Are you Over Pumpkin Spice? – He Said. She Said.


As the leaves change colors, Rochester eateries and breweries are putting out their seasonal offerings and we set out to taste the season.

The Big Debate. Are people over pumpkin spice?

Amy (pro pumpkin) and Lee (not so much)

The fall wind blew us to the Red Fern, the below ground cafe on Park Avenue.  This quaint and popular eatery is gaining a following with vegans and their non vegan dining companions.


The owner chef Andrea Parros is passionate about her food and this dish is her signature fall salad with baby pumpkin seeds, faux goat cheese, dried cranberries, and roasted squash.



The Harvest Salad at the Red Fern on Park Ave. at Oxford St.


He Said: At first I scoffed at the idea of a salad with seeds and berries. Definitley something I would never order.  To my surprise the delicate faux cheese and dried cranberries made a nice compliment to the maple mustard vinaigrette.  A nice representation and heartier than I imagined.

She Said: To me, the pivotal ingredient of a good salad is the dressing.  The maple mustard vinaigrette was top chef worthy on fresh field greens with each salad topping perfectly complimenting one another.  The faux goat cheese (cashew- macadamia cheese) was a delicious creamy dairy alternative. This salad gets two thumbs up.  Fresh, seasonal, and delicious. And those baby pumpkin seeds.. mmm a touch of sweetness and a new way we enjoyed our pumpkin!


Glazed rosemary, maple, tamari almonds.

Worth mentioning were the delicious glazed almonds we ordered as an appetizer.  Glazed with rosemary, maple and tamari, these almonds are addicting and the perfect size to hold you over while you wait for your meal to arrive.



Fresh Pressed to order for a reasonable $5 each. 5 Juices on the menu. We ordered The Fall.

She Said: The Red Fern’s menu includes 5 fresh pressed juices and we sampled The Fall- apple, pear, ginger and lemon.  The juices are pressed to order and not only is this one beautiful to look at, but the fall juice flavor with citrus and a subtle zing of ginger is refreshing (and healthy).

He Said: To wash down the salad surprise and the tasty little candied almonds, was the juice concoction made with apple, pear and ginger.  Again something that I normally wouldn’t order, but was compelled when Amy said “wow” that has a subtle zip.  Finding hearty yet un-overly pumpkin spiced seasonal foods is tough but this juice, salad and candied almonds proved me wrong.  One can find seasonal food that isn’t over-loaded with “pumpkin spice” on local menus. There is hope!


Lets see what we taste next!


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The Scarecrow Pumpkin Ale at Lost Borough on Culver Rd.

Lost Borough Brewing Co.

He Said: Let’s get one thing straight. Don’t! mess with my beer. Scarecrow Pumpkin Ale? No Way! Amy orders one and to my chagrin I taste it and find it to be a very subtle yet representative seasonal ale.  Hey, I could drink this!  I hate to admit it, but there are some fantastic delicacies made by talented craftsmen. I want another one.


She Said:  This beer is one of my favorite pumpkin beers. I am an Ale fan and a pumpkin fan so together I was expecting good things.  The pumpkin isn’t overpowering and as each sip touches my lips I am reminded of fall and the pumpkin flavor I love without it knocking me over.   This beer is crafted using the real stuff- no inauthentic pumpkin flavor or pumpkin additives. It is made with real pumpkin, delicately chopped and smoked to perfection. The malt base NYS Pale and Carmel Malts, then bittered with the just the right amount of Cluster Hops. What really makes the flavor stand out is the addition of ginger, cinnamon and other special ingredients for a spice profile unlike any other.


With fall, comes the arrival of the much anticipated pumpkin latte.

Village Bakery Cafe at Culver Rd. Armory (also in the Pittsford Village)

Saxbys at College Town Rochester on Mt. Hope Ave.

Saxbys at College Town Rochester on Mt. Hope Ave.














We found two delicious options made with real pumpkin. The Village Bakery makes all of their own syrups in their Pittsford kitchen daily. We can’t wait to taste whats next for winter.  The company slogan is It’s not what we use, its what we don’t.  Im a believer.


Saxbys offers their delicious pumpkin latte made with the real stuff.  The flavor creators told us they have to do a lot of research and taste testing to make sure every ingredient adds the right flavor and creates a good consistency. What a fun job! The same syrup goes into their all-natural Pumpkin spice Smoothie too.


Food should be made with edible ingredients, and we’re glad to see more of these offerings around town.



This little cutie is how we’re ending this post.



Pudgy Girl Bakery’s White Chocolate Pumpkin Truffle

This particular Pudgy Girl Truffle is a collaboration with Pudgy Girl baker Jennifer Johnson and Red Fern chef Andrea Parros. Two great vegan minds came together to create the recipe which is vegan and gluten free. These little babies are pumpkin pie wrapped inside white chocolate which melts in your mouth. The intricacies of flavor brought a smile to my whole being.  Get them while you still can.


– Amy Riposo and Lee Harvey, A-List Contributors



The Red Fern, 283 Oxford St., Rochester, NY  14607 (585) 563-7633

The Lost Borough Brewing Company, 543 Atlantic Ave., Rochester, NY  14609 (585) 471-8122

The Village Bakery and Café, 5 State Street, Pittsford, NY  (585) 203-1311 and 145 Culver Road at the Armory, Rochester, NY  14620 (585) 481-2884

Saxbys Coffee, 1307 Mt. Hope Ave., Rochester NY 14620 (585) 434-2773

Pudgy Girl Bakery(585) 678-1603



Want some pumpkin goodness you can make at home? This Pop Sugar Post shares 37 Healthy Pumpkin Recipes that all look amazing. I’ll be trying both pumpkin smoothies and the pumpkin muffins. I will share how they are on the Living Healthy in Rochester, NY Facebook Group. If YOU try any, let us know what you think.  This post was carefully chosen after reviewing the list. They. Look. Amazing!



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