Tuesday, November 15, 2011
An Indoor Cook-Out Means Summer’s Never out of Reach
LDR Char Pit
4753 Lake Ave.
If somehow you really ticked off the gods and are sentenced to live the remainder of your life in up-state New York, you could do a lot worse than settling here on the shores of Lake Ontario.
Just don’t even think about jumping into that water – I’m pretty sure Lake Ontario doesn’t ever warm up to wetsuitless temperatures.
Of course my visit to Rochester didn’t coincide with that five or six week interval of sun-splashed frivolity.
Of course not.
Try early November.
Or maybe it was like Santa Cruz in the off season with nobody on the road and nobody on the beach. I could feel it in the air. The summer was out of reach.
Empty lake and empty streets, the sun goes down alone in November on Lake Ontario.
Yep. Henley’s “Boys of Summer” were long gone (not that he was singing about Rochester, NY anyway).
All the arcades and custard shops might be “closed for the season”, but there is one institution here at the shore’s edge that has a loyal enough following that it stays open year round.
LDR Char Grill.
This place is like an indoor cook-out.
The thing to get here is the steak sandwich. With onions.
Tender, beefy, delicious.
It doesn’t need any seasonings or sauces.
The greasy drippings from the charcoal-kissed meat produce this sandwich’s own condiment.
I admired the pool of brown grease on my tiny paper plate and the flame-kissed meat being flipped on the grill in front of me and dreamed about my backyard grill.
Why is it that charcoal-seared beef tastes so good at home, but is so hard to find in restaurants?
Could it be the neighbors don’t want to deal with commercial-sized plumes of charcoal smoke?
What is wrong with these people? I could smell that for eternity. In fact, I’m pretty sure I will. I have it on good authority that heaven (if I make it) for Suit757 will smell like char-broiled burgers.
The meat grilled here is almost as good as in my back yard; the only difference being Suit757 has beer on tap at home.
Listening to the sizzling meat made me crave one of LDR’s delicious-sounding burgers. Those have got to be good!
And their char grilled “hots” – a distinctly Rochester term for hot dogs. And their red, white and blues plates of various sausages piled on top of home fries and macaroni salad – LDR’s version of another Rochester hang-over staple – “The Garbage Plate”.
And what about those homemade pies?
Ah, so much good food to try and so little stomach vacancy.
I did manage to find room for a cup of LDR’s pumpkin soup.
Sweet enough to qualify as dessert, this soup wasn’t just a thin runny pumpkiny kin to a more traditional tomato soup.
No. This soup was chock full of chunks of sweet gourds.
After paying my $10 tab for my soup and sandwich, I walked a block down to the beach.
Like, why do people live the way the do?
I mean, if you like the sand and sun and water, why live here by the shores of Lake Ontario, where you can only enjoy it for 10% of the year?
Why be 90% miserable?
Then I caught a whiff of the charcoal smoke wafting down the beach.
I suppose some things are worth sticking around for.
And just think, only 34 more weeks until summer’s back in reach.
Rating: Bought the Shirt!