Issue 3, Volume 2 1
APPETIZERS 5 five things to do with breadsticks 6 best of appetizers 9 fake out: chuck’s spinach and artichoke dip 10 chef q+a 12 hummus for your thoughts
SIDE DISHES 14 behind the scenes at chuck’s 15 taste of vietnam at mai lan 16 chain vs local 18 letter to the editor 19 survey: favorite campus cafes 20 best of the square
ENTREES 22 local eats: the green onion 25 hidden gems: coffee shops 28 a good catch 30 behind the line 34 food truck turmoil 36 bean counter 38 local foods co-op sprouting up at SU? 40 pick your produce carefully: eat local. 42 campus food: exposed 44 study. graduate. eat!
STAFF EDITOR IN CHIEF Julissa Montalvo MANAGING EDITOR Sara Tracey SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Lauren Dellipoali ASST SOCIAL MEDIA DIRECTOR Maddy Berner CREATIVE DIRECTOR Jocelyn Teres PHOTO EDITOR Ann Sullivan ASST PHOTO EDITOR Jennifer Jakubowski APPETIZERS EDITOR Amy Marturana ASST APPETIZERS EDITOR Gerilyn Manago SIDES EDITOR Jill Feigleman ENTREES EDITOR Hannah Doolin ASST ENTREES EDITOR Nicole McDermott ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Faith Zaki
DESSERTS 46 drink recipes: raspberry 47 food fad: dessert-flavored things 48 student recipes: desserts
cover illustration by jocelyn teres
EDITORS NOTE It may come as a bit of a shock, but I can’t cook. You’re probably asking yourself ‘how does the founder of a food magazine not know how to cook?’ Trust me, that question will probably never be answered. But it’s true. I’ve almost burnt down a dining hall, set of the fire alarm in a dorm room, and I’ve set off too many smoke detectors to count. Which is why I am so thankful for the food scene here at Syracuse. And not just Pastabilities or Dino BBQ. If anything, my most enjoyable meals have probably come from smaller restaurants, diners, and mom and pop shops around town. It was these food influences that brought together so many of my friends over enjoyable food that I decided to dedicate this issue of BAKED, my final issue as Editor in Chief, as the Restaurant Issue. In no way possible would I have been able to survive off of frozen chicken nuggets and pizza for four years. It was the restaurants in Syracuse that provided me with normal eating habits and awesome alternatives to frozen chicken nuggets.
kitchen. What about all the food that Syracuse produces for the dining halls and cafes? We found out exactly how the campus gets its food. We also thought it would be smart to let you know what to do with breadsticks. If you are one of the lucky ones to return in the fall, make the conscious effort to wander beyond the hill. If you’re like me and don’t get that privilege to return, back on SU and think about how many memories you have had over dinner. You might be surprised how many there actually are. It’s been amazing Syracuse. I hope you all enjoy the issue and as always: enjoy the food high.
FOR THE DIETING SORORITY GIRLS Did a frat bro say, “You’d be prettier if you lost weight?” Does your great aunt still find some ‘pudge’ in your cheeks to pinch? If you answered yes to either of these questions, you may be staying away from carbohydrates these days. Conquer your fears by using ‘The Bagel Technique.’ Cut the breadstick in half, and remove the fluffy, warm center. Only eat the outer edge of the bread. Leave the mess of breadcrumbs on your plate for the waiter to clean up. (Please note: filling the concave space with butter will void the benefits of ‘The Bagel Technique’). FOR THE GLEEKS If you are a Gleek, you probably identify as a “misfit.” As you struggle through high school, college and the rest of your adult life wallowing in self-pity, console yourself with breadsticks from Lima, Ohio’s famous restaurant, Breadstix. The breadsticks will warm your heart like episodes of Glee where they address topics such as teen pregnancy, homosexuality, and suicide. (Please note: the addictive quality of the breadsticks at Breadstix might have you eating them by the wheelbarrow full.)
Ever wonder what the best bar in armory square is? We created a map to let you know exactly where to go. You know that awesome Irish pub Coleman’s on Tipperary Hill? We got behind the line and learned what really happens in the
FOR THE NERDS Trying to impress your new lady friend on the first date? Order a classic appetizer like breadsticks to flaunt your extreme gaming skills. If your new girl is as quirky as you, she’ll love a game of breadstick Jenga™. (Please note: you just might score a second date if you let her win.) FOR THE HOARDERS Like a zombie apocalypse, starvation can strike at any moment. Are you prepared? Stock your pockets and purses with breadsticks while your table companions are using the restroom. (Please note: breadsticks should be wrapped in napkins first. Oily grease stains will reveal your secret survival plan, and your companions might expect you to share.)
5 BY FAITH ZAKI
things to do with
ILLUSTRATION BY CORINNE KEEGAN 4
FOR THE ALCOHOLICS You may recall your parents barking “Don’t fill up on breadsticks before dinner!” across the table. But, as a child you never listened. Now, as an alcoholic college student, continue to dismiss your parents’ advice. Consuming mass amounts of carbohydrates rich in garlic and cheese will increase your tolerance level, which means you can drink more throughout the night. You’ll never end your night out early again. (Please note: according to Ted Mosby, “nothing good ever happens after 2 a.m.”)
Best of Appetizers
The appetizer is the first impression: it’s the first taste you experience at a restaurant, and typically an accurate indicator of the rest of a meal. Don’t underestimate the appetizer as just an opening act for the entrée—these small plates pack a powerful punch. From Italian antipasti to Mexican antojitos, these starters can add excitement to any meal. We searched the city of Syracuse and tracked down the most delicious and diverse appetizers, full of flavors for every palate and price points for every wallet.
STORY AND PHOTOS BY CARLY REEVE Italian - Grimaldi’s Luna Park The Grimaldi’s family business started in Utica in 1943 as a small soda shop. Current owner, Rita Grimaldi, explains that her grandparents opened multiple restaurants in Syracuse in 1968, and after her father retired seven years ago, she gladly took over. “My grandfather was the first person to serve garlic pizza in Central New York,” Grimaldi said. She describes the restaurant’s atmosphere as “homey and friendly,” serving traditional Italian favorites such as pasta Bolognese, lasagna, and “fresh seafood that is served every week.” Grimaldi herself, however, dubs the Calamari Grimaldi the restaurant’s claim to fame. She describes it as “a traditional fried calamari that actually just started out with customers wanting something different with their calamari.” Grimaldi says that she experimented with cherry tomatoes, kala-
mata olives and hot peppers to achieve a “sweet, salty, and fresh taste.” The rich family history and comforting food served at Grimaldi’s makes it the perfect choice when you’re craving a delightful, home-cooked meal. Location: East Syracuse Appetizer: Calamari Grimaldi Taste: This contemporary spin on a classic Italian dish is served hot in a huge portion. The calamari is perfectly executed; lightly breaded and perfectly fried. The delicate rings are crisp, and not chewy or overly seasoned. The accompanying flavors, however, bring this dish to the next level. The sweet cherry tomatoes burst in your mouth, while the hot peppers and kalamata olives add a nice saltiness that completely rounds out the delicate flavors of the calamari. Although this appetizer sits at the top of our price range, the bold flavors and home-cooked feel are absolutely worth the splurge. Price: $10.95
American - Limp Lizard Limp Lizard is the textbook definition of a biker bar, with a great atmosphere, live music and flavorpacked BBQ. But dishes aren’t limited to BBQ- the Limp also serves Mexican classics and spicy jambalaya. Its claim to fame, however is its take on a traditional American appetizer, chicken wing dip. Location: Syracuse (Onondaga Blvd.) & Liverpool Appetizer: Chicken Wing Dip Taste: This mouth-watering appetizer is served with a mound of tortilla chips and topped with bubbling cheese. The dip is smooth and creamy, with huge chunks of tender chicken. A marriage of cheesiness and spiciness creates an irresistible balance of flavor. The classic flavor of American hot sauce sets the palate on fire, while the variety of melted cheeses creates the perfect balance. Lastly, the crunch and saltiness of the tortilla chips rounds out the spice perfectly, making this starter a crowd favorite. Price: $7.99
Mexican - The Mission Built in the 1840s and formerly the Syracuse Wesleyan Methodist Church, this Pan-American restaurant serves authentic Mexican dishes. The stunning architecture inside of this building transports you to the heart of Latin America, with authentic tacos and burritos to match. In addition, The Mission’s tapas, or little plates, offer a lot of flavor at reasonable prices. Location: East Syracuse Appetizer: Empanadas Taste: This traditional dish is the Mexican version of a turnover, served with tomatillo-avocado salsa. The crust is flaky and buttery, while the sausage and potato filling is warm and hearty. The potato provides a comforting flavor, while the Spanish chorizo sausage packs a spicy kick, which brings this dish’s flavor to the next level. Price: $7.00
Asian - Appethaizing Appethaizing achieves the true essence of Thai food by perfectly combining its sweet, salty, sour, and spicy flavors. This restaurant offers delivery to anywhere on campus, making it fully accessible to any student. From noodles to curry to its signature appetizers, Appethaizing will fulfill any craving for bold Thai cuisine. Location: SU Hill Appetizer: Appethaizing Shrimp Taste: This unique Thai appetizer is served as a huge mound of fried shrimp with a small salad and topped with green onions. These tender shrimp are thoroughly coated in a special Appethaizing cream sauce. The Thai spice immediately shines through and overwhelms the palate. Visible flecks of pepper flake undoubtedly add to the intense heat of this dish, but the salad really helps to cool down the mouth and balance out the zing of the shrimp. This dish is extremely tasty but definitely the spiciest, and probably not the best choice for sensitive taste buds. Price: $7.99
You’re slugging down beers with your friends at Chuck’s when suddenly that familiar aroma permeates through the room and hits your nostrils, hard. You spin around. Yet again, someone ordered the spinach artichoke dip late night and made the entire bar drool. If you’re a friend of the proud new dip owner, perhaps you’ll get a chip’s worth. Otherwise, you’ll spend $5 on the best snack you could possibly indulge in past the midnight hour. Dubbed “spin dip” by Chuck’s employees, the dish has earned its place on the menu throughout the past seven years. It comes in a small black plastic bowl and leaves you wondering if it’s fresh out of the oven, or just freshly nuked. But the taste proves to be irresistible. Students and locals come back for more, especially between midnight and 1 a.m., when fries and wings are too hearty but dips fly out of the kitchen like hotcakes. Sam Kamen, manager of Chuck’s, says the sports bar sells approximately 200 spin dips each week. A large plate of freshly-made tortilla chips comes with each dish, which opens it up for sharing whether you like it or not. But to be fair, each 9-ounce bowl is approximately 2-3 servings, so spread the love. And the chips. And the dip. Kamen admits the recipe includes a cream cheese base, Parmesan cheese, baby spinach, canned artichoke, blended onion, granulated garlic, cayenne, white pepper, and salt. The concoction gets prepared in a large bucket in advance and then scooped in a bowl, sprinkled with mozzarella cheese, and microwaved for 1 ½ minutes when ordered. Since we couldn’t dip into the exact recipe, we came up with our own. Try this spinach artichoke fake out dip with your friends on a movie night or as an appetizer, but go for Chuck’s version when you’re in the Marshall Street area.
