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  • NorthOfTown
  • Old, tired, and worn-down. Empty-nester. Would eat out more if frickin' restaurants around here didn't close so darned early. Wife and I like to travel, visit friends, and find new places to eat.

King David’s

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Middle Eastern
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: April 30, 2014

Tucked away in the Towne Center plaza where – a million years ago – Fayetteville Mall stood is the 2nd location for that Syracuse-based Middle Eastern delight, King David’s.  While this location has been open for a number of years, in the past couple several upmarket chain restaurants have opened within a stone’s throw.  Carrabba’s, Red Robin and Bonefish all have their good points, as evidenced by the throngs of people filling their seats.  But while we’ve been the last customers in the dining room at King David’s, we’ve never been there as the only customers.


My wife and I went on a recent Tuesday evening.  We’re not there very often because it’s over an hour round trip form our place.  But every once in a while, we make the trek.  King David’s actually has two (two and a half?) dining areas.  As you walk in there door, there are a couple small tables to your right.  The prep and cooking area – I can’t really call it a kitchen – is to your right and open, so you can see what’s going on.  Walk past that, down a narrow hallway, and you enter the “main” dining area, with about 4 tables and eight or so booths.  There’s a doorway at the back, which leads into the enclosed mall.  There’s another seating area here, with about 40 or so seats.  They’ve got enough room for a lot of folks!


Ocean Sushi

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: April 23, 2014

On Oswego Rd in Liverpool, across from Kost Tire and katty-corner from the entrance to Bayberry is a tiny little plaza. There’s a Starbucks here, a FroYo shop and a custom embroidery place.  And in the middle of it all sits Ocean Sushi.


The plaza is cute, like cute ’cause it’s small.  Ocean Sushi is small.  In a way it reminds me of the tiny bars & shops you find along the streets in Japan.  Okay, it’s a lot bigger on the inside than that, but by American standards it’s kinda small.  There’s half a dozen seats at the immaculately neat and clean sushi bar, and a series of tables for parties of various sizes.  I’ve been here as part of a romantic dinner for two, and as part of a raucous party of 8.  The tables have a crackly, beat-up finish, but I think that’s on purpose.  The rest of the place is as neat and clean as the bar area.


Canale’s Liverpool

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Italian, Take-away
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 4, 2014

Canale’s of Oswego, a restaurant going back over 50 years, opened a simple take-out place in Liverpool a few years back.  It’s on Rt 57, in the Glenn Crossing Plaza.  There are a few other ethnic restaurants here, so it seemed like a good choice.  The space was small, meant only for cooking, with a small waiting area for patrons who were picking up their food.


Nope.  The patrons would have none of that!  These folks wanted to sit down and actually eat what they’d ordered on premises.  So Canale’s immediately obliged.  The place got so popular that they even build a little area in the warm months, where people can sit outside and be served.  True, the atmosphere out there can be a little. . . smoggy, but what the heck, you’re eating outside!


Basil Leaf Ristorante

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Italian
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 2, 2014

Basil Leaf moved last year. It was this tiny hole-in-the-wall place in North Syracuse. Last fall, they moved down the road to the corner of Rt 11 and Taft Rd, into the old Fresno’s building. I was afraid it wasn’t going to be the same.

Basil Leaf used to be a very romantic place.  A grotto, if you will, where parties of two could talk in low tones, music in the background.  Sure, you’d get larger parties, but the small, intimate space and dark interior was custom made for dates.  The food and service were spectacular.  Attentive but not intrusive staff.  Delicious entrees seasoned just right.  Even the bread was delicious!


Santangelo’s in Liverpool

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Fancy, Italian
Comments: No Comments
Published on: March 10, 2014

Santangelo’s has been around for over 25 years.  It’s on Old Liverpool Road, just past the stoplight at the end of Electronics Parkway.  Unless you’re new to CNY, or you simply don’t like Italian food, you’ve probably been to Santangelo’s.

