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For the Culmination Celebration of Sagamore Hill: "Canterbury’s"

Well it is finally 2016! But for my blog it will have to be 2015 for a few days more. Apparently my years fill up so quickly they are spilling over onto the next. There are worse things I know so I am happily attacking this task.
Before the start of the New Year I was telling the story of a part of my trip to Hyde Park ( and the special meal I had there. Today I am going to tell you about the day I spent at Sagamore Hill, more specifically the meal I had when I was done. It was another important part of that day’s itinerary and so once again I will begin with the food. But have no fear the best part- details of the time spent at these historical houses- are right around the corner.

Sagamore Hill is the name of the home where Theodore Roosevelt Sr. and his family lived. The house is named for the hill that it is placed upon. In fact when you are driving there you can see it from the road. Driving up that winding road feels like it is still so far away even as you make the approach. Besides the home there is also a museum on the grounds to visit. It is a one-stop shop with lots of things to explore once you are there. The cemetery where Teddy Roosevelt is buried is simply down the road. If you are like me, then I know you will walk in that path as well.

Naturally after such a long but thrilling visit it was time for lunch. I was not alone in my hunger or during my day. I had a big family day including aunts and uncles especially for this lunch. This meal would include all of my favorite things; good food and good company in a place specially selected by moi.

The restaurant is Canterbury Ales is quite popular in the Oyster Bay area of Long Island, New York where this Roosevelt lived, amongst other current notables like Billy Joel. Despite my familiarity with Long Island I had never been to Oyster Bay so I had no idea how delightful this town is. It is adorned by many well-manicured homes, homes twice the size you’d see just a town or so over. There is more beauty to be seen just from a random drive around. Closest to this “city’s” center are all kinds of adorable shops and restaurants. As you enter Oyster Bay you are greeted by Teddy Roosevelt himself mounted on a horse of course just as Robin Williams portrayed him in the move “Night at the Museum”.

As I raced into the restaurant there was so much to take in. The walls are covered in Oyster Bay lore and Roosevelt related items. We were seated in the front right corner at a circular table with plenty of room and a window view. I was overwhelmed by it all. I was trying to focus on my family while they were talking to me but it was like I had A.D.D. I couldn’t relax even though I eventually calmed myself down long enough to eat, gab, and plan out the photos I needed to take on my way out.

The menu was giving everyone a hard time and I mean that in the most positive way possible. There were such interesting choices each sounding better than the last. I myself changed my mind every time I reread the menu. I had to finally close it and order the first thing that came to mind. As we went around ordering I saw each of my relative’s struggling with the same problem.

Big surprise I ended up with a burrito. A massive burrito. A burrito so delicious just looking at its picture now leaves me yearning for a bite. It was one of the best I’ve ever had. I took my time with it slowly taking bites as I was savoring each one. No matter how fast I could have eaten it there was so much on my plate I was not surprised that my companions were done and ordering dessert while I finished the second half. It was not a dish I wanted to part with until I absolutely had to and when I did there was nothing more than mere remnants of what had been there before.

I was completely full and expected to sit out for dessert but when I heard they had pumpkin cheesecake I had to change my mind. That is a seasonal dessert and one of my faves and this place did not disappoint. I was so full when I got up to leave that I had to walk not run to the back of the restaurant making sure I captured all there was to see on my camera. Then I was ready to get in the car to go home. I had a massive food coma so intense I was debating laying down in a booth for a few hours to sleep it off. Now I know why this place has been so successful for the last thirty-five years.
In another food related note it has been said that Teddy Roosevelt inspired the infamous slogan that Maxwell House still uses. Legend has it that after drinking a cup of their joe in 1912 Roosevelt said: “That coffee tastes good, even to the last drop!"

Apparently when visiting the land of Roosevelt, any Roosevelt, you cannot have a bad meal. I suppose those days are destined for greatness just like the men I sought out.
For the final word on Canterbury’s I will defer to the restaurant’s motto and say that they certainly made me feel like “the world is my oyster” and next time I will definitely have to give those a go. That and so much more.

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