Chuck’s Spinach Artichoke Dip STORY AND PHOTOS BY YELENA GALSTYAN Ingredients 2 ½ cups baby spinach 1 teaspoon butter 1 cup ricotta cheese 1 pkg. cream cheese 1 can of artichoke hearts, chopped 1 cup shredded mozzarella or pizza style cheese 3 cloves garlic, minced Pinch of salt and pepper Preparation Preheat oven to 450°. On a skillet, melt the butter and sauté the garlic 3-4 minutes over medium heat, but don’t let it brown. Add washed baby spinach and sauté until wilted but still bright green (about 2 minutes). Remove from heat. In a separate bowl combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, and cream cheese, mixing well. Add the chopped artichoke hearts. Salt and pepper to taste. Spread mixture in a shallow baking dish and sprinkle a handful of shredded cheese over the top, enough to form a layer. Garnish with paprika or crushed red pepper flakes if you like it hot. Bake on the center shelf for 10-15 minutes until golden brown and bubbly. Remove and let cool. Serve with tortilla chips or toasted bread.
at Phoebe’s, but also for the menu development and staffing at all of these other locations. Yesterday, for example, I did a small high-end catered event. Today, I’m here bouncing around, and then I’ll run to pick up food if we’re short on a product. Tomorrow, I’ll be meeting with a group of chefs regarding desserts.
B: What was your diet like in college? CC: My diet was the diet of any student who has to go to a cafeteria. Combine that with beer, late night pizza and wings. And there was a lot more extra-curricular caloric intake - Captain Morgan and coke and Jagermeister shots, and two slices of pizza before bed. There’s only one time in your life that your body can live through the college experience and that is when you are between 18 and 21. After that, if you continue to do that to your body, you will die. B: What is your favorite dish to cook? CC: My favorite things to cook are soups and stews. Soups involve a three dimensional view of food. If you give the same ingredients to two different chefs you are going to
have completely different outcomes. That has a lot to do with the heart and soul of the actual cook…turning mundane ingredients into gold. B: What was your worst kitchen disaster? CC: I walked away from a saucepot with olive oil and it ignited, that’s a tough situation. I moved the pan to a sink area, but a small drop of the oil splashed out onto the water and literally exploded. So the worst disaster was almost burning my restaurant down. B: Do you try and source a lot of your food locally? CC: We do. When the season is in full swing we try to shift our purchasing into as much local as possible. It’s good to spend your money locally, but its even better to plan with a farmer what you’re going to spend your money on and build an individual relationship with a farm. We try to say, “this is the person we trust, let’s plan our garden together.”
BY CORIE ADAMUCCI PHOTOS BY MARY O’BRIEN The afternoon hustle at Phoebe’s, a regional American cuisine centric restaurant on the corner of Genesee and Irving, consists of a whirlwind of subtle kitchen commotion and friendly conversation, with the warm scent of fresh brewed coffee lingering in the air. Local residents and Syracuse University students flow in and out of the swanky restaurant’s lounge. Chef Christopher Kuhns, a New Jersey native, orchestrates the commotion. Kuhns had followed a track quite far from cooking before attending the French Culinary Institute in California and becoming the Executive Chef and Co-owner of Phoebe’s Restaurant. He also works as the corporate chef for Dining Associates, which runs five restaurants in the Central NY area and currently fills the rest of his time writing his own book titled, “Zen and the Art of Soup Making.” Despite the number of projects Chef Chris busies himself with, his passion
for food and cooking remains full force. BAKED: When did it hit you that you wanted to be a chef ? Chef Chris: Ironically, I had to get to the furthest possible place from cooking in order for it to become clear. I was in an interview to become an analyst, and the interviewer and I had a great conversation about the things we like to do outside of work. I started talking about cooking and elaborated on how much I enjoyed it. The interviewer asked me why I wasn’t doing that, and I couldn’t answer the question. But if your love for that pursuit is real, there is no reason why you can’t make it your career. B: Could you walk me through your day at Phoebe’s? CC: As a corporate chef, I’m responsible for not only the menu development and staffing
hummus for your thoughts
Brighten up spring with colorful hummus recipes BY ALYSSA LAFARO PHOTO BY SHELBY JACOBS
Not only do the days become lighter in springtime, but so do you. As we veer away from winter hibernation mode (less exercise, more hearty meals), we fall back into summer eating habits—a lighter fare of fresh fruits, vegetables, and grilled meats. To start this spring off light and simple, try these three delicious hummus recipes that require minimal ingredients and make for an easy, enjoyable snack. Don’t hesitate to experiment. Dash in some flavor to spice it up—curry, dill and ground ginger all add unique and mouthwatering tastes to hummus recipes. And although chickpeas provide the essential texture for most hummus recipes as their main ingredient, be aware that other options exist. You can use edamame, white beans and black beans to make the delectable dip. Like the many flavors of hummus, take advantage of the endless array of dipping options available to you. For vegetarians and health nuts—carrots, celery, cucumbers, green peppers and grape tomatoes add a fresh and crisp element to dipping. For the carb lovers, pita bread, crackers, tortilla chips and pretzels create a nice texture and lightly flavored component that pairs well with it. Hummus also tastes great on sandwiches (as a replacement for mayo). Like the beautiful hues of blooming springtime flowers and trees, the following three hummus recipes will add both flavor and color to your diet.
Black Bean Hummus
Full of antioxidants, black beans make for a pleasant alternative to the common chickpea typically used in hummus recipes. Total Time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 1 can of black beans, drained (15 oz.) ¼ cup tahini 1 tablespoon garlic, minced 1 tablespoon olive oil ¼ tablespoon lime juice ½ teaspoon cumin Preparation: In a food processor, blend beans, garlic, tahini and olive oil until smooth. Add lime juice and cumin and blend. If the hummus becomes too thick, add ½ teaspoon olive oil and ½ teaspoon of lime water until you achieve a desired consistency. To dress up for a party, garnish with black olives and serve with tortilla chips.
Spinach adds a smooth and fresh component to hummus that makes it a perfect dish for a warm spring/summer evening. You can either buy fresh spinach in the produce section of your supermarket or you can buy it frozen or canned.
Total Time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz.)
½ cup of spinach, chopped ¼ cup tahini 2 tablespoons garlic 3 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil ¼ teaspoon salt Preparation: In a food processor, blend chickpeas, garlic, spinach, tahini and olive oil. Add lemon and salt and blend. If the hummus becomes too thick, add 1 tablespoon of water until you achieve a desired consistency. To dress up for a party, garnish with halved grape tomatoes and serve with toasted pita chips.
Roasted Red Pepper Hummus
When you want to give your hummus a little punch, throw some roasted red peppers into the equation. You can either buy fresh red peppers in the produce section of your supermarket or you can buy them already roasted and jarred.
Total Time: 10 minutes Ingredients: 1 can of chickpeas/garbanzo beans (15 oz.)
1/3 cup tahini ¼ cup lemon juice 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed ½ cup – ¾ cup roasted red peppers Preparation: In a food processor, blend chickpeas, tahini, lemon juice and olive oil. Run the processor until you reach a smooth consistency. Gradually add red peppers and garlic until you achieve desired taste and texture. To dress up for a party, garnish with parsley and serve with warm pita bread.
Behind the Scenes at Chuck’s BY JESSICA DYSART PHOTO BY KRISTIN MARIE PARKER The weekend’s finally here and you are ready to rage. Thinking of heading to the bars but you’re embarrassed to show your face again since you threw up on M street last weekend? Don’t be. As a Marshall street bar employee, believe me I won’t be judging you. I’ve seen more than my fair share of students in similar states than you. It sort of losses it’s funny appeal after the third week of work. So you are safe from public mocking from me at least. After all where I work is the place where anything goes. On Fridays, our busiest night of the week, my shift starts around 10 p.m. It’s still pretty quiet, a few people left over from happy hour are still working on their burgers. By midnight, out of thin air there’s a mob of people. The alcohol is flowing freely. There’s the ESF-ers and campus hipsters sipping PBR’s. More and more people start dancing. The girls in heels are struggling to stay on their feet. There’s the girl at the food counter trying to pay for her burger in nickels and dimes. I laugh in my head , as she asks if the dime is worth more why is it smaller than the nickel? I hear a loud thump and I know – somewhere, someone just fell. No matter the night, there are always arguments. With the bartenders, the bouncers, other customers- you name it. Most of the bartenders have worked here for years, and are used to the crowds of drunken students. But there’s the guy who refuses to listen when we repeatedly tell him the special $2 bottles will be cheaper than a pitcher, then complains about the price of his bar tab. A few people think they’re beating the whole system by leaving the bar line and coming to the food counter to order their drinks. When I tell them I can’t serve them there, their faces drop. They get angry. Sometimes they come back again to the food counter on the same night. I have to repeat myself again.
They walk away drink less yet again. My favorite part of being at a college bar is when there is a $2 tip for a $50 dollar tab. I mean really? You spent all of mommy and daddy’s money on boozing all your friends up but you can’t spend money on the sober person that deals with your crap all night? But honestly the best part of the job is people watching. There’s always odd couples hooking up in a corner to ogle, the ones you know will regret this in the morning. I see multiple guys and girls alike who sidle up to the food counter, pretending to wait for an order they never placed. Some use friends to distract the bouncer while they steal food right off the waiting plates. I’ve witnessed Snooki impressions, patrons’ hoola hooping with the bartenders, break dance battles, and frat brothers tagging their letters on our projection screen. One person cried when I told them the kitchen was closed, and I was offered $20 in exchange for one grilled cheese sandwich. Of course there’s always people that are excessively rude or way too drunk. Girls passed out in the bathroom have to be carried out by the bouncers. It’s not uncommon for me to hear “Hey, I’ve seen you in class, how about that $2 pitcher?” I consider myself a saint of patience who works with drunken people. That has a nice ring to it . Saint of the Patron Drunks doesn’t it. I don’t just do this job for the saint hood. My job is always entertaining. Even when I have to stay late on graduation weekend because the seniors are chanting and refusing to leave. So the next time you’re worried that you’ve embarrassed yourself in a college bar, remember, we’ve seen it all.
