Unbrave Eats: Sweet Sixteen Cafe in Lockport, NY

July 3, 2013


Hey guys, it’s Erie Canal Week on my blog!

Yep, that’s right ONE WHOLE WEEK of posts about America’s coolest canal!

(Confession time: I don’t really know that much about any of America’s other canals. Does America even HAVE other canals? If it does, I’m sure they’re all very nice. But Erie Canal is definitely the coolest. If only because it’s probably the only canal to have Bruce Springsteen sing about it.)

Be sure to check out yesterday’s post about my tour of the Lockport Cave and my ride on the underground boat. Yes, I said, UNDERGROUND BOAT! Because TOTALLY AWESOME, right? And, now, let’s talk about where to eat, shall we? Because I’m sure all this talk of caves and underground boats is making you hungry. I know it’s making ME hungry.

I’ve never quite understood the phrase “sweet sixteen.”

I tend to think of sixteen-year-olds as being shouty, door-slammy jerks.

Probably because when I was sixteen years old I was a shouty, door-slammy jerk.

Sweet is never a word I would have used to describe myself back then.

Prone to melodramatically throwing myself on my bed and screaming things like “Nobody understands me! Everyone is HORRIBLE! I hate EVERYONE’S STUPID GUTS!”?



Not exactly.

In fact, I can remember having a shouty, door-slammy, melodramatic melt-down on my sixteenth birthday. I have no idea what it was about – probably something really important. Like bangs.


Back in the good old door-slammy days. When I had bangs.

Sweet Sixteen Café located right on the Erie Canal in Lockport, NY, is pretty much everything I wasn’t when I was sixteen – bright, cheerful and totally adorable.
See? Total cuteness.

See? Total cuteness.

If this café was a sixteen-year-old girl, she would have boys lining up down the street to date her. But not in a slutty-wearing-black-lace-leggings-as-pants kind of way. Nope, she’d be the girl-next-door who manages to make a floor-length skirt look hot.

She’d be the girl you’d want to be friends with even though you’re envious of her perfect hair and the way she smiles at everyone in a she-means-it-kind-of-way. And not in a secretly-hating-EVERYONE-and-EVERYONE’S-STUPID-GUTS kind of way.

Yep, Sweet Sixteen Café is totally the kind of café you’d bring home to mom. If you were the type to bring home cafés to mom.

But you’re not, are you? Because that would be weird, right?

Even the salt and pepper shakers in this place are ADORBS.

Even the salt and pepper shakers in this place are ADORBS.

So let’s just talk about the food, shall we?

I ordered the chicken salad sandwich, which, honestly, would have never been my first choice because, you guys, I’m not seventy-five years old. I mean, when’s the last time you saw anyone other than your grandmother ordering a chicken salad sandwich? For serious.

But the girl at the café told me it was a top-seller, so I figured there had to be a good reason for that. Besides, say, all the grandmothers of the world showing up and ordering it.

When my sandwich came out, it was packed full of big chunks of chicken with walnuts and cranberries and garlic onion jam. This was definitely not your grandma’s chicken salad sandwich. Not that your grandma isn’t a lovely lady with a fine taste in chicken salad, I’m sure. But this was some seriously bad-ass chicken salad, my friends.


The bad-assest chicken salad sandwich around

There was also a big huge pile of chips, which I was very appreciative of. I hate places that don’t give me chips with my sandwich. I can’t even understand eating a sandwich without chips. Who does that?

But even better than the bad-ass chicken salad sandwich and the big huge pile of chips: the mini-cupcake that was served with my meal.

In fact, every meal at Sweet Sixteen comes with a mini-cupcake. Because BEST IDEA EVER, YOU GUYS.

Mini-cupcake of love

Mini-cupcake of LOVE.

Now, I’m usually the type who would just shove the mini-cupcake in my mouth first thing and be done with it and then be sad at the end of my meal when I didn’t have a mini-cupcake to shove into my mouth.

But I somehow managed to save it for the very last after I’d polished off my sandwich and chips. Even though it was sitting on my plate the whole time tempting me to SHOVE IT IN MY MOUTH ALREADY.

Is this what it’s like to be a grownup, guys?

Because I don’t know how I feel about this.

I may have to have a few shouty, door-slammy, melodramatic meltdowns to make up for all that maturity.

Either that or just replace a few of my meals with cupcakes.

Hello, lovelies.

Hello, lovelies.

Yep, I think we can do that.

