Gino’s Original Cheese Steaks

On South Main Street in North Syracuse sits a little bit of downtown Philadelphia, PA.  Or at least, that’s what the folks at Gino’s Original Cheese Steaks would like us to believe.

Gino's original cheese steaks in North Syracuse, NY
Gino’s original cheese steaks in North Syracuse, NY

And here’s something that ticks me off: I’ve read a few comments online about how Gino’s (with an “i”) is a rip-off, and can not be affiliated with the place in Philly – which is Geno’s – with an “e.”  I’m sorry, but these people are morons.  I’ve never read or heard of them trying to pass off that they’re affiliated.  The names aren’t even spelled the same!  End of rant; now back to the review.

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Next Door by Wegmans

I wanted to take my wife somewhere nice for dinner, as it was her birthday.  Traveling was not a problem so I began to look a little farther afield than downtown Syracuse.  Doing some searches, I found a number of positive recommendations for a place in Rochester.  The place is called Next Door.

Next Door restaurant
Next Door restaurant

What shocked the heck out of me is finding out it’s run by a supermarket!

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Highland Park Diner

Highland Park diner is one of those places that apparently everyone loves, and for good reason.  It’s in a slightly sketchy neighborhood in Rochester, NY and that’s actually one of it’s charms.  The parking lot is tiny, as is the building itself.

Highland Park Diner in Rochester, NY
Highland Park Diner in Rochester, NY

There’s so many people coming here that they have tables outside with umbrellas.  Except for the outdoor seating, it reminds me of the best of the old time New York City diners I’ve eaten in.

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American Diner

Categories: All American, Casual, Diner, Eat-in
Comments: 1 Comment
Published on: May 16, 2014

The American Diner is across the railroad tracks on Old Liverpool Rd in Liverpool.  It's definitely on the right side of the tracks, and that's the whole point.

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The food is not the point here.  It's fuel for the body, prepared sufficiently and presented plainly.  The prices are completely average – not high enough to gouge your wallet, but high enough to give the staff a decent wage.  The staff – efficient & friendly.  Happy to talk with you if you want, willing to leave you to your own devices.  Parking is sufficient, enough for everyone if the place is packed.  No, there's only one important aspect of The American Diner, and that is the ambiance.

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Coop’s Kitchen

Categories: All American, Casual, Diner, Eat-in
Comments: No Comments
Published on: May 14, 2014

"Nothing good is ever cheap, and nothing cheap is ever good."  This is the slogan – or warning – emblazoned on the front of the menu at Coop's Kitchen.  There are a number of other breakfast joints that may be cheaper, but it's not like they're charging double what other places do.  Is it worth the extra money?  I'm not sure – I've had a couple different experiences here.

coops_kitchen_001Coop's Kitchen has taken the spot last occupied by PardZee's on Bridge Street in E Syracuse.  PardZee's was a golf-themed breakfast and lunch spot, and some of the golf-themed decorations still haunt the spot.  PardZee's had been there for a number of years, and had built up a steady following.  After they closed, I'm sure many of the regulars moved on to other nearby spots.

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Just Donuts

3 Rivers Plaza in Phoenix is an anomaly.  They have a first class Thai restaurant here at the south end of the plaza, one that's surprisingly good.  They also have a decent Chinese takeout joint.  But if you get up early – like crack-of-dawn early – and visit the north end of the plaza, you'll find a sugar-soaked gem.  It's open Tue – Sat 6 AM – 1 PM, and Sunday 8 AM – 1 PM, closed Mondays.  Tucked into a tiny, tiny spot near a dental office (how appropriate!), you'll find Just Donuts.  And find it you must.

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I've said before, my favorite dessert is another lobster tail.  But that doesn't mean I don't like sweet stuff.  I've never really gone out of my way for confections, but I just might if this place stays open.  If you like truly hand-made sugary delights, you'll have to make your way up to Just Donuts.  Even though these are hand prepared, you can still buy them by the dozen.  And why they don't charge more is a mystery to me.

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Texas Road House

Yes, it’s true – Texas Roadhouse is a chain.  Why review it?  Well, the first reason is because someone asked us to do it.  The second reason is because of what happens inside.  If you’re looking for a steakhouse, you might consider going there because it’s close by, easy to get to, has plenty of parking, and really. . . can they ruin every steak they serve?

_IGP2754Are there other steakhouses in Central New York?  Certainly!  But deciding whether TRH is worth going to – that’s what this review is all about.

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Latest Restaurant Inspections

Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 27, 2014

One of our readers has passed along a link to the results of the latest Onondaga County health inspection.  We appreciate her sharing.  Thanks Janet!

You can find the info right here.

Outback Steakhouse – New Hours

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Published on: April 19, 2014

While we don’t always cover chain restaurants, this is a dining review site.  That said, I was at the Outback Steakhouse off Rt 31 in Clay last night, and there were a number of changes.

Most importantly, Outback is now open every day of the week at 11 AM.  That means you can now visit outback for lunch!  I know that for years, many people complained that they had to wait for dinner for a Bloomin’ Onion.  Hehe.

Outback

Also, not that it matters to most folks, they’ve done away with their green beans as a side item.  My waiter was equally as perplexed as I was.  He told me that these were one of the most popular sides.

As you may know, the large Outback on Erie Blvd East closed down a month or so ago.  The Clay location is the only one near Syracuse at this time.  The closest others are in Vestal and Henrietta.

Gordon Biersch Brewery

Categories: All American, Casual, Chain, Eat-in
Comments: No Comments
Published on: April 4, 2014

I keep getting dragged back to the mall. This time it was to see a movie with two of my friends, and following the show we decided to grab a meal at Gordon Biersch Brewery for an early dinner on a rainy Friday afternoon. I had heard that the restaurant brewed its own beer and had some decent food, so I was interested in going.

After the movie, which left us in good spirits with a lot to talk about, we headed to the new wing of the mall to find dinner. Because of the deep affinity for alcohol we share, we decided on Gordon Biersch. We luckily got into the restaurant without having to wait in a line, and the hostess speedily seated us. The restaurant looked pretty full, with mall people, mostly guys with baseball caps and ladies in tracksuits, chattering happily around us. My group immediately flipped to the beer menu, which was a pretty good selection. We were feeling adventurous, as well as indecisive, so we got a beer flight each. The waiter seemed surprised, and then curtly asked us for our IDs. After he left, we raised our eyebrows at each other.

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