Taste of Vietnam at Mai Lan BY ROHAN THAKORE PHOTO BY TIK SZETO Simple. That’s probably the best word to describe Mai Lan. The exterior contains a green banner that simply declares “Mai Lan” typed in a red hue that’s not easy to make out. The dining area contains a scant arrangement of tiny glass-covered tables with menus, reviews, and information about specific ingredients, placed randomly underneath.Generic, hotel conference room style chairs scatter the room. Posters, postcards, and memorabilia reminiscent of Vietnam hang from wall to ceiling , masking floral themed wallpaper underneath.You would never know that behind the simplicity that cloak Mai Lan, resides some of the best tasting, most authentic Vietnamese food in the entire Syracuse area. Arguably, this could be the best in all of Central New York. While the décor may be outdated, the menu never gets old. The pennywort leaf drink ($3) was a surprising find. This herbal, milky drink was very sweet, yet possessed a lightness found in green tea that made it enjoyable. As far as appetizers go, there is generally one item found universally in Asiatic cuisine: the spring roll. Mai Lan’s spring rolls (2 rolls: $3.50) perfectly delicate and light, and wrapped in rice paper and come steamed. . They are the perfect start to any meal, and the fresh cut vegetables offer a crunchy contrast to the soft rice paper. The homemade peanut sauce marries all the flavors together in a trulwy sweet and savory way. Probably the most well-known dish out of all Vietnamese cuisines is the Noodle Soups (pho). This street food has evolved for the modern day restaurant, but still contains the personality and culture from where it came from. The beef or chicken broth made from scratch and tastes rich and slightly sweet. Rice noodles accompany beef, chicken, or the more contemporary, pork wontons in a large bowl. Phở is generally served with garnishes like bean sprouts and basil. All these components make for a texturally complex and flavorful meal that fills you up and keeps you warm
during cold Syracuse winters. At no more than $7, these bowls are perfect when you want soup. Out of curiosity, I tried the red bean pudding ($3.50) for dessert. In a tall glass, soft red beans and tapioca pearls mixed with condensed milk, crushed ice, whipped cream, coconut, and peanuts. At first, I couldn’t tell what I was eating, because of the so many different flavors and textures working together. But the extremely sweet and heavy mixture made it a satisfying end to such a fresh meal. The picture of Mai Lan would be incomplete without mentioning Phuoc and Dien Mai, the amiable couple that ownsthis gem. It’s hard to go to Mai Lan and not end up striking a conversation with either of them. Ask them about any ingredient or dish on the menu, and you can tell what a passion they have for this place. You also come to realize that these two must be some of the hardest working people you will meet. They have raised three children, all Syracuse University alumnae, and still continue to run the business together. Every time you enter Mai Lan, you enter their home. This feeling of comfort and simplicity is translated flawlessly into spectacular food. This gastronomic journey truly is simply unparalleled, and what Phuoc and Dien have done with their humble restaurant is truly a treat for all of Syracuse to enjoy. Mai Lan 505 N. State Street (across from St. Joseph’s Hospital) Syracuse, New York 13203 Tele: (315)-471-6740 Hours: Tues-Sat. 11pm-9:30pm Sunday-Monday: Closed www.mailanrestaurant.com Food: 5/5 Atmosphere: 3/5 Service: 5/5
and get a guaranteed fresh burrito for $7? The lines seen at Chipotle around dinnertime indicate which way students have swayed. It’s Sunday and game day and you don’t feel like leaving your apartment or dorm, but the emptiness in your belly becomes overwhelming. What better time to order Wings Over Syracuse? The 24 flavors offered by wings separates them from the local restaurants where your only choices are buffalo or BBQ. Wings even provides a good source for ordering in bulk for larger groups. And of course there is Jimmy Johns. Known for its speed, Jimmy Johns has established itself as the premier sandwich shop in the area. Not in the mood to get all dressed up and go out to eat? You have too much work and too little time for food? Sounds like the perfect time to order. Chains offer a variety of advantages over local restaurants. Wallet wise, local restaurants cost more. They take more time and they are less consistent than chains. Chains specialize in efficiency and strive for increasingly healthier menu iteams. Local restaurants may offer a nice change of pace from time to time. But in the battle of Chain vs. Local, chain will always prevail in the end.
BY DAVID MAISEL & BY JILLIAN D’ONFRO ILLLUSTRATION BY ALICIA ZYBURT
Chain Restaurants It defines the U.S. dining out landscape. Some may consider fast food chains a growing epidemic while others revel in its convenience. Regardless, they continue to spread and grow in popularity. While local mom and pop shops offer a unique and homey feel, fast food chains provide a plethora of choices and uniformity which only franchises dole out. Whether classic McDonalds, or the rising Chipotle, Americanized versions of other culture’s food is being represented in these quick and efficient chains. Take Syracuse University. We depend on chain restaurants like diabetics depend on insulin. It is only natural however, for college kids to take solace in quick, easily accessible, and tasty food. Not only are chains open late, but they are also fast, consistent, and satisfying. Part of chain appeal is they are cheap and you know what you are going to get. Nothing is left to surprises when it
comes to the price or ingredients. Some of the more popular restaurants on campus include BK, Chipotle, Wings, and Jimmy Johns, which are all chains. These chains provide students with an opportunity to indulge in some classic foods at any time of the day. Burger King known as one of the most poplar fast food chains in the world, can be found all over campus. If you crave the BK stackers or the new and improved fries, then all you have to do is take a quick walk to Kimmel or Goldstein or even BBB. The convenience factor speaks for itself. There’s a push to make everything organic these days; and chain restaurants are jumping on the organic train as well. Take Chipotle, which differentiated itself as a chain that focus on organic and fresh ingredients for their food. Why take a bus or car to a local Mexican restaurant where you have to pay gratuity on top of the already too expensive burrito when you can walk to Marshall Street
Local Supporter Friday night rolls around and you’re ready to ditch Ernie for someplace where the plates are not plastic and entrance doesn’t’ require the swipe of an SU ID. Instead of settling for the easy, know-what –you-are-going-to-get chain restaurant experience, be adventurous. Embrace the opportunity to pig out at a local business. Local hole in the wall spots have an interesting and unique story behind them. Local restaurants teem with personality. Owners open up shop because of their passionate about a certain type of food or an idea of what they want a dining experience to be like. Often the inspiration behind a restaurant’s mission manifests itself in the food, the atmosphere, the personalities of the people working. Each meal inherits a certain vibrancy that you just can’t find when you’re hitting up a nearby Applebees (because yes, “eating good in the neighborhood” feels a little ironic when you’re ditching the neighborhood to go
out to eat). Instead, try Sparkytown in the Hawley Green District or Mello Velo down on Westcott. To quote Chuck Palahnuik (author of Fight Club), when you eat at a chain restaurant, “everything is a copy of a copy of a copy.” You can order the exact same Chili’s Old Timer Burger® whether you nosh in Utah or Vermont. Everything, right down to the portion of French fries and that dill pickle on the side of your plate, is predictable. And every once in a while that’s nice. But mostly it gets boring. Ordering a hamburger and fries at your local dive bar might not exactly be a culinary adventure, but at least the chefs not using a trademarked recipe. Plus, the decoration on the walls of a local place didn’t come from a catalogue of franchise-specific artwork— it’s safe to bet that every piece has a story behind it. Originality aside, eating local also serves the purpose of keeping money in the community. You might shell out a few bucks more, but that money is going to stay in the local economy. By vowing to ditch the chain for the sake of the local hangout, you fuel the evolution of a brighter, better, and stronger Syracuse (or your own hometown). Meanwhile, you reduce the environmental impact of your meal. Many local businesses, like Empire Brewing Company, source all their ingredients from nearby farms. Instead of shipping vegetables from California in a gas guzzling 16-wheeler, these restaurants keep the process sustainable. Plus, locally sourced means fresher food which means a happier body for you. You don’t have to be a hempwearing hippie (though it’s cool if you are) to embrace the benefits of choosing local restaurants over the big names. It’s simple. Mom and Pop places, the coffee shop on the corner, the café with live shows featuring Syracusebased bands every Wednesday night: these hangouts deserve your business. Come for the eating out experience, but stay for the better stories, unique atmosphere, fresher food, and the feeling that, besides filling your stomach, you have, in some small way, made a difference for your city. What could be better than that?
Letter to the Editor: No More Excuses, You Gotta Learn How to Cook! BY OLIVIA PALMISANO ILLUSTRATION BY ANDREW GREIF Dear Afraid to Step Foot in the Kitchen, No more excuses! This has got to stop. I’m sick of watching you eat fast food, frozen entrees, and TV dinners day after day. It’s time you learn how to cook. You must know the saying “You are what you eat.” Well right now you’re a microwavable cup of orange, mushy, fake-cheesy macaroni.Very appealing, right? “I don’t know how” isn’t an excuse anymore. You’re in college. Mommy’s not here to pack your lunch. Unless you want high blood pressure and clogged arteries you need to make some changes. Don’t tell me that you don’t have time, either. Take an hour out of your Sunday afternoon to cook up a few dishes. Slide them in the fridge, and voila! No need to think about what’s for dinner for the rest of the week. Perfect ideas for making ahead of time include tuna casserole, stuffed peppers, and quinoa salads -they’re easy and keep well. I’m not expecting you to become Emeril overnight. I’m just asking that you give cooking a shot. It’s easier than you think. Start out with something simple like pasta and a salad-- one of the easiest and most satisfying meals out there. With so many types of pasta and sauces, you can never get bored. Boil some water and throw some pasta in the pot. Stir occasionally and let simmer for about 10 minutes. Try not to overcook. While you wait, chop up a few carrots and toss with lettuce, for a side salad! If
SIDE DISHES you feel adventurous, try a spinach salad with bleu cheese, and add some cranberries and almonds. Play around with different combinations of nuts, cheeses, veggies, and fruits for endless variety. Pizza is another easy option. . Take baby tossing and spinning the dough like an Italian chef just yet. Pick up some store-bought crust and sauce. Sprinkle with cheese and add the toppings of your choice. For something different try a Greek pizza with feta and spinach. Its quick, easy, delicious, and you can score bonus healthy points by opting for a wholewheat crust and veggie toppings. Trust us, not even Chef Boyardee can beat that. Remember you can always freeze extra slices to save for later. I’m looking out for your health. Do you realize one package of Ramen packs 910 mg of sodium? That’s 38 percent of your recommended daily value. And that quick and easy Stouffer’s macaroni and cheese you would marry if you could? Sixteen grams of total fat and 32 percent of your saturated fat for the day. We need a variety of foods to provide our bodies with all the necessary nutrients. And no, cheese-flavored powder and instant “chicken” noodles don’t exactly contain a whole lot of those. Please, I’m begging you to change your ways. Watching you eat one more Cup o’ Noodles will make me sick. If you’re still not convinced, did I mention what cooking could do for your love life? No one will turn down a delicious home-cooked meal. After all, - the way to anyone’s heart is through their stomach. Sincerely, Your concerned friend
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We asked 20 students what their favorite café was on campus. And People’s Place is the people’s choice, coming in at first place. Pages, the café in Bird came in tied with the other option. Slocum was a popular choice for the other option. Students loved Pages for its connivance and breakfast sandwiches. Food.com in Newhouse came in third and the café in Life Sciences came in fourth. Check out the results below:
People’s Place 7 Pages 4 Other 4 Food.com 3 Café in Life Sciences 2 Eggers 0 Warehouse 0
Best of the Square BY KAYLA CALDWELL ILLUSTRATION BY JOCELYN TERES PJ’s Pub & Grill 116 Walton St. PJ’s pulls in a crowd on a Saturday night, with an expanse of people dancing further back into the venue than first appears. Despite the crowd the bustling bar still doles out drinks without much waiting. There are plenty of places to sit, for those less rhythmically inclined. Waitresses walk the bar with trays full of blue, Jell-O shots ($2 each). Pop music blasts through the speakers, and fills the warehouse-like expanse of the pub complete with arcade games. Drink wise, PJ’s offer a Reese’s Martini, recognized for its taste in the Martini Mix-off for Syracuse Winterfest 2012. Check out it’s twitter account @PJPubandGrill for happy hour deals.
