of the most amazing feelings I have experienced because it shows how incredible and beautiful the world we live in is. We are so lucky.

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Once our whole group gathered again at the top, we went back to where the cable car was for our decent to where the shops and restaurants were. We had about another 30 minutes until our van would drive us back down the mountain. During our time exploring this area, I was able to finally try one of the local fruits, Rambutan which was a spiky exterior but a super sweet, delicious interior, with a similar flavor and texture to a lychee.IMG_3017

After eating nearly half the bag I bought, we started down the mountain. I am not one to usually get car sick but after driving about half was down I found myself looking at my phone every minute seeing how long it has been and how much longer to go. I had death stared the front window keeping my gaze steady, because any time I shifted it I found the nausea kicking in even more.IMG_3045
Once we reached the bottom I was feeling a little better but after feeling completely nauseated I wasn’t really hungry anymore; however, it was time for lunch.
At the restaurant selected for us, we were told we were going to be trying Chiang IMG_3080Mai traditional food. Unfortunately what was chosen for us did not have a lot of vegetarian options; however, fortunately I wasn’t very hungry so it wasn’t really a problem.

After lunch I had become tired and was excited for the nap I was about to take; however right then was when David told us we were going to a Thai market where they were going to give us the word for a fruit in Thai and we were going to have to bring it back and then all of us would sample each others fruit so we could all try a little bit of Thai local fruits. After that, he told us we had an hour to find our fruit. An hour? I thought.. the fruit stand was right across the road how can it take more than 15 minutes?

IMG_3056It only really took my group 10 minutes to find everything. My word was ‘mangkoot’ which ended up being mangosteen, and also my favorite. After we were finished, I had no idea what to possibly do with another 50 minutes because I had no need to shop any more.. I wanted to sleep. We ended up roaming aimlessly until it was time to meet back up and head back to the hotel where we sampled all the fruit.

Another highlight from my fruit sampling experience was the mango. This was the best mango I have ever tasted (yes mom, better than the Florida mango). After we were set free, I finally got to have my well-deserved nap. After about 30 minutes I was good to go again and headed to the market with my friends for dinner, and a roam to Thae Phae gate area. For dinner I tried a fish and wonton soup with noodles, which was fantastic, like everything else I have tried here!!

During our roam to the Thae Phae gate area, we passed a McDonalds which I found interesting because Ronald McDonald in the front was positioned in a way where he was giving the Thai greeting ‘the Wai’ in which you basically hold your hand in prayer position and then bow your head. I also decided that at least one time before I go, I need to try Thai McDonalds, because there was a whole bunch of different things they offered which I thought would be interesting to see how they differ.

After spending a little bit of time hanging out, we eventually made our way back to the Chiang Mai gate area, where we each grabbed another noodle soup dish. In my seafood and noodle soup this time, I was surprised to find a cooked whole shrimp hanging out inside with its poor little head on. I pulled it out of my soup and quickly removed the head and tail before my vegetarian brain could convince me to not eat it.

IMG_3087After finishing up our meals we walked back to the hotel and had another great night of sleep.

The next morning (Tuesday), we were getting picked up between 8 and 8:30 because we had a Thai cooking class set up for us in the countryside. We drove about 40 minutes north of the old city to a market where our guide showed us essentials of Thai cooking, as well as the staples of every dish. After, he gave us about 10 minutes to look around for ourselves.

IMG_3108During this time, I found myself in the section where you could by your raw meat, which basically resembled a butcher. Every part of the animal you could imagine could be bought here to bring home and be cooked, including the head. There was also a section where a man was killing the fish. The only way I knew they were still alive at first was because one of the fish’s tail was still flapping around on the table. The even funnier thing is that even though I am a vegetarian, I have numerous pictures on my phone and a few videos. As well, I ironically found myself smiling ear to ear and kind of laughing and I really don’t know why.

We eventually all met up again and then drove about another 20 minutes into the countryside where our cooking class was. Our guide was absolutely hilarious and if you ever find yourself at Asia Scenic cooking school in Chiang Mai, request Anthony. Our class started out with a tour of the farm in the area where all the vegetables were grown and picked fresh for their classes. After, we got to choose which dishes we wanted to make from each category, for a total of 6 dishes.

I don’t need to get into too much detail, but the most hilarious part was that any time the guy wanted to know how spicy we wanted our dished to be (how many chilies we wanted) he would ask what our sexy number is: more spicy more sexy. Apparently I am not very sexy at all.

I am happy to say that I now know how to make pad thai, spring rolls, red curry, mango with sticky rice, tom yum soup, and a clear noodle salad. One of the coolest part was now that I know how to make the dishes, I know how they are basically being prepared for me and what is going into them. Another cool part about the day was in the beginning we had to eat this small welcome dish that included a spicy, sweet, creamy, salty, and sour element: all of the flavors consumed at once supposed to bring good luck.

This was the most fun I had so far because I was laughing out loud every other minute and found myself smiling the whole time. During the ride home I was about ten more minutes of a drive away from falling fast asleep in the van. Once we got back to the hotel, we sat by the pool for a bit, but once again the sun had moved to a spot where we wouldn’t be hit by the time we got out, so we wouldn’t be able to get a tan.

Instead I went back to my room and took a nap, which turned in to me sleeping until about 6 am. It was probably good though because I was well rested for my first day of classes, which I will write about tomorrow after the first week of classes is over.

Being able to spend these first four and a half days exploring has been awesome and has really helped me get acclimated to the region and better oriented for when we explore on our own.

To most of the people reading this, have a wonderful day, everyone else, have a great night!

Xx Hannah