A Restaurant Review and the BOILERMAKER

by Joanne on July 10, 2010

First of all, I have to wonder why squirrels are so comfortable near our house.

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Just hanging out, dangling a foot, checkin’ out the scenery.

The next day….

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He’s back again!  Letting it all just hang.  He (could be a she?) lounges on a different railing, completely relaxed without a care in the world.  *The blur:  I took the pic from the window that Shane happens to watch out of as well – nose pushed up against the glass as you might have guessed.

Must be nice to be a squirrel and live around our house  “relaxed, carefree living”.  

Crystal Chandelier Restaurant

Ted and I saw an advertisement the other night for an establishment that has been serving Oneida and Herkimer County residence since 1982.  The Crystal Chandelier, located on route 28, 7 miles north of Herkimer opens from May through October serving dinners and year round for banquets and parties.  Since a popular camp ground is across the street, casual attire is the norm.

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The dining and bar area atmosphere is warm and formal.  The mirrors at the end give the room an appearance of never ending tables. 

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There was live music, very old style but enjoyable.  Salty popcorn is offered at the bar.  We ate WAY too much of that poppa-da-corn.  It’s addictive!

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Every meal comes with garden salad and grilled Italian bread.   Ted and I were not fans of the grilled bread seasoning. We asked for plain warm bread, nothing on it.  We GOT plain COLD bread.  Oh well……

Also included with dinner is the fresh vegetable, Sicilian potato ( a house special), baked potato, French fries, rice pilaf or pasta.  For an extra $1.50, sweet potato fries can be substituted……and HOW MUCH is a 5lb bag of sweet potatoes??????  Maybe they cost more in Herkimer?


Salad with oil and vinegar .  Bleu cheese crumbles on the side (at an extra cost, of course).


I ordered the Grilled Alaskan Salmon Fillet served with grilled asparagus and rice pilaf at $20.95.  That price is about $3.00 more than we pay elsewhere.  For $20.95, I was served a very dry piece of salmon, stringing and chewy asparagus, and a rice pilaf that was on it’s way to being “bear mush”. 

When I told the owner, Rudolph Scialdo (who came to the table and asked about our dinners) that the salmon was dry and he may want to mention that to the chef, he said “Oh ya, I will. By the way, we saw you taking pictures and here are my cards.  You might want to know that we will pick people up in the limo and bring them to the restaurant. They just have to tip the driver and spend $25.00 per person which includes what they drink at the bar. “    Hmmm….BUUUTTTT….what about my dry salmon?!!!  ‘Nough said.


As for Ted, he was busy on the other side of the table completely enjoying his meal of pork osso bucco.  Guess the Crystal Chandelier must specialize in meat dishes.


The coffee was dark and I expected a burnt taste.  It surprised by being very smooth with a subtle chocolate finish.  Very good coffee.

Would I recommend the Crystal Chandelier?   I would recommend it as a casual, family dining restaurant with a warning that the prices are a bit over ambitious for the quality of the food.

Boilermaker prep day

I’ve been talking about this Boilermaker race all week and we are now one day away.  I want to offer a little info on it because it’s a huge event in our city.

Living in Utica for over 32 and never running the Boilermaker is not something one should brag about.  In fact, being a runner for over 8 year and never having run the Boilermaker is even more shameful.  This year was the year to walk up to the plate and face the challenge. No excuses.

A little description of this historic and 12,000 runner plus popular race.  The Boilermaker began in 1978 with 800 runners. Today, there is over 12,500 registered runners.

boilermaker history

Why would this race be so popular in our small city of Utica?  Because of the crowd support, the music, the celebration. 

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Because of our community.  Everyone participates in this race whether you run, you hand out water, you clap, cheer, play an instrument, dance… we see it all.   The following mile-by-mile was presented in “Fusion” of the UticaOD by Cassaundra Baber.

Mile 2 is called the International Mile where Celtic music plays and you see Polish Dancers.  American Blue Grass and Belly Dancing.  Truly and international display of talent. 

Mile 3-4 is a Polka band giving you that musical energy to run the next mile.

At miles 4-5 the J.B. and Crew offer motown music and miles 5-6 is over 30 drummers bangin’ it up so you can keep those feet moving.  You’ve just gone through the toughest part of the course and you can now imagine yourself crossing that finish.

A guy on stilts waits to amuse runners between miles 6-7.  His name is Chuck Lester and gets to enjoy one of the best views of the race.

Modern and classic rock is played by The Crazy Fools (no – not the running crazy fools, the band!).  Get the energy needed from this band as you pass through miles 7 and 8.  This is also the point at which Utica displays it’s patriotism by donning all sorts of red, white and blue.