The parking lot is large, but so is the interior.  Many nights I’ve seen cars parked on the grass, or in some other place the owner felt they could wedge in.  Reservations are accepted, and I encourage them, especially on Friday and Saturday nights.


Justin’s Tuscan Grill

Categories: Eat-in, Fancy
Comments: No Comments
Published on: February 21, 2014

After a long, difficult week, the wife and I decided to treat ourselves.  We’ve been to Justin’s a few times over the years, and decided a Friday night dinner there was just the thing.

Justin’s is just off Old Collamer Road, in the center of a nest of hotels near Carrier Circle (exit 35 off the Thruway).  As such, most of the diners there during the week are business folks who walk (or drive) over from the surrounding hotels.  The restaurant itself is fairly upscale.  The decor and pricing is decidedly higher-end.


Empire Sub Shop

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Published on: February 16, 2014

The wife and I dropped in to this relatively new restaurant on Valentine’s Day.  It was later in the afternoon, after the lunch rush.  The parking lot was relatively clear of snow, easy to find a spot.  There was a couple eating lunch, and another two tables with single diners.  Empire is located in the former Burger King in downtown Liverpool.  The inside is somewhat remodeled, but it’s pretty easy to tell what the place used to be.

The menu is extensive, and is displayed on an easy-to-read panel over the counter.  Whole subs, half subs and wraps are all listed there.  According to their web site (www.empiresubshop.com) they also offer daily soups.  Prices seemed to be pretty good, but I wanted to reserve judgement until after the meal.


Cole’s Burger Co – lunch

Categories: All American, Casual, Eat-in
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: September 29, 2010

After several fits and starts, Cole’s Burger Company is now open on Rt 57 in Liverpool. A very important part of this review is the location – it’s in the building that a lot of us still think of as “Tommy’s.” Sure, it’s hosted more than it’s fair share of failed eateries in the last few years; off the top of my head, I can think of Garcia’s Mexican and most recently Lou-Lou’s. But I don’t really think there’s a jinx on the location. It’s not the building or the lot that causes the restaurants to fail – it’s the total lack of inspiration on the part of the tenants.

Latest case in point – Cole’s Burger Company.


The Silo

Categories: All American, Eat-in, Fancy
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 14, 2010

A friend of mine has retreated from the hectic pace of Manhattan to the more bucolic surroundings of Chenango county.  To celebrate his birthday, the wife and I went to visit at his place on a private lake (not as fancy as it sounds).  I’ve reviewed a number of places in the area, but this time we were looking for something a little more upscale.  We made a reservation for the Silo Restaurant, which is technically in Greene, but actually closer to the hamlet of Coventry.

There was a wedding going on there that day.  And no, I don’t mean just “wedding reception.”   We were offered an 8 PM spot in the upstairs dining area because the wedding party was using the larger downstairs area, and we jumped at it.  This time of year, the sun is already setting earlier, so we were treated to a sweeping view of the grounds and the surrounding area for less time than I would have liked.  Right outside, next to a small fountain, the chairs and pavilion for the wedding ceremony were still set up.  We’ve walked the grounds previously, but I never thought of having a ceremony there.  Apparently it’s a regular thing for them.


Meghan MacMurphy’s

Categories: All American, Casual, Eat-in
Comments: No Comments
Published on: August 10, 2010

This place is PACKED most nights during good weather.  Why?  It’s an Irish-themed bar with outdoor patio service!  On Rt 57 (aka Oswego Rd) in Liverpool, across from the Kmart, this location has been several restaurants over the years.  I remember the first time I ate at a restaurant here, the waitresses were on skates.

But I digress. . .

While Meghan MacMurphy’s is primarily a bar, they also serve food.   I was heading back from visiting a client around 1:30 and thought I’d stop in for a bite.  A few small businesses share the main lot, but there were only a couple cars when I dropped by.  I don’t know how the other businesses are doing, but there was only one customer when I arrived, and he was at the bar tipping a few back.


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