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Friday, September 18, 2009

Restaurant Reviews - A Vacation Obsession!

A few weeks ago I went on vacation for a week to Lewiston, NY. Seemingly an odd place to spend a “fun-filled” girls' week, but actually we've already discussed going back again next year!

Many of the homes and buildings constructed in the 1800s still stand proudly in Lewiston, which has cherished its history and put an extraordinary effort into keeping it alive and successful. It was so inspiring to be surrounded by so many thriving people – so many businesses in business, so many smiling faces ready to introduce themselves and get to know the new faces in town. It was extraordinary – and I will certainly remember it as a charming and quaint village that enjoys hosting visitors from far and wide.

The local area is home to many restaurants and small businesses, as well as institutions such as Artpark, which are renowned for their theatrical and artistic venues. My mother moved there about a year ago, and she and my younger brothers have certainly blossomed in the artistic atmosphere. There is always something going on in the town center, most recently the Jazz Music Festival (which we were lucky enough to attend) and the Peach Festival (that we missed by a week). Coming up in October are the Ghost Walks (Historic Lewiston has a bit of a haunted history, which they celebrate each year around Halloween), the Harvest Festival and the Wildlife Festival (just to name a few of their events).

So my best friend and I set out to spend a week with my mom, and catch up with old friends (from nearby Buffalo, NY where I spent my adolescence), and to discover new treasures in the town my mom now calls home. Today I want to put the spotlight on a little gem, Ashkers Juice Bar Cafe, which we discovered on our very first day (and went back to DAILY, until we had tried– between the two of us – everything on the menu).

Beautiful inside and out, Ashkers was a surprisingly affordable (and delectable) experience. There are inside and outside dining options. Indoors the glass covered table tops house an artistic array of substances (from coffee beans, to dried flowers, from sand, to rice) arranged in abstract and mesmerizing designs. And, as if you weren't already a committed fan, they step up their game just a little more by employing a top notch and friendly staff. Simply, Ashkers is the kind of place that you never want to leave!

From breakfast sandwiches, to lunch Paninis, as well as fresh blended juices and smoothies – Ashkers has a delightfully simple menu that will excite your taste buds no matter what you choose. Over the course of ten days I admit I didn't have a single thing there that wasn't delectable! So, if you are ever in the area (Niagara Falls, Buffalo, Youngstown would even be close enough to warrant a side trip) try Ashkers Juice Bar Cafe and I swear you will be pleasantly surprised!

Here are a few images of the smoothies and breakfast items we had on our last day.

And, since you couldn't join us, here is my version of the recipe for this savory (and a bit tangy) Greek breakfast omelet... Enjoy!

Greek Breakfast Omelet
(Serves 1)

3 eggs
dash cream
1/4 cup feta cheese
2 tbsp kalamata olives (pitted and halved)
1/2 small tomato, thinly sliced
1/2 small red onion, thinly sliced and grilled
2 tbsp banana pepper slices
1/4 cup spinach
2 tbsp cucumber, thinly shaved slices

Ok! So First off let me make clear that my omelets NEVER look as fabulous as this one imaged from Ashkers, BUT they taste just as good... Promise!

Melt a small amount of butter (or heat a small amount of oil) in the bottom of a skillet. Grill up the tomato, onion, and cucumbers lightly until onions just start to brown. Throw in the olives, banana peppers and spinach and set aside. Next, beat the eggs and cream together and then pour into a preheated skillet (with oil or butter), turn to low heat, and cover. --Now, every stove acts a bit different, so keep a close eye on your eggs so the don't burn or get overly dry. You want the eggs to JUST cook across the top of the “omelet” - which on my stove takes approximately 3-4 minutes on the lower heat settings. Pile half your vegetable filling on half of the omelet and flip the other half of the omelet over top the filling. Serve and cover with feta and remaining filling. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Ashker's Coffee House on Urbanspoon


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