Have you discovered a favorite cafe while traveling? You know, the type of cafe that you would totally bring home to mom… if you were the type to bring cafes home to mom. But you’re not, right? Because that would be weird, huh?
P.S. Huge thanks to Niagara Tourism & Convention Center for sponsoring my trip to Lockport, NY. And a big thanks to Sweet Sixteen Cafe for a fantastic meal with some super fine chicken salad.

I've blathered on long enough! Now it's your turn!

  1. On July 3, 2013 at 8:31 am Christy@SweetandSavoring said:

    Ahh, this was such a nice thing to read first thing in the morning. Garlic onion jam? A cute little cupcake?! That IS the best idea ever. Your potato chips comment completely made me smile, which is what I needed on this gray morning.
    When I was a teenager, we stopped at this adorable diner/cafe in Maine, on the way to Prince Edward Island- Nicky’s- and I still remember their chocolate sugar doughnuts. Divine.
    Christy@SweetandSavoring recently posted..My Recent Kitchen Creations

  2. On July 3, 2013 at 8:57 am Kerry said:


    Kerry recently posted..Archway Market: Fuck you, rich London property owners, I have a cupcake.

  3. On July 3, 2013 at 11:48 am Beth said:

    Mini cupcakes are not only the best idea, but should be the only idea ever! (For restaurants at least)

    I applaude you for having more self-control that I ever could. That cupcake would’ve been shoved in my mouth the minute it was served to me!
    Beth recently posted..LUXE City Guides: A Review and GIVEAWAY!

  4. On July 3, 2013 at 1:43 pm margie said:

    Baked & Wired in DC is AMAZE-BALLS! Stumbled upon it and managed to get back there on a second trip through town. It’s more breakfast-y, but can you say Carmelized Onion Goat Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits? (Go ahead, I know you want to say it!) Their quiches and biscotti’s are also TO DIE FOR.

    • On July 3, 2013 at 8:05 pm Sally said:

      I DO want to say Carmelized Onion Goat Cheese Buttermilk Biscuits! HOW DID YOU KNOW? And that sounds amazing. Putting that on the MUST-EAT list for the next time I go to DC.

  5. On July 3, 2013 at 1:47 pm margie said:

    Is quiche the plural of quiche, or is it quiches? Whoops.
    margie recently posted..A Quickie (No, not that kind!)

  6. On July 6, 2013 at 12:58 pm Jess said:

    We had canals in New Orleans, but I don’t know if any of them are even named. And I’m pretty sure none of them have songs about them. Eerie Canal is definitely cooler.

    Also, I think if I found a cafe that gave me a mini-cupcake without me even having to ask for it I would totally bring it home and introduce it to my grandma. Or just move in.
    Jess recently posted..Yukon Ho!

  7. On July 7, 2013 at 12:23 pm Colleen Brynn said:

    Yummm… my boyfriend and I had a pretty incredible red velvet cake (that went nicely with our mojitos…) at one of my fave cafes in Madrid… I will be blogging about that one of these days very soon. Stay tuned…. 😉
    Colleen Brynn recently posted..Beautiful To Meet You

  8. On July 8, 2013 at 4:14 pm Danni said:

    Ha! I love your writing! I laugh the whole way through, but in a good way I promise. 🙂 And seriously, I’m totally there with the sweet-sixteen thing. Never in my life have I met a sweet sixteen year old. And I certainly was not one myself.

  9. On July 9, 2013 at 1:01 pm Carmel said:

    I like chicken salad sandwiches, but usually not with sweet stuff in it. It does look lovely, though.

    Speaking of no sides…there’s a bar here that does a burger, bourbon and beerback for $10 on Wednesdays. I was all excited about this until I got it. I got my shot of bourbon, great, then my “beerback,” which was the smallest beer I’ve ever seen in my life, maybe 3 oz, and then my burger…which was just that–a burger. Not even lettuce and tomato. Just a burger on a bun. Seriously? Spring for a pickle even! Strange.

    We’re looking forward to our mini road trip this summer where we’ll finally go to Twede’s Diner in North Bend, also known as the Double R cafe from Twin Peaks. Squeee!!!!

    • On July 10, 2013 at 6:51 am Sally said:

      See, I’m usually not a sweet & savory gal myself (with the exception of chocolate-covered pretzels). But I really liked the cranberries added to the chicken salad, I think because chicken salad is usually so bland.
      And, woah, the cafe from Twin Peaks EXISTS? So jealous right now.

  10. On August 2, 2013 at 2:30 pm Ceri said:

    Going back to NY state in the new year. HAVE to go to this place because CUPCAKES WITH MEAL!
    Ceri recently posted..NY Bucket List: #7 – Catch a Yellow Cab/Use the Subway


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