Asti Caffe

Categories: Casual, Eat-in, Italian
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Published on: May 7, 2014

What's the four-one-one on Asti Caffe?  It's their address – 411 North Salina Street in Syracuse.  Not quite in the "heart of downtown," but darn close.

On a recent sunny (but not really warm) weekday, a friend of mine joined me for lunch at Asti.  Neither of us had ever been before.  I have to say that parking on a weekday at noon was tough, but available.  We wound up parking at a meter across on a tiny side street and walking over.  Walking up to the front door, you're greeted by a warm, red brick facade.  The recessed door is reached after you walk under a wrought iron arch.  There's construction work going on nearby, but I was struck by how fresh and clean the front looked.

DSCF0249Part of the sidewalk is blocked off behind a low partition.  Given the tables and chairs out there, I assume that in good weather, seating is available out there for dining al fresco.  We entered the front door and were greeted promptly.  There's a small seating area of booths right in front, with a small, friendly looking bar off to your right.  We were taken back and to the left into a larger, more open dining area.

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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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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.

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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!

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Latest Restaurant Inspections

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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.

Erawan

Categories: Asian, Casual, Eat-in, Take-away
Comments: 2 Comments
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
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.

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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.

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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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