Benjamin’s On Franklin 314 Franklin St. Consider Benjamin’s an upscale alternative to the typical college bar scene. It’s dim, almost reddish mood lighting and large framed pictures of Benjamin Franklin that adorn the walls, gives this place a classy feel. Perdition, their nightclub, has strobe lights, VIP sections, small stages on which to dance, and mirrors lining the entirety of the back walls behind the DJ booth. They offer a selection of wine, most coming in at around $7 a glass, and a chalkboard above the bar lets everyone know what beers are on tap. They have a list of signature drinks, historically themed, on their website. Check out their weekly deals via Facebook.
Al’s Wine and Whiskey Lounge 321 South Clinton St. For a more subdued night on the town, check out Al’s. While music blasts from their DJ stationed at the front of the lounge, it’s more about friends chatting with one another. A long wooden bar lines the back wall, equipped with stools, and that acts as a table for patrons to enjoy their spirits and leather couches arranged throughout the lounge giving patrons more than enough room to sit. The bar offers around 800 spirits, which can be seen lining the massive shelf behind the bar. Bar tenders mount sliding ladders to obtain the many bottles, harkening visions of the library from Beauty and the Beast, only filled with booze. They also offer food, some options include a tapas-like arrangement of cheeses and meats. Al’s boosts no cover charge.
Kokomo’s Bar & Grille 415 South Clinton St. This new bar is the perfect cure to anyone with a case of the winter blues. A Tiki bar equipped with surfboard tables, palm trees, beach chairs and inflatable bottles of Corona, Malibu, and tanning oil hang from the ceiling, making Kokomos the perfect beachy escape from the cold weather outside. If the mere décor of the bar wasn’t enough of a beach paradise, their signature drink is their hurricane, which won first place for taste in the Hurricane Mix-off for Syracuse Winterfest 2012. It comes in a large glass topped with a pineapple and a cherry. The DJ blasts top hits and shouts commands to the partygoers below, whether it is to increase the energy or to check out deals going on at the bar. Waitresses walked around with trays full of Pinnacle shots ($2 each). Check out their deals on their Facebook as well.
Local Eats: The Green Onion Venture to East Syracuse for a ‘home cooked’ meal BY SAM SCHAIBLE PHOTOS BY CARLY REEVE At this point in the semester a longing for homemade food has been lodged in students’ stomachs for many long weeks and dorm food just does not satisfy the taste buds. Have no fear for you’ll find the solution at Siracuse’s Green Onion Restaurant. In pining for the comfort food of home, the Green Onion dishes up savory platters of pasta, chicken, seafood and more. Located only 15 minutes away from campus, The Green Onion sits on “Hotel Row,” in East Syracuse. Old Collamer Road, referred to as “Hotel Row,” offers more than half a dozen lodging options and restaurants. Often when Syracuse University students want to go out for a nice dinner, only Marshall Street and Armory Square come to mind. The Green Onion provides another dining option for students and Syracuse locals to step into a cozy oasis away from frigid temperatures, heavy workloads and subpar campus food. The Green Onion’s owner, Richard Siracuse (yes, that’s his last name), serves up Italian American cuisine out of an 1850’s cobblestone house listed on the New York Historical Registry. The medium-sized home with a country style exterior welcomes patrons inside to a vintage, Victorian inspired dining area. Since opening in 1999, Siracuse and his wife have strived to create a warm, inviting atmosphere for customers to enjoy a romantic evening. Siracuse, originally from Buffalo, New York, worked in retail for 15 years before opening The Green Onion. Like many small, local restaurants, ownership runs in the family. Siracuse also stands in as head chef, while his wife handles the decorating and their daughter takes care of the bookkeeping. Upon speaking with Siracuse, one would instantly feel as though they have known one another for years. He came to our table before and after our meal to talk and joke around, leaving a strong, positive impression on us. When asked about the best part of the restaurant business, he wittily replied, “Being my own boss!” All humor aside, he truly wants to carry on family traditions. The Green Onion offers a menu with a wide variety of appetizers, salads,
Siracuse’s Green Onion Restaurant 6596 Old Collamer Road East Syracuse, NY 315-432-1711 Mon-Sat. 5-10pm soups and entrées. Most of the items on the menu are family recipes passed down from Siracuse’s mother and grandmother. Essentially, the restaurant provides its customers with home cooking in a comfortable space seating roughly 30, making one feel as though Grandma is making Sunday dinner. The kitchen staff prepares all food on site. In addition to the delicious menu, The Green Onion also provides diners with a full service bar. Though not required, make reservations anyway to secure the best seat in the house. A little nook perfect for two can by far be considered the best table. Guests lucky enough to sit in the alcove can enjoy three different window views and a personal heater in the winter. The carefully arranged dining room boasts Victorian décor with chairs covered in royal shades of green, gold and red plush fabrics that beckon for patrons to sit down and relax. Black-and-white antique photographs hang
on the walls, giving the dining room an intimate, homey feel. Staff members welcome hungry guests at the door and remain attentive throughout the dining experience. Amicable waitresses take drink orders immediately and allow ample time for patrons to peruse the menu. Appetizer selections- ranging from bruschetta to calamari and chicken tenders to shrimp cocktail- whet the appetite. The menu showcases their signature dish, Green Onion Greens, a bed of romaine lettuce sautéed in virgin olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper and balsamic vinegar topped with Romano cheese. They also offer the traditional chicken Caesar salad and a Greek salad, but the roasted red peppers and provolone cheese over a bed of greens satisfies just as well. The Green Onion presents a soup of the day, (available in cup or bowl size), created from family recipes. Of course the incredibly difficult decision is what entrée to order. Selections include seven different chicken dishes, veal, seafood, steak and several pastas with The Green Onion’s homemade signature sauces like a thick cream sauce or fresh marinara. The kitchen dishes up vegetarian options and a children’s menu as well. Pasta primavera, a dish of penne pasta with a hearty mix of seasonal vegetables tossed in a creamy Alfredo sauce, serves as a perfect comfort food dish. For a home-style Italian meal, try the chicken parmigiana or baked eggplant. Choices like shrimp scampi or Norwegian salmon fulfill a craving for seafood. All entrées include soup or a dinner salad and a choice of spaghetti, penne pasta, rice pilaf, baked potato or French fries. The kitchen accommodates picky eaters also. If an amended order is placed, Siracuse will personally come to the table to check the request before the kitchen processes it. The wide variety of dishes, large portions, personal attention and inviting environment ensures that guests leave feeling full and satisfied. So when that longing for home comes knocking, head out to The Green Onion for what Siracuse calls “down-home cooking at a reasonable price.”
Hidden Gems: Coffee Shops By Michelle Van Dalen Photos by Annie Sullivan
Local cafes and coffee shops thrive in the streets of Syracuse. We’ve compiled a few of our favorite hidden gems for you to check out. Westcott Avenue houses one such gem. Up the stairs, a room full of dismantled bikes, spokes, and wheel bands resides adjacent to the coffee shop. Walk straight through the Mello Velo Bike Shop and find yourself surrounded by the warm aromas and cozy chairs you expect from a java joint. Once you pass the bike magazines, bike posters, and actual bikes that adorn the walls, Mello Velo’s café mood radiates from the smell of coffee, the sound of relaxing music, and the feeling of cushy seats.
For a not-so-average bite, try the Randonneur: a freshly pressed panini with smoked Gouda cheese, maple bacon, pear, and sun-dried tomato dressing, this sandwich offers the perfect mix of sweet and salty flavors with crunch from the bacon and softness from the melted cheese. It’s worth the $6.99. For a sweeter bite choose from a variety of vegan cookies ranging from chai to coconut flavors. Many drink options can be ordered hot or iced. Try a large dirty chai, chai tea mixed with a shot of espresso, for $4.25. Add an extra shot to any drink when in need of a little extra kick and a flavor shot when in need of a little something special. Mello Velo’s cozy, tranquil ambiance compliments the homey touches of its menu items. Sun Chips and grapes accompany the freshly-made sandwiches and cold drinks fill Mason jars to the brim. For a more mainstream coffee hot spot try Freedom of Espresso downtown on Walton Street. Situated on a corner, its prime
location offers a convenient place to relax between shops when you need a little kick. With its couches, bar stools, and lower seating, Freedom of Espresso offers a comfortable space for all. The many windows let in natural light and provide a nice view for those who enjoy people-watching, but the main perk this coffee shop presents is its menu. Freedom of Espresso, located across the street from Pastabilities, has go-to coffee beverages plus steamers and iced drinks for something different. To keep your cool, order the signature Iced Mocha Slush ($5 for a medium) made with blended “espresso cubes,” rather than ice cubes, to ensure this drink doesn’t get watered down. The espresso cube recipe is a shop secret, but variations can be made at home. Add flavors to any drink on the menu for just 50 cents. Choose one or multiple shots from over 30 fruity and nutty flavor shots that extend past the standard vanilla and hazelnut flavors including banana,
pear, toffee nut, peanut butter, and ginger. Top off your blast of caffeine with homemade whipped cream in vanilla or espresso flavors. Syracuse University freshman, Lori Ricco, says she likes Freedom of Espresso for its vibrant atmosphere. “The staff is really warm and welcoming,” Ricco says. “The coffee is top-notch; you can really taste the quality.” A few streets away from Freedom of Espresso lies the shop suited for the true coffee connoisseur. Located on South Salina Street, Café Kubal features an open floor plan and long windows. Enjoy the downtown scenery and mellow music at the windowsill bar, in free-standing chairs, or in a booth. Syracuse resident Mr. Walter says he stops into Café Kubal because of a personal link to the location. The building used to be a large department store, and it was at this department store where his mother and father met years ago. With two other locations nearby (located at 3502 James Street and 601 Tully Street), the South Salina Street shop is the newest addition to the Café Kubal family. With homemade quiche, soup, and cheesecake, Café Kubal offers its customers fresh food daily. The chain’s coffee beans ship from Latin America, Indonesia, and Africa. Drink prices range from under $2 to $6, and prices for breakfast and lunch items range from $1 to $7. Try the chai latte ($4 for a medium) with a slice of homemade cheesecake to satisfy the sweet tooth. For a more savory meal try the butternut squash Panini ($7). Large mugs and fine china present the menu items in a classy, sophisticated way. Café Kubal also offers brewing
classes. With a maximum class size of just five people, these classes offer detailed handson learning and practice to “unlock the bean’s potential.” For a more personalized experience opt for a one-on-one class. Sign up for a class or learn more information on their website at cafekubal.com. Exploring new horizons keeps life exciting and flavorful. Step out of the typical, mainstream coffee bubble by visiting one of these three off-campus coffee hot spots. Step away from the buzz and rumble of the always-crowded Dunkin Donuts and Starbucks shops and discover the jazzed up perks of these hidden gems.
