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July 15, 2011 by in Bars, Ellwanger-Barry, Featured, Restaurants, South Wedge, Swillburg
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I knew I was hungry.  I knew that after another long day of helping renters find their perfect new digs, interviewing some excellent candidates for our storyteller internships, and replying to all the great feedback we’ve been receiving by email and on our Facebook and Twitter pages, I could use a beer.  I also knew that despite a fridge full of produce from the Public Market and my vegetable garden, I was in no mood to cook. But what I didn’t know when Ben and I stepped out of our little South Wedge duplex was where we would find this much needed sustenance.

Dicky's Rochester

We wandered aimlessly towards South Avenue, the main business corridor of the South Wedge, knowing that we were sure to find something to satiate both hunger and thirst.  Lux nearly lured us in with their hipstery goodness and the promise of a Wednesday night movie in the bar’s back yard before we decided that their brown-bagged “Luxable” meals weren’t exactly the warm dinner we sought. Maybe a mojito and a po’ boy at Beale Street Cafe?  It seemed perhaps one of the gourmet selections and the mile-long beer list at Tap & Mallet was what we needed, until our feet carried us past that, and we reached the Equal Grounds Coffee House, marking the end of the South Wedge’s little shopping district.  Would we turn back and choose one of the above, or was there perhaps another choice?  Something tucked away in the nearby streets of the Highland neighborhood, where we could eat and drink so cheaply that we might mistake ourselves for thieves?  The answer had revealed itself to us.  We hadn’t realized it until this moment, but our combined subconscious had known all along that we were headed to Dicky’s.

Its hard to find a more comfortable bar than Dicky’s, which is probably why it has lasted so long.  Although it has seen a couple of brief closings, name changes, and of course changes in ownership, Dicky’s has outlived every other bar in Rochester, staking its claim as the city’s oldest bar, having originally opened in 1880.  The trough running along the bar below the bar stools was originally running with a stream of water, so that farmers in the adjacent Swillburg neighborhood could rinse the muck from their boots before tromping around the bar.  Rumor also has it that the trough served, for gentlemen too befuddled to make it to the restroom, as a back-up option for some of their more urgent needs. (This was a time before ladies would be found in such an establishment.)  While everything from the menu to the playlist have been updated of course, the bar still has a charming neighborhood feel that would seem nearly impossible for it to ever lose.

Before finding our seats at the bar, Ben and I took a look at the specials menu.  The $6 seasonal Rohrbach looked tasty, but $6 seemed like a lot for one beer.  As we discussed, the bartender, overhearing, informed us that that was $6 for an entire pitcher of beer.  Wow!  Sold.  The specials board also suggested a $4 fried fish sandwich, and a $13 NY Strip with potatoes and asparagus.  Now, we’re not strangers to Dicky’s, so we know that there’s hardly a better cheeseburger in town, and that no matter what we chose, it would be exactly what we were craving. “Lets just get both the specials.”  It was a unanimous decision.

While we waited for our meal, we munched on Dicky’s interesting new bar snack, uncooked linguini that is deep fried, and then coated in an addictive  mixture of Parmesan cheese, salt pepper, and something that added a spicy little kick.  We made note that the playlist was always just our style, peppered with Bob Marley and Sublime.  Our beer was delicious: a dark ale that wasn’t too hoppy.  And in no time at all, we were looking at two massive plates of food.

Like most Rochester establishments, Dicky’s is well acquainted with the fish fry.  As simple as it was, their fried fish sandwich showed their vast experience in surrounding flaky white fish with a light, crispy layer of breading.  It rested between either side of a soft, fresh roll.  Topped with a piece of lettuce, and a tomato, and served with tartar sauce on the side, we found the fish sandwich to be classic, unadulterated, and very satisfying.  The mound of fat french fries next to it was just an unexpected bonus at this point, because who would imagine such a large meal for $4?

Dicky's RochesterThe quality of the NY Strip that we received was tremendous.  There wasn’t a single bite too fatty to eat, and we were warriors ready to conquer this challenge.  Well seasoned, cooked medium, the steak was juicy and tender, a contender with steaks you’d expect to find at the type of restaurant  with white linens and cloth napkins.  Overjoyed, we turned our sights on the sides.  Our asparagus came roasted to perfection, sprinkled with a little lemon juice.  We found the occasional green onion amongst the mountainous heap of slightly garlicky, well-mashed potatoes.

We were already so stuffed, and so happy that we had chosen Dicky’s, that when we received our bill, all $24 of it, we nearly cried tears of joy that we live in such an affordable, walkable, trendy little city.  Thank you, Dicky’s.  Thank you Rochester.


