A year ago this past March, I posted a rather lengthy entry on a trip we made to Portville, NY, to Sprague’s. This has got to be one of my all time favorite restaurants, not only because of their consistantly delicious homestyle cooking, but also because one can spend several hours just walking around the premises and enjoying the sights and smells!
The maple leaf pattern in the entrance sidewalk verifies one has arrived!
This is a sure *sign* maple syrup production is in progress!
I do believe this sign inside the entrance foyer speaks volumes and is a very special treasure given to the owners…..
I shan’t bore you with the details of the wonderful meals we enjoyed sitting at the table surrounded by my parents and brother, Randy. Suffice it to say, we are never disappointed by the food!
After finishing our meals, we went outside to wander about a bit. Mark, Randy, and my father remained by the truck while my mother, Ben, Michelle, and I set out to enjoy walking through the sugarbush located on a hill directly behind the restaurant.
As we began our stroll, we saw a truck with a large tank on its back arrive at the side of the restaurant to unload maple sap. Although the restaurant has the sugarbush behind it, there are several other sugarbushes in the immediate area that provide sap for the production of Sprague’s Maple products.
Of course, above the restaurant, vents opened and steam fragranced with the thick scent of maple permeated the air…it is a nearly intoxicating experience for anyone who enjoys maple syrup…and I do!
This caused a momentary diversion n my part, as I went inside to photograph some of the machinery used in the manufacturing process.
The building that is the restaurant also houses the production equipment. During the months of production, as well as holidays, there is generally a considerable wait for a table. Inside the building is a long hallway that passes the manufacturing equipment….this is where folks await a table. The line then passes the manufacturing room. There is something about watching and observing this whole process that kind of makes time pass quickly and the wait seems quite painless!
Back to our little walk….Sprague’s has many beautifully chainsaw-carved wooden creatures on the grounds, including lots of bears. As one enters the sugarbush, he or she is greeted by a pair of lifesize horses.
Of course, one of the most magical and outstanding characteristics of this sugarbush is that several of the trees have eyes!
The lines that run through the sugarbush, carrying the sap down below to a tank to be processed appear almost spaghetti-like.
There are a few trees that actually have buckets hung on them, perhaps to exhibit the sap dripping from the tapped trees.
Throughout the sugarbush, there are these unique benches to rest upon. The little birdhouse “finials” provide such a whimsical touch!
Another touch of whimsy….this cute woodcarved squirrel with a very large acorn!
You have no idea how much I thought I would love to grab a blanket from the truck and crawl into this little display…..look at the setting with the beautiful hills in the distance. This is enough to get this starry-eyed dreamer set off on an adventure, for sure!
Looking up at a small section of the sugarbush…….
And the gorgeous Allegheny Mountains…..
Another perfect day with perfect weather and good company! Be still my heart!