401 South Salina Street 315-299-8300 Website: cafekubal.com Twitter: @CafeKubal Facebook: facebook.com/CafeKubal
Freedom of Espresso 144 Walton Street 315-424-8840
Mello Velo Café
550-556 Westcott Street 2nd Floor 315-307-3104 Website: mellovelobicycles.com
A Good Catch BY CAROLYNE PHILLIPS PHOTO BY JENNY JAKUBOWSKI Upstate New York offers up many culinary specialties such as Buffalo wings, salt potatoes, and chicken riggies, but the “fish fry” ranks as one of the area’s most notable. Though similar to fish n’ chips, fish fry’s die-hard fans will argue that they differ vastly. Fish fry are lightly battered pieces of haddock, served with white beans or macaroni salad, as opposed to traditional fried cod and French fries. The northeastern region fish fry is especially popular because of the strong Catholic presence. During the period of lent since people do not eat meat on Fridays, the fish fry because a popular substitute. According to Syracuse.com many churches provide a fish fry meal as an alternative, “Not eating meat in Lent is about discipline,” Sister Gloria of St. Vincent de Paule said. “You don’t eat meat, but since the apostles were fishermen, we eat fish.” Syracuse houses two of the most famous fish fries in the area, Mother’s Cupboard Diner and Fish Fry, and Jim’s Fish Fry. Jim’s Fish Fry opened its doors in 1944, and has been serving ever since. Jim’s takes you back in time, with its bright teal walls, laminate flooring, and plastic-covered tables. Owner Bill Easterly chats with customers from behind the counter and serves an array of items from burgers, to hand-cut fries, and of course fish fry. Easterly, a third generation owner keeps this spot family owned and operated, just as his father wished. “My grandfather opened up Jim’s so that my father would have a job to come back to after the war.” he says, “It hasn’t changed much since.” Jim’s began as a wooden building where customers lined up to receive their food. In 1963 they rebuilt the restaurant in its same location on Wolf Street in Syracuse, the only change is the newly repainted sign. Over the seven plus decades, the menu has also seen few changes . Easterly says everything is homemade, down to the soups, macaroni salad, and even hand-cut fries. For Jim’s most popular item, the fish fry, he lightly batters haddock made to order for each customer. Loyal customers and residents of Mattydale, Betty and Michael Burdick , have dined
at Jim’s almost as long as it’s been open. “The first time I came was when I was four years old. I have been coming here for 63 years, and it’s just as good,” Mrs. Burdick says, “The people are sweethearts.” The couple raves about the macaroni salad and the hand-cut fries which they claim are the “best in the world.” The Burdick’s family and friends, who visit from as far away as Wisconsin, always make Jim’s the first stop on their trip. Even Easterly’s father can’t seem to stay away from the place. “His 86-year-old father, Jim, still comes to work and cooks,” jokes long-timewaitress Gert Gladle. Gladle has worked at Jim’s for 10 years, and says the diner operates like a family, “The Burdicks always bring me Christmas presents, they are like extended family. This whole place is like that.” At the end of the day its all about just that, people come here for the family and leave with a stomach full of fresh fried fish. For more of the friend stuff, try Mother’s Cupboard Diner and Fish Fry, located just 10 minutes away from Jim’s, on James Street in Syracuse. Mother’s famously aired on the Travel Channel’s “Man vs. Food,” but before that they had their own loyal following, says owner Amy Easton. Easton says her sister-in-law and her friend opened Mother’s in the 1950s and received acclaim for their doughnuts. “Sometimes we have
people come in and ask for the doughnuts. They must have been pretty good, “ Easton says. With numerous specials written on the white boards over the kitchen stove, it’s easy to see why the regulars keep coming back. Western omelets and a foot-long pancake stand out, but the mouth-watering fish fry still stands as a big seller. As for the day of week, “Fish Fridays just seemed like the right day, fish Friday rolls off the tongue,“ Easton says. Mother’s has the look of a kitchen, and the feel of home. It seats a cozy 30 people. Cozy describes the restaurant well with its open-seat-policy. “An older couple might be sitting by a pierced teenager,” Easton says, “They probably wouldn’t talk because of looks, but before they are done
they are usually talking about something,.” With a very laid back environment, Easton says most patrons think the employees are related. “We kid with people, it’s almost like sitting at mom’s house, like going to a holiday dinner and meeting people.” And that’s just what it is, a group of people sitting down at a table enjoying each other’s company and good food, whether it’s a frittata, a foot-long pancake, or fish fry, Mother’s fits the bill. “Here you have from your highest to your lowest class, everybody’s just a person, it kind of goes out the window when you walk in the door here,” Easton says.
Behind the Line Photos by Ann Sullivan & Jenny Jakubowski
Ever wonder what happens in the kitchen at your favorite restaurant? BAKED went behind the scenes of Colemanâ€™s Authentic Irish Pub, in Tipperary Hill, to see what really goes down.
Food Truck Turmoil BY AMY MARTURANA
Every time you turn down a new street in NYC, you’re likely to find a uniquely painted truck parked on the curb, emitting steam and an irresistible, mouthwatering smell. Food trucks post up at corners all over the city, Tweeting whenever they relocate to let their followers know where to find them. With thousands of people walking past every day, business runs steady at the 32 food trucks associated with the New York City Food Truck Association (NYCFTA). From dumplings to Italian ice, lobster to waffles, food trucks boast specialized menus with a quirky personality and flair that their customers can’t find in any normal restaurant. For four months, Syracuse University students had the chance to experience this unique food truck experience right on campus. In February 2011, Micah Thompson, Max Woolley, and Matt Kardjian decided to open a restaurant, and ended up purchasing an old truck at an auction and starting a food truck business. Woolley, from Princeton, N.J., told the other two about Hoagie Haven, a sandwich shop that had operated in Princeton since the 70s. A trip to Princeton and some taste testing solidified their business plan. They worked out a deal with Hoagie Haven through which they could use the sandwich shop’s name and even the trademarks on some of their sandwiches, such as the “Phat Lady,” a cheesesteak topped with mozzarella sticks, French fries, and sauce. “The plan at first was a full restaurant,” Thompson says. But everywhere around the SU area was ridiculously expensive. “We had like $75,000 pledged between the three of us from various family members that we could use to start this, and that would have paid maybe a half-year’s rent for something on Marshall Street.” Not knowing if the hoagie shop would even catch on, the guys settled for a smaller financial commitment, and
opened up the truck. After about six months of repairing, refurbishing, and cleaning the shoddy truck so that it could pass inspections, plus meetings and reviews with city zoning boards and commissions, the Onondaga County Health Board, and the county and city fire departments, the Hoagie Haven truck finally opened in February 2011. The city of Syracuse wasn’t the only body making it difficult to open the truck. The University also got involved. “Syracuse University actually sent us a cease and desist letter telling us they were going to sue us and shut us down if we didn’t change our website,” Thompson says. SU claimed it owned the words ‘cuse,’ ‘orange,’ and ‘Syracuse,’ and that it also owned the color orange, therefore Hoagie Haven could not use any of these on the truck or menu. The three guys went to reason with the University, but with no luck, and found a lawyer who said it wasn’t worth it to fight SU. Eventually, they just took the hit and changed their menus. On sunny days, business was steady. On rainy or snowy days, no customers showed at all. Then summer’s arrival made campus a complete dead zone. They tried to find office buildings or other random places to park the truck, but nothing improved business. Sometime in June, the guys decided to call it quits. Although Thompson thinks the truck failed because they didn’t know much about starting a business in general, he notes managing a food truck differs greatly from managing a normal restaurant. “When you have a food truck you have to really be about creating a buzz, and using social media, getting people to follow you and anticipate where you’re going to be,” Thompson says. Unlike a normal restaurant, food truck owners must draw their customers to the truck, and
Thompson doesn’t think the team went about it the correct way. So how do you operate a food truck successfully? Support from the city you’re operating in is key,” Thompson says. “There’s a lot of credibility if there’s a board overseeing and making sure you’re doing everything right.” Cities like NYC, which have food truck associations, make it easier for food trucks to open and operate, so customers trust buying from food trucks. The NYCFTA, among other things, organizes food truck events, advocates for laws that support the food truck business environment, and coordinates group purchasing between different food trucks. Also, for the first time ever, Zagat included food trucks in its “2011 New York City Restaurants” guide, furthering their credibility as a trendy restaurant option. But in a city like Syracuse, where the food truck craze hasn’t caught on yet, customers are skeptical when they see food sold from a van. And another reason they may never catch on, according to Thompson, is the lack of foot traffic. “There’s not a business district or a downtown like NYC or Austin, TX, where there are so many people on foot
at any given time,” he says. In a big city, thousands of hungry people per day walk past a food truck, but not in Syracuse. People venture outside during the few months of warm weather, but the rest of the year, cold and snow keep most barricaded inside. Although the Hoagie Haven truck didn’t make it, Thompson views the failure as a blessing in disguise. With the truck, they lost around $50,000, as opposed to a couple hundred thousand he guesses they would have lost if they had opened an actual restaurant. “In retrospect, we needed someone who actually knew how to run a business,” Thompson says. It took the truck’s demise to show the guys that they weren’t prepared to open their own business. And unfortunately, no matter how delicious the “Phat Lady,” or any other Hoagie Haven sandwich tastes, Syracuse might just not be ready to handle food trucks.
Bean Counter A Syracuse University grad student brews new relationships with the SU community via his passion – coffee.
BY SARA TRACEY PHOTOS BY SHELBY JACOBS The bubbling of boiling water dulls as a grinder pulses through a single-origin coffee bean named “Fisticuffs.” Steve Rhinehart weighed the roasted beans on a scale to make exactly three cups. He places the grounds in a metal strainer that sits in a glass, hourglass shaped Chemex brewer. He blooms the grounds with boiling water. He moves with diligence, but systematically. Patiently. Good coffee can’t be rushed. Rhinehart isn’t behind a local café counter. He’s in his kitchen about a mile from Syracuse University’s South Campus. Twice a week, he offers his coffee – expertise, beans, and all – to
willing participants in a service he calls “Counter Talks”. He doesn’t do it for money. It’s not a hangout for extreme coffee enthusiasts. It’s more of an experiment of passion. To him, coffee is a social catalyst. It brings people together. In Ethiopia, the alleged birthplace of coffee where coffee is a main crop, they have coffee ceremonies that last 12 hours and yield only three “thimbles” of coffee. That’s lost on our culture, Rhinehart says. “If you walk into a Starbucks, there are people on their laptops, maybe some people with their noses in a book,” he says. “I mean, it’s not a ubiquitous thing, but people aren’t treating it as a social event. My Counter Talks are a solution to that.” Syracuse is not a coffee destination. Except for a few bright spots, like Café Kubal, Rhinehart says Syracuse’s coffee culture is “dismal.” But he doesn’t let that stop him from sharing the love. In January, Rhinehart talked to Anthony Rotolo, an assistant professor in the iSchool, about starting a project to connect his passions with the passions of others through information technology. He spoke to one student about her affinity for fortune cookie fortunes and haunted buildings. He started a blog where he posts his advice for the coffee trade as well as fun bean facts,. The majority of his Tumblr are his written accounts of his Counter Talks. And people drive are at the center of his Counter Talks.The premise is simple: Rhinehart brews some premium coffee and explains the intricate process. He brings mugs, milk, and sugar, though he recommends his guests try the coffee black so they can appreciate the subtle flavors. In exchange, others are to bring their own passions to the table. Seniors Chris Azar and Isaac Budman, majors in graphic design and information management, respectively, met with Rhinehart for his third Counter Talk on February, 11 of this year. Azar, a self-proclaimed coffee fan, grinds his own beans and uses a French press for his daily cup, but was intrigued by Rhinehart’s 30-minute process to make a cappuccino. His personal coffee routine only lasts a fraction of that time.
