Utica’s Good Eats: Piggy Pat’s BBQ

A few weeks ago a few friends and I got together and went out to dinner. We wanted to try something in the area that we have never tried before. After a few minutes of debating and violently searching through Yelp, we landed on a review of Piggy Pat’s BBQ. A few people had mentioned that it was some of the best barbeque food around and that it was a “must eat.” So, we were up for the challenge.

Less than 10 minutes from campus and right off the highway lies Piggy Pat’s. When we first walked in there was an obvious a cabin-in-the-woods type feel to the restaurant. We were seated in the dining room that was draped with handmade quilts and some other old, country-like artifacts.

The menu was full of fun named and creative entrees. I ordered a pulled pork sandwich, a fan favorite. While waiting for our food we discovered a few home made barbeque sauces on our table, and they were delicious!piggy pats pic #1piggy pats pic #2

Then, finally, our food came out. Piggy Pats has hands down some of the best BBQ I have ever had. This is definitely one of Utica’s good eats and a must try! Needless to say, we will be back for more – especially after learning about some of their weekly events!

Wednesday Nights – Trivia Night

Friday Nights – Live music starting at 6 p.m.

Saturdays Nights – Live music starting at 8 p.m.

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A New Adventure

It’s no secret, I am not a gym-going kind of girl. I personally envy those who truly enjoy going to the gym and working out. Me, I dread it more than the most pain-filled trip to the dentist. That being said, I’m always looking for different things to do to stay active.

This past weekend we had a few hours of beautiful weather, there was still a bit of snow of the ground but the temperature and the sun drew almost everyone out of their rooms. I had been wanting to take up hiking for a while but always seemed to find an excuse to push it off. But no more!

A few friends and I decided to go on a hike a trail in Wilderness Park in Deerfield, NY. It took us just about a 15-minute car ride from campus. When we got on the park grounds there was a large pavilion with ten or so picnic tables and a large set of swings. The perimeter of this area was lined with great big evergreen trees – it was a perfect day to explore.new adventure pic #4

new adventure pic #2We followed the signs to the trail and followed the yellow reflector squares through the woods. The trail was guided by paths and huge makeshift stairs made from large logs. The trail was the perfect mix of flat surface and inclined areas. It was beautiful! We came across a flowing stream that was half frozen along the side of a hill.new adventure pic #3 new adventure pic #1

This adventure wasn’t only a great way to get some enjoyable cardio in, it was a beautiful winter sight. I look forward to revisiting this trail and hopefully discovering some other trails in the area.

 

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Saranac Brewery Tour

Last weekend my friends and I found ourselves looking for another adventure and wanting to experience something Utica has to offer! I then remembered a tour of the Saranac Brewery was something I’ve been wanting to do since freshman year but never got around to doing it. We looked up the Matt Brewing Co. online and decided to do it!

When we got there, we walked into the gift shop and checked in for the next tour. The tour only cost $5 a person and included two free beverages in the tavern at the end of the tour! While we were waiting for our tour to get called we walked around the gift shop. Decorated with some vintage Saranac gear, the whole place had a long-standing feel.

 

Saranac Pic 1Before we knew it our tour was about to begin. We were walked through the entire brewery and the tour took a little under an hour. The hallways leading up to the production room was beautifully decorated with authentic Victorian décor with many original aspects from when the brewery opened in the 1800s by FX Matt. We were able to get up close and personal with every aspect of the brewing process from the hops and grains used to brewing, bottling, and packaging.

Saranac Pic 4 Saranac Pic 3 Saranac Pic 2The tour was very informational and interesting. It was cool to learn that Utica Club, a beer made at the Matt Brewery, was the first beer sold in the United States after prohibition.

We then made our way to the tavern to try our two full-sized free drinks. They had their seasonal and craft beers on tap along with their assortment of sodas and hard sodas. I tired their famous root beer and it was – AMAZING! We ended up sitting in the tavern for two hours drinking and talking. This is something I recommend for everyone to do – in fact, I can’t wait to go back and do it again! A fun day for only $5, it’s a win-win!

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Killer Wings at the Killabrew

Here is another one of Utica’s good eats!

Last night a few of my friends wanted to go out for some wings. Now, I am not a wing person but I decided to tag along because I have heard that the wings at Killabrew are world famous. Not to mention, it has been on my “college bucket list” to go there, and as my senior year is coming to an end, I figured it was time!

