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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Boom Boom Mex Mex

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Published on: June 4, 2014

Over the weekend, some friends took my wife an I out to Camillus to visit one of their favorite eateries.  They’ve been telling us about Boom Boom Mex Mex for several years now, but this is the first time we’ve made it out there.

Boom Boom Mex Mex
Boom Boom Mex Mex

I forgot to take a pic, so I snagged this one from someone on-line.  In this age of Internet-connected everything, I also didn’t find a web site or Facebook page for the restaurant.  This is a place that truly lets their work do all the marketing.  If you don’t like it, that’s fine.  But the folks who do like it. . .

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La Taqueria

My girlfriend and I took some time to drive out Rt 31 along the lake.  I remembered there was a Mexican place somewhere out that way in Cicero, past the high school.  Guess what – there was!  We pulled in to the Lakeshore Heights Plaza and found a parking space in front of La Taqueria.

 

La Taqueria in Lakeshore Heights Plaza, Cicero New York
Storefront for La Taqueria in Lakeshore Heights Plaza, Cicero New York

La Taq as fans call it is just about in the middle of the plaza.  It’s not really Mexican.  They call it a Mexican Fusion Grill.  Which is totally cool!  Hello!  Tofu?  Spicy Ranch sauce?  Yes please!  But I’m getting ahead of myself.

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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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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.

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Doug’s Fish Fry (Skaneateles)

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Published on: October 4, 2010

Wall Street’s RecommendationBuy

The Executive Summary:  What has become nothing short of an institution in the town of Skaneateles is, in my opinion, an above average seafood shack and worth visiting should you be in the area.  I can’t bring myself to give this the Strong Buy many might look for in this review…perhaps this is because I grew up on John’s Atlantic Seafood fried haddock (formerly in Mattydale Plaza, now on 31 in Baldwinsville) and have a childhood predisposition to that recipe.  However, the fact remains that the breading lacks the texture and flavour that I find more pleasing to the palate that John’s provides.  Couple that with John’s stellar sides and Doug’s moves firmly into second place.  But this is not a review of John’s so…

The Full Report:  Took the wife and kids out for the weekend to enjoy an autumn walk thru the Skaneateles shopping district and decided to try “the original” Doug’s as I’d been told that the former hub in Clay with the same namesake paled in comparison to the one on the Lake.  It was a beautiful Saturday afternoon and while the streets were bustling, there was at least 50% of the seats in the place empty.  Perhaps this isn’t the prime time for the joint…

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Heids of Liverpool

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Published on: July 17, 2010

Heid’s hot dog stand has been an icon in Liverpool for decades.  You can find discussions and fan pages across the Internet from people who remember the various incarnations with fondness.  And yet. . . there are people who have never been.

Frankly, I don’t blame them.  It can be a real turn-off to drive past the place on a sweltering summer Saturday afternoon and see a line out the door.  Waiting for what – a hot dog?  Or seeing ads at the beginning of the year – in the dead of winter – to  c’mon in for the February 2-fer-1 special.  Who wants to freeze their tail off, brave the CNY Weather Gods – maybe slide into a ditch and get your car dinged?  All for a hot dog?  How good can they actually be?

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Salsarita’s

Categories: Casual, Chain, Eat-in, Fast Food, Mexican
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Published on: May 12, 2010

The wife and I dropped by Salsarita’s on Rt 57 in Liverpool (Glenn Crossing Plaza).  It was a rainy Sunday afternoon, and the only other guests left almost as soon as we got there.  Salsarita’s is a franchised chain serving (Tex)Mex food.  They also have a small bar area were they serve alcohol – mostly margaritas unless I miss my guess.  The menu’s pretty basic – burritos and “Mexican pizza” mostly.  Each of the local TexMex chains – Moe’s, Salsarita’s, and the home-grown Fajita Grill – carry approximately the same food.  They’re almost indistinguishable from one another, right down to the tortilla steamers and meat scoops they use behind the cafeteria-like counter.  The big difference is the lack of enforced enthusiasm and stupid names they use at one of the other chains (“Welcome to Moe’s!  Care for a Joey Bag of Doughnuts today?”).

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