Instead of staying Massachusetts this weekend, Samantha and I opted to go to Cooperstown, New York for a concert at Ommegang Brewery (great venue for a summer show) we planned for, and also to see the Baseball Hall of Fame. Cooperstown was the birthplace of Baseball, and it’s ingrained in the town’s culture – from souvenir shops to historic Doubleday Field. I’m a huge baseball fan – whether it’s watching or playing, and I hadn’t been to Cooperstown in almost 10 years, so for me, this was a long overdue trip. Of course, we tried a bunch of restaurants in the area.
Cooperstown is a small village tucked away in Upstate New York. It’s a good escape from the city or suburb life. To give you an idea, we drove close to an hour through back roads, with farmland as far as the eye can see. Because the village is small, there are limited options to choose from – remember, this isn’t like Boston or even a suburban town nearby, this is a small village. However, there are some spots to hit up on your next trip here.
One spot we loved was Blue Mingo Grill, a restaurant that is tucked away in a boatyard, offering lakeside views of Lake Otsego. We went around noon on a sunny Saturday in the mid-sixties and the vibe was on-point. We were seated on the covered outdoor patio, looking out on Lake Otsego and the boats that I assume town residents use and dock up while they eat. If you want to get even closer seating to the Lake, there are also tables with umbrellas that are literally right up next to the Lake. Overall, there’s a real boathouse feel.
The food was just as delicious as the views and ambiance. By looking at the menu, we came to learn that many of the seafood dishes incorporated some sort of fruity flavor. We were both in the mood for some seafood, so we each got our own seafood orders.
Hers was a Caribbean Mango Shrimp Wrap that was “mouth-wateringly delicious, but impossible to eat while looking attractive” (her words, not mine), while mine was a crab cake sandwich that included an orange wasabi sauce. Both orders were made by the tangy fruit sauces.
As a desert, and a celebration of summer, we ordered a DIY S’mores, an assortment of graham crackers chocolate bars and marshmallows accompanied by a mini fire pit and roasting sticks. It took a little for the fire pit to really heat up in order to get that toasted marshmallow flavor, but when it did, the smores hit the spot.
The awesome thing about Blue Mingo Grill was that there are boating rentals available, so after the meal was completed, we decided to rent a double kayak and go out on Lake Otsego!
While Blue Mingo Grill was more tucked away, there were some other restaurants that we were able to check out in the downtown area. One place we tried was Cooperstown Back Alley Grille, which we liked a lot for what it was. It was close in proximity to the Baseball Hall of Fame and had a nice roof deck to sit and grab some good pub food. Our server was on his second day (we can’t hold that against him, we’ve all been there!) but was super attentive and very friendly.
I ordered the “Triple B” Burger, a burger cooked to perfection, topped with house BBQ sauce, blue cheese crumbles, and applewood smoked bacon. Samantha ordered a prime rib which she seemed to enjoy, although she wished it was a bit juicier. Overall, it was a solid place to eat in the heart of Cooperstown.