Miles 8-9 you are almost home and getting onto Varick Street where you see the accordion player in his own private orchestra.

Here it is, Mile 9. The long awaited mile.  The finish approaches. You hear the cheers, the claps, the bagpipes.    There’s the brewery.  You did it!  You just ran your first Boilermaker. Now go grab your finishers pin, get some water, some oranges, get your lunch bag and have a Saranac brew –  Congratulations!

Tomorrow, I am aiming for somewhat unrealistic goals. I have two times that I would like to finish in.  The first time (no, I’m not telling) would mean my fastest run ever. The second time is according to the charts and my past 5K and 10K times. So why are both times unrealistic?  Because there will be over 1600 people in front of me when that gun goes off. It’s a slow start.  The field is a total of over 12,500 as I indicated above.  It is going to be hot.  I’m not a hot weather runner. 

If you are running or watching, make sure to look out for number 2908 a GREEN BIB and give me a yell and a wave.  If you have a camera, take some photos of friends, family, the crowd, the runners and email them to applecrumbles1@yahoo.com

Have you ever run a race with over 10000 runners?


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  • At 2010.07.10 10:41, Kayte said:

    Food looks great. Now about that squirrel…we have one that runs along the fence, jumps into the tree beside the fence and dangles about teasing our two dogs that yelp like crazy…I swear that squirrel has a death wish and just LOVES to tease those dogs. The squirrel appears every day at about the same time and the dogs just wait eagerly for the commotion that ensues. The squirrel stays just out of their reach but every once in awhile, for kicks, I think, it will scramble here and there and get the dogs going even more before it jumps onto the fence, runs lickety split down to the end and jumps off on the other side. Then the next day, it happens all over again like it is in the squirrel’s day planner or something. Craziest thing ever.

    • At 2010.07.10 19:27, Joanne said:

      That’s too funny 🙂 They are annoying little critters but quite entertaining.

      • At 2010.07.10 11:15, claudia said:

        Joanne this is a great post. Those squirrels are so adorable~ I love that salmon, not a bad price either, and the salad looks great, but my heart stopped at that pork oh yummy….hope the boilmaker day has great weather for them ahead…have a wonderful week~ Claudia

        • At 2010.07.10 11:19, kilax said:

          Wow! The race sounds like so much fun! I hope you meet your secret goal! I have run a race that large – one of the Chase Corporate Challenges. It was only 3.5 miles and it never thinned out – it was awful.

          Love the squirrel pics!

          • At 2010.07.10 19:28, Joanne said:

            OMG! I can imagine. It takes 3 miles for the runners to break up so you can fal into stride.

            • At 2010.07.10 15:52, Jenn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog) said:

              That squirrel is too cute!

              I hate when restaurants are a disappointment. 🙁 I also hate when the staff asks about the pictures I am taking. Makes me feel so awkward!


              • At 2010.07.10 19:29, Joanne said:

                I like it when asked about the camera and photos. I like to see what kind of reaction I’m going to get. 🙂

                • At 2010.07.10 20:04, Liz said:

                  Those squirrel pictures are cracking me up!! We had a squirrel that was playing on our deck and eating the fallen bird seed off the concrete, and at first I thought it was pretty cute. The cats were sitting against the sliding glass door “stalking” the squirrel and my dog was going crazy which was a little annoying, but the squirrel didn’t seem to mind. Then his little friend showed up, and I began to worry that our tiny 3X6 patio might become overrun with squirrels. Again, I didn’t think too much of it though. UNTIL he walked over to the sliding door, and starting tapping on the glass with his little squirrel finger. That was when I decided he might be a bit too cozy out there and decided to add cayenne to my bird seed.

                  Also, that is kind of the saddest $21 plate of food I’ve ever seen 🙁 I don’t think I would ever eat there again, if it were me. It’s one thing to not get the best food, but for the management to be so oblivious to a customer complaint is unacceptable.

                  • At 2010.07.10 20:32, Bela said:

                    OMG that squirrel is too funny and cute! Too bad they bite!

                    My race in September has 23,000 runners, not sure how I will like that!
                    Good luck on you race!
                    GO #2908 GO!!!!!

                    • At 2010.07.10 23:30, Nancy Jean said:

                      ALL THE BEST FOR TOMORROW, JOANNE – – HOPE THAT IT’S ALL YOU WISH FOR AND MORE! Most of all, enjoy it … the mad dash to begin, the teeming mass of humanity, the warmth of community, and the great sense of accomplishment. And, of course, the fun party at the end! We’ll be thinking of you. xx nj

                      • At 2010.07.11 11:09, Tammy said:

                        That is about the funniest squirrel picture ever. I guess he’s pretty comfortable inside his skin. Nice job on the restaurant review also.

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