Azar and Budman told Rhinehart about a few independent projects they’re involved in, including a Twitter-induced power hour called “Drink Up” and MakeSweetShit.com, a website where the pair posts videos, opinions, and favorite clips from the web. “It’s not just talking over a cup of coffee,” Azar says. “If you go all the way back to pre-French revolution, in the salons,” they also spoke about a multitude of topics over a good drink. “[Rhinehart] is very much into sharing the process and the beauty of good coffee.” Promotion is also a large part of Counter Talks. Rhinehart encourages setting up meetings via Twitter. He conducts interviews with his newfound companions, jotting notes in a little black book. He then summarizes each meeting on his blog in exchange for a retweet here and there. His blog is one of five SU ventures nominated for the 140challenge through the iSchool, through which he could win a spot as a speaker at a New York City tech conference. The exposure would be big for his venture – he plans on continuing the Tumblr, and the Counter Talks, after he graduates this year. But the exposure isn’t the most important part for him. “Doing these is therapeutic,” he says. “It’s an exchange of passions, an exchange of information. It’s not the typical college student mentality, but it’s healthy.” Rhinehart’s personal affair with coffee started at a young age. His parents let him drink it when he was a kid. He started with light-and-sweet coffee drinks and weaned himself off of milk and sugar additives to enjoy his coffee in a more
pure form. It wasn’t until he was an undergrad at the Rochester Institute of Technology that coffee became a social event. His roommate had a job at a coffee shop, and Rhinehart was jealous. Without a means of transportation he couldn’t go in to work with him. That didn’t stop him for long, though. The next year, he got that car and landed a barista job at Leaf & Bean Coffee Co. They didn’t make the best cappuccino, and flavored syrups got on his clothes, but the product wasn’t the most important part to Rhinehart. It was the customer interaction that he loved. “Whenever I go back, I like to have a visit and have a cappuccino. I’d be a little disappointed in the coffee, but people care about you there,” he says. He was the one that fueled the cops on their breaks. He could start prepping a customer’s order as soon as they walked in the door. This part-time job brought out his inner coffee nerd. According to him, coffee is a multidimensional subject that can’t be solved with an equation. Rhinehart started researching the bean, from its origins to coffee technology to preparations. Several signs of his passion dot his kitchen and dining room. A French press and an intricate siphon brewer sit on a bookshelf next to his dining room table. The kitchen houses an electric kettle, an espresso/cappuccino maker, and more coffee paraphernalia. All of them investments – some new, some used – to caffeinate his passion.
Local Foods Co-Op Sprouting Up at SU? BY ADRIANNE SALMON PHOTOS BY MICHELLE Y LEE Mirrah Stoller grew up working for her parents in a local food co-op in her hometown of Olympia, Washington. Now she plans to spread the love as the founder of the Green Beans Food Cooperative. It started out as a project under the name SU/ESF Food Cooperative. A food cooperative operates like a grocery store, but with a twist. Co-ops run on a customer/member base that collaborates with both parties in mind. They democratically run the different facets of it, like which local farmers provide produce and what dry goods the store features. Co-ops serve fresh, unprocessed foods to their customers, so Green Beans plans to implement the logo: “Providing sustainable food at affordable prices.” The idea to launch a co-op on campus sort of fell into Mirrah’s lap. Last spring, she read an article in the Daily Orange written by her friend Scott Collison about how a studentrun food co-op could increase student access
to greener, healthier groceries. The article was about the irrationality of the mass-production of food we consume and how we can change it. We often direct our grocery shopping to stores like Aldi or Tops when local farmers produce fresh food just around the corner. After graduating in May, Mirrah will continue to educate others about the importance of co-ops and fresh food sustainability. Mirrah, a 20-year-old SU film major believes education is the first step. “When you buy from a co-op, you are not only supporting local farmers, you are supporting the local economy and creating a close-knit community. One of our main goals is to help students understand and become a part of this,” Mirrah says. The pros of a co-op outweigh the cons by a long shot, and the primary concern right now lies in reaching their target audience – the students and faculty of SU and ESF. Mirrah looks at herself as more of a consultant and mediator to get this project underway rather than a marketing and business specialist, so she and the group are looking for interested students. The Green Beans management crew is currently seeking a team of marketing, public relations, and advertising students to create a campaign to educate the student community about the idea of a co-op and promote running
one on campus. “The ideal goal for the campaign is to get more and more students rooting for the idea and hopefully more involved in dedicating their efforts to the project,” Mirrah says, “We have an enthusiastic team now. We just need a good management team that is really passionate about the cause and willing to put forth time and work.” Michelle Lee, a senior advertising and marketing dual major, hadn’t heard about the project until this semester. “I am really behind this idea and want to see the co-op flourish on campus. I am going to hop onboard for the rest of my semester to help with the promotional side of things,” she says. Ultimately, Mirrah and her team would like to have a store with a café where students can purchase food with their Supercard, or better yet their meal plan. “This would require a lot of negotiation with SU Food Services, but we also have a lot of faculty supporting our cause, so there is hope,” Mirrah says. Athena Andionades, a junior television, radio and film major makes clear-cut food choices. “I’ve heard about the co-op initiative and I don’t see how they could go wrong. Being a pescatarian (a vegetarian who also eats fish) and living in Syracuse where the seafood is nothing to write home about, I am always look-
ing for the freshest fruits and vegetables,” she says, “I can’t wait to see how it turns out!” As with the start of any organization, Green Beans has faced its fair share of setbacks since the idea for the co-op began and Mirrah founded the organization. When they first wrote up their constitution, the Office of Student Affairs rejected the idea. They were told licensing issues would arise by operating with the store under its former proposed name, ‘Oakie & Otto’s Place.’ Green Beans asked Matt Steele, from the Cooperative Food and Empowerment Directive, to speak on behalf of the project. He visited on February 27, and consulted the team on how to become a successful student organization and get this project off the ground. Mirrah believes the event was a success and sparked real student interest. “We had a good talk and some really cool people showed up! I’m excited to see them again,” said Mirrah of the event. The idea for Green Beans bursts with potential. The enthusiasm of Mirrah and the existing team sets the foundation for something that will create student interest and really change the food game at Syracuse. More student involvement is the first step, so get involved and you could be buying the freshest local produce right on campus.
Pick Your Produce Carefully: Eat Local. BY RIDDLEY GEMPERLEIN-SCHIRM When you sit down to eat, do you think, “How far did this food have to travel to make it to my plate?” Probably not. Just like when you walk down the grocery store aisle, you probably don’t think, “Where did those bananas come from?” Maybe it’s time to start considering these things. According to the World Watch Institute, a Washington nonprofit that aims to create an environmentally sustainable society, foods in U.S. supermarkets travel 1,500 miles. Most of the foods we eat come from places as far away as Mexico, Chile, China and New Zealand. The idea of “food miles” is a large focus of locavorism. Locavores, those who eat foods from producers in or near their community, strive to reduce the miles by decreasing the distance between where food is produced and your plate, by embracing locally grown and in-season foods. “Going local” could include becoming a member of a community-supported agriculture program (CSA), going to farmers’ markets, or just making a conscious effort to avoid chain stores. Why go local? Locavores believe that eating locally supports the community by keeping money close to home instead of investing in national chains. Eating locally and in season also reduces environmental impact by decreasing air pollution caused by the transportation of goods, creates local jobs and fosters a sense of community. By eating local, communities become more self-sustaining and efficient. Besides economic benefits, locavores argue that in season, locally sourced foods taste better and are better for you. Adam Leith Gollner, a writer for Lucky Peach, a food magazine that the New York Times described as being “bright,” and “remarkable”, believes, “The grocery-store stuff – year-round raspberries, mushy Red Delicious apples, rock-hard plums- is the produce equivalent of industrially manufactured bacon bits.” When vegetables and fruits travel 1,500 miles, they lose nutrients along the way. These types of produce act like watered down gas. It may look like gas, but it will inevitably cause your car to break down. Syracuse First, a non-profit that promotes local businesses in Syracuse, touts the motto, “Think local. Buy local. Be local.” Chris Fowler, the founder and executive director of
Syracuse First, says that the local movement is based on what is called Satisfy your local app-etite with a the “triple bottom line.” This line, “… Takes into consideration environlittle help from these smart phone mental impact, social impact, and apps. economic impact when it measures the success of business,” Fowler Farmshed CNY App says. On the Syracuse First website, This app is a searchable directory of 1,400+ local farms, Michael H. Shuman, author of Going farmers markets, CSAs and locally owned businesses. Local, says that going local does not Eating local is made convenient with just the push of mean cutting yourself off from the a button. outside world, but instead supporting Cost: Free local sustainable businesses which employ local workers and serve local Locavore customers. Shuman says it also means Helps you find foods that are organic, in season and becoming more self-sufficient and locally grown. The app provides you with updates on taking back control from corporayour favorite vegetables, fruits, grains, meats and dairy. tions. The website lists several reasons It also gives access to thousands of healthy, seasonal why you should go local, like reducing and delicious recipes. environmental impact, more money Cost: Free re-circulates in Syracuse and more consumer choices because of diversity Harvest and competition. Additionally, the Harvest helps you select the best produce. This app website has a local directory which gives techniques and tips for picking the freshest and alphabetically lists locally owned busiripest fruits and vegetable. It also has storage suggesnesses in Syracuse. tions to help you keep your produce lasting longer. According to Just Food, a Cost: $1.99 non-profit organization that connects communities and local farms with the goal of making local food accessible for all, CSA or Community Supported Agriculture is a great way to go local. It provides city dwellers access to fresh produce. A member of a CSA purchases a “share” of vegetables from a local farmer who delivers a share of produce to a specified drop-off location one to two times a week from June till November. Shares typically cost $400 to $600 and include seven to 10 different types of vegetables and for a little extra money, fruit, eggs, meat and even flowers can be added. The membership cost helps farmers purchase seed and run their farms. The benefits of a CSA membership include access to fresh, in-season and local foods and supporting community development. For more on the growing locavore movement, visit your local farmers’ market. The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), publishes the National Directory of Farmers Markets each year to list the number of operating farmers markets in the U.S.. According to the USDA, the number of farmers markets increased from 6,132 in 2010 to 7,175 in 2011, a 17% increase. Farmers markets add value to communities because farmers sell directly to consumers and consumers buy directly from farmers, which keeps money within communities. Search famers’ market profiles and find markets near you on www.nyfarmersmarket.com. The search lists include market names, months, days and times of operation, as well as whether the market accepts debit or credit cards. Eating locally is easier than ever before. Communities want to regain control of their local economy from large corporations and chains. Programs like CSA and farmers markets allow for empowerment through interaction. Through locavorism people and their communities have the ability to take part in an integral facet of daily life through the food they consume.
