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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Yogurt City

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
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Published on: May 23, 2014

Marketfair North Plaza in Clay is the home of the new Yogurt City.  I’m not the best person in the world to review this place, but since I drive past it fairly frequently, I got called on.

Yogurt City in Marketplace North shopping plaza in Clay, NY
Yogurt City in Marketplace North shopping plaza in Clay, NY

Although this is a franchise location, it hasn’t got a lot of competition outside of Destiny.  Not right now, anyway.  And certainly not in Marketfair North, although it’s got a great spot right next to Liehs & Steigerwald.

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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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Erawan

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
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Published on: April 25, 2014

I’m going to be blunt, but truthful. Erawan is the best Thai restaurant in Syracuse. From its reasonable prices, charming menu, and friendly staff, I enjoy coming back to this awesome restaurant, located on Erie Boulevard.

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Erawan is a medium sized restaurant, with pink tablecloths and napkins, and tasteful Thai decorations, much of which are elephants (which is fitting as Erawan is a mythological Elephant in Thailand). The restaurant is not quite a hole-in-the-wall, and lacks the tackiness of a chain restaurant. It is humble and prides itself on serving good food.

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Ocean Sushi

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
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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.

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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.

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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.

appeThaizing

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
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Published on: April 18, 2014

On top of University Hill, down a dark alley, wedged next to a bar, and down an unassuming flight of stairs, is appeThaizing. Although the location is not the easiest to get too, with limited parking and the threat of having to fight through mobs of college students to get there, appeThaizing does deliver tasty Thai food.

I have been to the restaurant on a handful of occasions, and am never disappointed, although some dishes overwhelmingly trump other ones. On my most recent visit, a friend and I decided to eat out on a Monday after our classes. We went there for dinner, around 6’oclock, walking down the alley, and then down the stairs that lead down to the restaurant. I am always surprised by how the restaurant fills up despite its humble sign outside, and rather peculiar location.

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Chuckleberries

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
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Published on: April 16, 2014

So I cheated on my boys.  Chuckleberries is a self-serve yogurt shop on Rt 57 (Oswego Road) across the road from Bayberry Plaza in Liverpool.  It’s pretty popular in the summer and fall with sports teams in the area, especially ones with girls on them apparently.  Which is probably why my sons like going there, either with one of their teams or alone.  Ruprecht will be driving soon, and the boys will probably take the van out there a few evenings this fall.

chuckleberries

Anydoodle, I was running a few errands with my girlfriend Sylvia the other day when we decided to cheat and have dessert before lunch.  We dropped in a few minutes past noon and the place was empty, except for a gentleman I’m going to assume was the manager.  Most of the time I see teenage girls there in the evening.

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China Road

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
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Published on: April 11, 2014

A couple of our friends wanted to meet up for an early dinner one Sunday, so the hubby and I met them at China Road in Mattydale.  I’m not sure just how long this restaurant has been open, but a girlfriend took me there for lunch about 20 years ago.  I don’t go every week, but I’m there several times a year.

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China Road is a clean, neat, hole-in-the-wall.  If you’ve ever been to New York City’s China Town, and eaten at one of the better places on Mott Street, then you’ll really enjoy eating here.  Walk in and you’re greeted by Chef Simon or his wife.  The front room is tiny – eight tables, including one larger family style table, and the front one where they stage take-out orders.  On especially busy nights, they open the back dining room, which is larger and seats maybe twice as many as the front room.

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