Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Northern Overland Escape Path of the Philadelphia Tories 1 of 1 (16)
Grievances provoking the American Revolutionary War left many Philadelphians unprovoked. Loyalists often fled to Canada, especially Kingston, Ontario. Decades later the flow of dissidents reversed, Canadian anti-royalists taking refuge south of the border.

A Tip of the Hat to Skaneateles

The Krebs Restaurant

The glaciers of an ancient ice age came to rest at the top of what we now call the finger lakes, and melted, wearing away the lakes from top to bottom, but depositing rich loam while they lingered. As an elaboration of this theory would suggest, the finger lakes are much deeper at their southern ends. The Indians, presumably Iroquois, called one lake Skaneateles, which is unpronounceable until someone tells you to say "Skinny-at-less". At the end of the Revolutionary War, the Continental currency was worthless, and the land was money. So, Congress designated land for war veterans. Thirty-nine of them took them up on it at Skaneateles. It's pretty certain a history like that will leave distinctive marks on a town for a long time; in this case, it may account for the quite small number of non-white residents, the beautiful old Federalist buildings, and an amazing number of first-class restaurants.

You can have your seafood or your exotic continental arrangements, but the Krebs is the restaurant knowledgable people have frequented for much more than a century. It serves American food, American style, and lots of it. You can call that plain if you want to, but when things are really really fresh, and the cooking style developed over decades of study, plain American food is pretty hard to find in America. For example, when was the last time you saw corn on the cob on a menu? America seems like one big corn field from the Hudson to the Rocky Mountains; any cross-country traveler passes ten million ripening ears of corn on the way. But corn on the cob? Sorry, we don't carry it. Except in Skaneateles.

Originally published: Wednesday, August 04, 2010; most-recently modified: Friday, May 10, 2019