Campus Food: Exposed Get to know the production facility off campus that processes most of the food found in campus dining centers. BY ASHLEY COLLMAN All students have their own opinion about which Syracuse University dining hall reigns supreme. Many claim it’s brandnew Ernie Davis, or perhaps Shaw with its infamous wall of cereal. Then there’s always the faraway Brockway, which BBB residents swear by. But whether you munch popcorn at the Dome, dig in to lasagna at Sadler, or just grab a quick coffee at Slocum café, 90% of the food on campus originates from the same place—the Food Services Commissary located off of South Campus. The commissary acts as the “heart” of the food services department, says senior manager Jim Ponzi. The dry storage area serves as the first ventricle of the building, filled with palettes piled with sacks of Dunkin’ Donuts’ yeast, and barrels of diced tomatoes. Non-food items like paper products store here as well. Tubs of yogurt reside in refrigerator rooms the size of a small apartment. Frozen veggies get their own freezer room kept at a brisk 10 below. Catering services have their own kitchens to prepare for parties as small as a dinner for two at the Chancellor’s residence to a 500-person event on the quad. It smells a lot like hamburgers. Turning out 175 dozen bagels and 100 dozen doughnuts a night, the bakery functions as one of the most active arteries of the commissary. It probably smells lovely and doughy normally, but at 9 a.m. (an off hour between the two baking shifts) it smells like the bleach dousing the floor by a single-man cleaning crew. The real core of this facility is
the cook-chill room, a relatively small space compared to everything else in the warehouse, with just two huge basins. All the heavy lifting takes place here. Ponzi describes the cook-chill method as something similar to Stouffer’s oven meals. Take macaroni and cheese, for example. A 120-pound batch of pasta reaches a boil in a large basin. Once cooked, a basket transfers the pasta into the finished cheese sauce. The final product pipes through a hose into a machine that cools and distributes the meal into human baby-sized sacks. Food services trucks drive these sacks to the various dining centers on campus where they reheat by either steaming or immersing in boiling water. This system may seem impersonal but Ponzi sees notable advantages to producing food in this way. First there is the safety issue. The warehouses at the commissary operate an elaborate inventory process, inputting everything that enters the building into the system. If Sbarro recalls marinara sauce, for example, then food services can track where the sauce is on campus and stop it from reaching students. This process also reduces labor costs. A chilled room in the commissary processes cold-cut meats for sandwiches. So instead of having meat slicing machines and operators in every dining hall on campus, they can slice all of the meat for the whole campus at the commissary with less manpower and equipment. But producing food in such large quantities gets tricky, because it leaves more room for error when a cook measures out an
ingredient wrong. And if a computer malfunctions when cooking the meat, it renders a thousand pounds of roast beef inedible. Overproduction can be a problem, leading to making excessive amounts of a food or students taking more than they actually eat. However, the amount of data food services keeps on consumption patterns minimizes the threat of over-production. The department examines patterns in consumption with previous years then produces quantities according to these numbers. The commissary donates some of the food to a local food mission, but if it’s left out for too long, and unprotected by sneezeguards, it must be thrown away. Food services just recently started composting. This type of centralized system is the future of college dining. Seventy-five colleges have visited the SU commissary looking for ways to modernize their own kitchens. UCLA and Harvard were recent visitors. Even Wegman’s, the mammoth grocery store chain, started producing their café food in the same manner from a production facility in Rochester. This calculated production makes it easier for the student consumer to access the nutritional breakdown. For any meal you eat on campus, you can read a full nutritional report on the food services website. (You can get a calorie count of your Sunday brunch of French toast and bacon, if you ever wanted to depress yourself ). It seems SU has always been on the cutting edge of food service trends. In the ‘90s they pushed to incorporate food “brands.” The dining centers at Kimmel, Goldstein, and Schine transformed to look more like mall food courts, with recognizable eateries like Taco Bell and Burger King. For each of these brands, the university became a franchisee. Bakery workers even attend Dunkin’ Donuts University to learn how to make donuts correctly (which leaves one to wonder why the
strawberry frosted donuts lack sprinkles). Food services caters to student’s brand loyalties and changing food habits, but there’s something incongruous about the food options on campus. Posters in the dining halls ask students to try new foods like amaranth and edamame, but they also keep the shelves full of brand-name donuts and pizzas, which don’t make for a healthy meal. It seems this could be more about saving money, and not enough about making what’s best for consumption. Luckily, today the trends in student dining veer away from branding and focus more on food sensitivities and special diets. Every year more and more incoming students have gluten allergies—something Ponzi attributes to the new blood tests for sensitivity. The bakeshop can’t produce anything gluten-free, due to possible contamination from the rest of the facility, so food services purchases pre-packaged food like Enjoy Life brand cookies as an option in the dining halls and campus convenience stores. There are also special dishes for vegans and vegetarians. The dining halls offer two hot dishes for these diets at every meal. These options earned the school third place in 2003 for best vegan and vegetarian options in a campus dining hall from the People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA). The cook-chill facilities have special days for processing these meatless meals, so as not to cross-contaminate the food “Display cooking” is the biggest trend recently. In the dining hall this translates to the stir-fry line. “Students think they are getting something prepared fresh but its really just putting together a bunch of things that are already prepared,” says Ponzi—and that’s a pretty good metaphor for how the commissary makes all of the meals on campus.
Study. Graduate. Eat!
The Top Five Restaurants to Celebrate Commencement BY A.K. LAMBERT
After snapping eighteen hundred photos with Grandma in your cap and gown, you’ll probably do anything to avoid a hunger-fueled argument with your extended family. Check out these five festive restaurants just minutes from campus to maintain the peace. The Limestone Grille 7300 East Genesee St. Fayetteville, NY 13066 (315) 637-8000 You could probably drive to the Fayetteville Target with your eyes closed, but chances are you never noticed the charming Craftsman Inn across the street. I’m talking about none other than The Limestone Grille. Revel in the calming atmosphere, dim lighting, and small dining spaces while enjoying flavorful contemporary American cuisine. This restaurant offers a comfortable, relaxing dining experience accompanied by Stickley Metropolitan furnishings, intricate lighting, and warm colors. Enjoy a delicious lunch or dinner for anywhere between $15-25 a plate (on average), or a hearty brunch for under $9! Avoid bringing rowdy kids, but make reservations for dinner the day of graduation, or brunch the day after, with a classy group of adults. Not only can you enjoy a smooth William Pallet in an oversized wine glass (or another choice from Limestone’s list of 42 wines), but you can also request a freshly squeezed juice cocktail prepared with old style bartending. The bartenders, however, aren’t the only superb servers at the Grille. In fact, every server has worked at Limestone since it opened 16 years ago. The Grille might look petite on the outside, but it offers over four dining rooms, including one upstairs, to accommodate big groups. The Grille only offers the freshest fish. They serve a wide selection of Atlantic seafood on their “Top of the Trip” list, a fresh catch which they purchase just before the fishermen returns to port to sell. The menu also includes tender Angus beef, served in three sauces and aged for a minimum of 21 days. I also suggest trying other savory entrees like the lobster mac and cheese or the specialty Limestone Grill “Fish Fry”, spilling over with shrimp, scallops, clams, and scrod, all fried until golden brown and served with signature dipping sauces. Either
way, save room for a happy ending off their dessert menu, featuring treats like the pumpkin spice crème brule or turtle cheesecake. Pascale Restaurant 104 Limestone Plaza Fayetteville, NY 13066 (315) 637-8321 Most undergraduates probably don’t know of tiny Pascale Restaurant in Fayetteville, but Syracuse locals frequently feast at this innovative American cuisine restaurant. Pascale’s provides impeccable service in a 19th century building that once housed the original Erie Canal trading center. Meet a small group of friends to share a creative meal and relaxing conversation at a high-top booth or quaint dining table. Expect more expensive plates ranging from $15-30, but the bright colors, surreal art, and fine silverware create a cheery environment worthy of its prices. Pascale’s manager takes customer service very seriously, frequently checking customers to ensure a pleasant experience. Go traditional and bite into a big juicy burgers, or be brave and try an original specialty like the game mixed grill (piled high with antelope, quail, wild boar sausage, wild mushroom polenta, butternut squash puree, and cranberry). Though the restaurant prefers a tinier gathering of four, it can accommodate larger groups of 12, making it a sophisticated spot perfect for celebrating what Pascale employees consider a “final ceremony before adulthood.” Make your reservations soon and you could toast to an unforgettable day with a superior glass of Culprit, a flavorful blend of 13 luscious California grapes, or another wine from around the world. Smokey Bones 4036 State Route 31 Syracuse, NY 13090 (315) 652-7824 I won’t deny that I’ve licked the plate clean at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, but waiting in a
potential 5-hour line with my family after commencement is out of the question. Luckily, Dino BBQ isn’t the only phenomenal barbeque joint around. At Smokey Bones Bar & Fire Grill, you can enjoy equally impressive finger-licking barbecue. Lively crowds huddle around sizzling meat dishes and watch various sports games on the TVs, creating an entertaining atmosphere for the whole family. This place isn’t meant for a quiet, elegant celebration, so expect a kickin’ experience powered with energy and fun. Here, they don’t take marinating lightly; offering only the juiciest meats that are slow cooked for 11 hours over hickory logs, then pulled each night. Not all the menu items feature a heavy slathering of BBQ sauce, though. Try something off their top-notch Fire Starters appetizer menu like the skillet cornbread served with pecan butter or the buff-a-que flatbread. Enjoy a classic entrée for $10-20, or fashion your own meal by selecting your steak with either the steakhouse butter mixed with a cracked-pepper blend or the button mushroom red wine sauce. Healthier options, like their nutty chicken salad, are also available. Call today and the fam’ and you could also help rally the boisterous crowds watching the TV’s or waiting to play a game of pool! The Retreat 302 Vine St. Liverpool, NY 13088 (315) 457-6358 OK, so you’ve been cramped in the Dome all day, you’re hungry, and you want to get outside. I’ve got one piece of advice: drive to Liverpool and eat at The Retreat. This warm and relaxing restaurant welcomes intimate dinners for two as well as private parties of 40, in or outdoors. Whether you eat in their semi-private dining area, “The Deck,” their banquet facility “The Barking Gull,” their spacious bar dining room, “The Porch,” or their gorgeous “Patio”, The Retreat offers a comfortable location for everyone. Providing delicious food and neighborly faces, many locals praise this venue for its support of true Orange fans for the past 40 years. Its casual atmosphere appeals to all ages, and traditional decorations transform each room into a cozy corner. Feel free to dine by one of their four fireplaces or get a toasty tan while eating and drinking at the outdoor bar or tables.