Reason to Love Park Avenue #1: Nathan’s

October 11, 2010 by in Park Avenue, Restaurants
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According to the Weather man, its a Nathan’s kind of week.  Don a sweater and head to Park Avenue’s quaint little soup shop for something hearty to warm you up.

nathans storefront

Nathan's Soups and Salads

One of the great things about Nathan’s is the predictability of their menu – The same soups that are served on Monday this week will be served on Monday next week, the soups from this Tuesday will be the same next Tuesday, and so with the exception of Sunday.  That way, when you fall madly in love with Pittsfordite Dan McNelly’s award-winning Chipotle Sweet Potato Chowder this afternoon, you’ll rest at ease knowing that your next fix is only a week away.  You’d better hurry!  On weekdays they close at 6 PM.

Its not a sit-down place, so cop a squat on one of the park benches that line Park Avenue, or scurry back home to enjoy.

Nathan's Cheese Bread

Nathan's Cheese Bread

One more thing you need to know: If you don’t pick up a piece of garlic & cheese bread for dunking purposes, you’re a fool.

September 9 – Day of Deals in the South Wedge

August 31, 2010 by in South Wedge
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South Wedge-ucation

Get smart at City Newspaper’s South Wedge-ucation event!  Thursday, September 9, 5-9 p.m.  Throughout the South Wedge business district.  Check out this map of deals.

Like City’s Recession Procession and Pittsford Village Pillage, South Wedge merchants will offer up ridiculous offers on food, goods, and services. Here’s a list of this year’s deals:

  • Three pork sliders for $5 at Beale Street Cafe!
  • $1.25 baked empanadas and FREE dance demos 5-9 p.m. at Tango Cafe and Dance Studio! Live comedy show starting at 9 p.m. for $1!
  • $1.50 pints and $6 pitchers of domestic beers, six wings for $3, and live DJ at The Keg Sports Bar! (NOTE: offer valid 5-11 p.m.)
  • Buy-one-get-one-half-off piercings (includes jewelry), AND $half-off $60 tattoos at Flesh for Fantasy Tattoo!
  • 50 percent off all yellow-tagged items, 15 percent off the entire stores for students with valid ID, at ABVI/Goodwill!
  • 75 cent mini desserts from Cheesy Eddie’s! (NOTE: Limit six per customer)
  • $1.50 pints of Genny Cream Ale, plus FREE live music at Caverly’s Irish Pub!
  • $2 nachos from Taco Kitchen!
  • $3 glasses of wine from Solera! (NOTE: offer valid 7-9 p.m. only)
  • $2 wood-fired 6″ cheese pizzas ($2.50 with caramelized onions and goat cheese) at Napa Woodfired Pizza!
  • $8 haircuts from Glover’s Barber Shop!
  • Spin the Wheel of Java Deals at Coffee Connection — every spin is a caffeinated win!
  • A Sweet Surprise: a box of goodies for $1.50 from Premier Pastry! (NOTE: offer valid 5-8 p.m. only)
  • Buy-one-get-one-free select haircare products at Personal FX Salon
  • 40 percent off any soy candles in stock at Historic Houseparts! (NOTE: offer valid 3-6 p.m only)
  • 50 cent frosting shots from Eco Bella Bakery!
  • “Goodie Treasure Trunk” with all items $10 or less at Slim Goodie Boutique!
  • $1 PBRs and $2 “Atomic Wedgie” shots at Lux Lounge (21 and over only)!
  • $2.50 pints of McBane’s Summer Solstice at Tap & Mallet!
  • $10 T-shirts from Thread!
  • Half-off half-and-half cookies from Open Face!
  • 25 cent chocolate Medallions from Hedonist Artisan Chocolates!
  • 50 percent off anything in the store (if paying with cash) or buy-one-get-one-half-off (if using credit cards) at Headz Up Hats!
  • $1 cheese slices and $1.50 pepperoni slices at Little Venice Pizza!
  • $1.25 empanadas and $1.50 beers at John’s Tex Mex!
  • FREE bottle of Boylans soda (while supplies last; one per customer), plus $1 off any NY State-brewed six pack at Nathaniel Square Corner Store!
  • $10 professional tambourines (available in a multitude of colors) at Echo-Tone Music!
  • $50 off $100-or-more tattoos, or 50 percent off any piercing, at Mellow Madness Tattoo!
  • $1.50 pommes frites (with topping), buy-one-get-one-free meatballs, and -$3.75 extra-large chili cheese dogs from Mise en place

And many more offers to come!

The South Wedge-ucation event is FREE and open to everyone! Area college students are especially encouraged to come down, as they will get additional perks (w/valid ID).

For more information on the South Wedge-ucation event call Lee at 244-3329 x.21, or e-mail aiannone@rochester-citynews.com.