We were seated at a wooden booth and given our menus. When I looked down there were carvings all over the table. It was really cool to look at all the messages others had left behind. Things like “M+D Forever” and other small notes gave this place a homie and familiar atmosphere along with the overall décor of the place.
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My friends and I ordered a bunch of the “everything” wings. These are said to be the wings that keep people coming back for more every week. After about 20 minutes or so, the waitress brought us our order. A large plate of orange-red steaming wings accompanied with a dozen napkins and wet-naps sat in front of us, and we were ready.

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Like I said before, I am not a wing person. However, the Killabrew’s everything wings have brought me over to the other side! They were delicious and like something I have never tasted before! Tangy with a light kick – I would definitely go back for more! Lets just say this is one of Utica’s good eats and a must go to!

 

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10 Things Only Coffee Lovers at UC will Understand

As a college student, coffee is frequently a go-to when you’re feeling less than fully functional. Every morning before class, I find myself stopping in the Pioneer Café to grab a cup of coffee just to wake me up for class! Here are 10 more things only coffee lovers, like me, at UC will understand:

  1. Before your morning cup of coffee, you experience feelings like this:

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  1. And after your first cup, you’re already set to order your second cup.
  2. You frequently reward yourself for getting out of bed with a large cup of coffee.
  3. Dunkin Donuts on Burrstone Road has become a second home for you. UC Runs on Dunkin!
  4. You find yourself going to the Sangertown Square mall and you still end up at Dunkin.
  5. You make time in your schedule to get coffee before class or else your day is simply ruined.Blog Post 2 - 10 Things only Coffee Lovers at UC will Understand 2.jpg
  1. You always say you’re tired just so you can have another cup!
  2. You find yourself resorting to studying at alternative locations, such as Dunkin, only because you want to make sure you have coffee while doing so.
  3. You stayed up all night working on a term paper, so coffee must be the answer to keep you going throughout the day.
  4. During the cold winter mornings, coffee never fails to keep you warm while walking across campus!

Luckily, there are multiple places across UC’s campus that offer coffee. However, Dunkin is generally my go-to, and like many UC students, I make multiple stops a day!

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The Story of an Overly-Cautious Girl Who Chopped Her Hair Off

When I was little I used to cry when my Mom rearranged the furniture in my house (also nearly had a mental breakdown when my parents painted the living room). Long story short, I have basically hated change my entire life and ALWAYS been extremely cautious and thoughtful when making decisions. I’m sure there’s some kind of fancy scientific word for what’s wrong with me…let me Google it…
….apparently I have Metathesiophobia. Anyways, as I have gotten older I have become a little more comfortable with change. Change is good. It can be weird sometimes, but good.

Around May of last year, my cousin, who is my hairdresser, suggested that I chop all my hair off:

“You would look so cute with a long bob haircut!”
“Your hair would have so much more volume!”
“You need it! Your hair is dead anyway.”

And of course my sister agrees…and my mom…and my grandma. This is just what happens when family is involved. But honestly, did they REALLY think I was just going to be like “Oh absolutely just chop it, do whatever you want with it, shave my head bald for all I care.” Absolutely not. My hair has been styled long, exactly the same way, for about a decade. WE HAVE BEEN THROUGH A LOT TOGETHER.
I needed to think. So, I started putting my hair behind my shoulders and making it look like it was short so I could get the opinions of just about everyone I knew.

At one point I had this terrible flashback of my awkward stage, when my hair was short and horrendous, that completely nixed the idea for a couple months.

In August, I convinced myself I would look like Lord Farquad from Shrek if I cut it.

Finally after 6 months of back and forth, I just did it. I have no idea what came over me, but I just did it. Don’t know how or why but one day I was just ready.

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If anyone is looking for a fresh, new look, be sure to check out Posh Salon in the Fitness Mill’s plaza. The day I got my hair cut was the first time I had ever been there. It’s ADORABLE and right down the street from campus! My cousin, Bianca, is awesome. She’s a recent cosmo grad and knows everything there is to know about all the new hair trends and techniques like balayage! She is absolutely meticulous and can completely replicate any picture you show her of the look you want! I’m so happy that I did it. In general, I’m beginning to think sometimes we all need a little change.