If you want to catch your favorite sports team in action, watch on one of the 25 screens surrounding the bar. The atmosphere, however, isn’t the sole reason ‘Cuse residents flock to The Retreat. It’s diverse menu offers fabulous lunch and dinner options at a reasonable price of $6.50-$20 a plate. Drool over satisfying combinations like the retreat wrap (turkey, fresh asparagus, roasted red peppers, romaine lettuce, Swiss cheese, and mayo all wrapped in a warm garlic and herb tortilla) or a fancier plate like the Mexican quesadillas, Italian Panko-crusted haddock parmesan, whiskey pineapple chicken, or filet mignon. With just a few months left before graduation, make sure to call and reserve a table today. Phoebe’s 900 East Genesee St. Syracuse, NY 13210 (315) 475-5154 You’ve heard of it. You’ve been wanting to go check it out. But you’ve been waiting for the ‘rents to get into town to pick up its bill. Lucky for you, a pre or post commencement meal at Phoebe’s is the perfect opportunity. Located on East Genesee Street across from the Syracuse Stage, Phoebe’s boasts a skylight ceiling that brightens any breakfast or lunch experience while dimming into a romantic atmosphere at night. Opt to eat in the breathtaking atrium decked with beige paints, gold railings, brick walls, impressive upholstery, and moving artwork; or mosey into the bar and café areas calmed with soft linen window treatments and soothing burgundy and cream shades. Cooking up classics like French onion soup or crème brulee ensures a memorable start and finish to your meal; but Phoebe’s entrees unveil the real stars of the experience. Try the 12 oz. cider-brined pork chop finished in an apple cider ginger ale reduction or the pan seared sea scallops, steaks, and duck selections, all priced within a fair $15-30 range. Phoebe’s also often features musical guests and hosts Jazz Night every Thursday. Pair your meal with a bold wine (available by the glass or bottle), or a cold beer, but be sure to visit Phoebe’s new comforting Coffee Lounge---where you can chat over a gourmet drink on a comfy couch or order some scrumptious treats to take home.
Raspberry Drink Recipes Pucker up for spring
No fancy mixology needed here. Only a few simple steps and a handful of ingredients stand in the way of these two berry-infused cocktails. The sparkling raspberry mojito makes the perfect sunny afternoon sidekick, while the chocolate-raspberry cocktail proves itself as a night cap sure to induce sweet dreams, sugar coma style.
BY LIZZY GOMEZ PHOTO BY SHELBY JACOBS
Sparkling Raspberry Mojito makes one cocktail Ingredients
5 raspberries 6 mint leaves 2 oz. white rum 1 oz. lime juice 1 oz. simple syrup 4 oz. champagne Ice cubes
Combine raspberries and simple syrup in a cocktail shaker. Crush the ingredients together with the back of a spoon. Add mint leaves. Pour in white rum, and lime juice. Vigorously shake together. Strain contents of the cocktail shaker over ice in a chilled glass. Add champagne, and garnish with additional raspberries and a lime wedge.
Chocolate-Raspberry Cocktail makes one cocktail Ingredients
2 oz. Godiva chocolate liqueur 2 oz. Chambord raspberry liqueur 1 oz. vodka Chocolate syrup Cocoa powder Whipped cream Raspberry for garnish Ice cubes
Dip the rim of a small cocktail glass in chocolate syrup. Add a light dusting of cocoa powder over the chocolate syrup. Set the glass aside for later. In a cocktail shaker, combine the chocolate liqueur, raspberry liqueur, and vodka, along with a few ice cubes. Shake together until all of the ingredients are well combined. Strain the contents into the small cocktail glass. Pour desired amount of chocolate syrup into the glass, letting it settle at the bottom. Top with a spoonful of whipped cream, a raspberry, and a sprinkle of cocoa powder.
Let Them Eat Cake Whoever said dessert was only an after-dinner course, they weren’t living in the 21st Century. BY ABBY MADDIGAN
ILLUSTRATION BY CORINNE KEEGAN
Whether you’re craving something salty, something sweet, or something somewhere in between, some of America’s most unexpected companies are set to satisfy you. Indulging in a piece of cake or an ice cream sundae can no longer be ways to get your fix; this newest food fad is offering us something completely off the radar. Everyday snacks or a simple stick of gum can now be considered a dessert. Whether you treat yourself occasionally or you are the guilty owner of a major sweet tooth, many companies make for us to indulge at any time. It might be tough to figure out why these gum and alcohol companies find the need to try such ridiculous flavors, but Terry Andrianos, owner of Hercules Candy Company in Syracuse, N.Y., says that “It’s all about the customers and their desires to try something new and exciting.” Terry admits that requests for products can sometimes be wacky but that they are always worth a try, proven by their number one selling product: chocolate-covered potato chips. And other businesses discovered similar success by transforming unlikely products into desserts. Since Warner-Lambert’s creation of Adam’s Ice Cream Flavored gum in 1970, dessert gum has made a comeback. A little short of Willy Wonka’s three course meal of tomato soup, roast beef, and blueberry pie and ice cream; Wrigley’s introduced Extra Dessert Delights in 2010. The gum originally came in the mouth-watering flavors Mint Chocolate Chip, Strawberry Shortcake, and Key Lime Pie. Due to success with this decadent five-calorie dessert, Extra has since added three more flavors to its repertoire. The newest editions to this strangely delicious gum are Apple Pie, Orange Crème Pop, and Rainbow Sherbet. One of many products to adopt this new food fad, the dessert flavored gum can be considered a fresh and exciting addition to the ordinary flavors of cinnamon and mint. Three major companies also joined this food fad and found success with the most questionable dessert-flavored products. Smirnoff, Three Olives, and Pinnacle Premium Vodkas have all broken out of their shells and introduced their own rendition of dessert-flavored vodkas. Starting with Pinnacle’s Whipped Vodka, the trend skyrocketed from here and resulted in various other dessert flavors such as Marshmallow, Cookie Dough, and Gummy. Wanting to play up the subtly sweet taste of a candied dessert, Smirnoff took the hint on this playful trend and added Whipped Cream and Fluffed Marshmallow to its line of generally fruity flavors. Although Smirnoff did not take the risk of adding as many dessert flavors as Pinnacle, their whipped cream and marshmallow inspired vodkas still manage to capture the essence of a sweet and sinful treat. These unique and indulgent vodka flavors, such as Three Olive’s Birthday Cake can even be served for specific occasions and celebrations. But the trend doesn’t stop there. Encompassing midday and late night treats, this fad also has consumers wanting dessert for breakfast. In 2011 General Mills introduced Yoplait Delights, a guilt free approach to your dessert tendencies. These double-layered yogurts are only 100 calories and come in dessert flavors such as Cherry Cheesecake, Chocolate Raspberry, and Crème Caramel. Along with those, another product that has taken on the dessert spin is one of America’s favorite breakfast treats. Pop tarts now offers Bakery and Ice Cream themed pop tarts that feature flavors such as Apple Strudel, Cinnamon Roll, Strawberry Milkshake, and Hot Fudge Sundae. This new food-fad puts a twist on many of our ordinary snacks and fulfills America’s candied cravings. Maybe we really can have our cake and eat it, too.
Reader Recipes BY DANIELLE HINCKLEY PHOTO BY JISU PANG
Better Than Sex Cake By Kelly Geer Ingredients: 1 box of chocolate cake mix 3 eggs ½ cup vegetable oil 1 ¼ cup water 1 can Carnation sweetened condensed milk 1 jar Hershey’s hot fudge sauce 1 bottle Reese’s peanut butter sauce 1 bag Reese’s peanut butter cups, crushed 1 small tub Cool Whip
Preparation: 1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Prepare chocolate cake batter as directed on box. Pour into a greased 10x13 cake pan.
3. Bake cake as directed on box, but take it out of the oven just before it is finished baking so the top is still soft and slightly mushy. 4. Let cake cool for 5 minutes. 5. Take a wooden spoon and use the handle end to poke holes in the cake. You should end up with three holes across and five down. 6. Pour the can of sweetened condensed milk over the entire cake. 7. Pour the jar of hot fudge over the entire cake. 8. Pour the container of peanut butter sauce over the entire cake. 9. Frost the top of the cake with a thick layer of Cool Whip. 10. Top off the cake with the crushed peanut butter cups. This recipe makes 18 servings.
Homemade Ice Cream in a Bag Preparation: By Danielle Hinckley Ingredients: 1 ½ tablespoons sugar ½ cup milk ¼ teaspoon vanilla or mint extract 6 tablespoons salt ice cubes 1 pint-sized plastic food storage bag 1 gallon-sized plastic food storage bag
1. Fill the gallon-sized bag half full with ice cubes and add the salt. 2. Put milk, vanilla and sugar into the pintsized bag and seal the bag. 3. Place the small bag inside the large one and seal the large bag. 4. Shake the bag until the liquid mixture turns into ice cream, which takes about 10 minutes. 5. Serve immediately or place in the freezer for later. This recipe makes one serving (1/2 cup) of ice cream.
Tiramisu aux Speculoos By Mélanie Gauchy Ingredients: • • • • • • • • • •
2 eggs, separated 1/3 cup brown sugar 2 ½ cup mascarpone Pinch of salt 1 cup Nesquik chocolate milk 2 cup almond speculoos (almond thins) ¼ pint heavy whipping cream 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4 tablespoons sugar Cocoa powder or shaved chocolate (for decoration)
Preparation: 1. Whisk the sugar with the egg yolks until the color lightens. Add the mascarpone and mix well. 2. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites
with a pinch of salt until it’s firm. Gently fold into mascarpone mixture being careful not to break the whites. 3. Crush the biscuits and add half of the chocolate milk. Mix until the milk is absorbed and a thick paste is formed. Add milk as needed. Be careful not to get the mixture too think or too runny. 4. In another bowl, whip the whipping cream with the vanilla and sugar. 5. Place a layer of the speculoos paste in the bottom of a Pirex dish. Add the mascarpone mixture and then add the other half of the speculoos paste. Top with the whipped cream. 6. Sprinkle cocoa powder or shaved chocolate over tiramisu. 7. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator for a few hours before serving. This recipe makes six servings.
Cakies: Something Different for the Boxed Baker Ingredients: • Cupcake liners • Your favorite boxed cake mix and the ingredients to prepare that mix • Chocolate cake mix • 3 eggs • ½ cup vegetable oil • 1 ¼ cup water • Your favorite cookie recipe and its ingredients • Toll House refrigerated chocolate chip cookie dough • Frosting
Preparation: 1. Preheat oven for 350 degrees Fahrenheit. 2. Prepare cookie dough as directed unless you’re using prepared dough. 3. Place cupcake liners in cupcake pan. 4. Place a spoonful of cookie dough in each liner and flatten the dough in the bottom of the pan. 5. Prepare the cake mix as directed on the box. 6. Pour the batter over the cookie dough in the cupcake pan. 7. Bake cupcakes for 18-20 minutes. Check to see if cupcakes are done using a toothpick. It will come out clean if the cupcakes are done. 8. Let cool for 10 to 15 minutes. 9. Frost cupcakes and add sprinkles. This recipe makes 24 cupcakes.