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7 ways to stay pretty/happy on a college budget

Girls…this one is for you. When people are on a budget, they seem to cut-down their spending to “necessities” only. But, there are certain things that we like to do, whether people want to believe it or not, that ARE in fact necessities (shopping, beauty products, nails, etc). Luckily I have this budgeting down to a science. So for all you non-locals who may not know where to go or what to do, I have made-up a list for your convenience.

Here are some ways to prevent lack-of-funds from getting the best of you:

1. Embrace the Dunkin Student Discount 

On those days that you know you just “CAN’T” POSSIBLY get through the day without a large pumpkin coffee from Dunkin, remember to always always always tell them “Oh [hehe] I have my student ID” at the window. It is not a large discount, but if you are a loyal customer like me, those nickels and dimes WILL add up.

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2. Don’t let your nails wither away to stubs
I’m addicted to getting my nails done, and I often “treat myself” (or that’s what I tell myself anyway to justify spending money). There’s just something about having them done that makes me feel like I have my life together. You can get a gel polish change for a measly $11. Yes, that’s right, $11 (Fashion Nails in New Hartford).
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3. Ditch your Victoria Secret leggings

Leggings are a necessity, and yes, THEY ARE PANTS. Especially in the fall/winter/spring, it’s probably a good idea to have multiple pairs in your wardrobe (don’t be that girl with the see-through, faded, old leggings). The problem is, if you buy multiple pairs of VS leggings, you are going to get those annoying texts from your bank saying that “your account is below $____.” So, shop around. Look for deals at TJ Maxx. I have even bought leggings at Walmart before… they are $12 and guess what? They look like leggings, they feel like leggings, so they must be leggings.

4. Invest in dry shampoo; it will change your life.
I always thought the more I washed my hair, the better. Turns out washing daily isn’t good. One thing to invest in is definitely some dry shampoo. People always ask me how/ why my hair is always done (my friends always joke and say, “Marissa, why are you always ready for prom?”). What they don’t know is that it takes me five minutes to do because it’s leftover from yesterday.

5. Crest 3D White Toothpaste… People will stare at you in awe
I use Crest 3D white toothpaste and that works amazing. People are ALWAYS asking me how I get my teeth so white. Well, the secret is out; it’s my $3 toothpaste.

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6. Your tan doesn’t have to be a thing of the past
The most depressing time of the year is when you have to buy new makeup because your summer makeup is now too dark for your pasty face. Well, if you need a bronze pick-me-up, I’ve got the solution. Now, I know there has always been this stigma surrounding the world of spray tans, BUT they have gotten much much better. Coming out orange and blotchy is no longer a thing. I don’t spray tan usually unless it’s a special occasion, but some of my friends do it consistently. A local tanning-salon, Zoom Tan, runs weekly specials offering spray tans for as cheap as $2 or $3.

7. Make-up setting spray—it’s actually just a bottle of magic
If you find that your makeup completely just melts off on the weekends after going out to crowded party or bar, you NEED to try a makeup setting spray. It’s similar to hairspray (only it glues your makeup on). Try the one from Urban Decay. They have a small sample bottle up front at Ulta for $14 (mine lasted me a couple months). You will wake up the morning after you went out to your makeup almost as flawless as the day before.

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A Dollar Make You Holler… For Some Pizza!

For me, last Tuesday was a long day filled with studying, meetings, and jumping from class to class. Around 4:30 pm, I had lost all energy and was dreading a night filled with homework. I decided I was in need of a pick me up.

AH-HA! I remembered it was Tuesday – the best day of the week. Why, you ask? Because Tuesday is dollar slice day at Pizza Boys Pizzeria. The line is long, but trust me, it is so worth it!

One dollar?! Yes, one dollar.

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Just 1.5 miles away from campus lies one of Utica’s best eats: Pizza Boys. From pizza to wings and specialty subs, panini, and delicious pasta dishes, this place has got it all. Pizza Boys may be best known for dollar slice Tuesdays, but they offer much, much more when it comes to good food and saving a few bucks. They have great specials almost every day of the week!

Monday: Half Price Boneless Wings!

Tuesday: All Slices $1 – All Day!

Wednesday: $0.50 Chicken Wings

Thursday: $8.50 Chicken Riggies

Friday: $6 Large Fish Subs

If these specials didn’t get your mouth watering yet, sign up online to be a rewards member at Pizza Boys. A rewards member receives even more discounts, exclusive specials, and even bonus specials around their birthday!

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