Archive for the ‘MUNCH — local foods’ Category

PhoWhat’s better than a big bowl of soup on a cold Syracuse day? A big bowl of Vietnamese soup!

Pho–pronounced “fuh”– is not only fun to say, but fun to eat. Pho is a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup made of a beef broth, rice noodles, herbs, and meat. Here in Syracuse, you can find yourself some pho on the city’s North Side (518 Kirkpatrick Street), a place called New Century.

I know what you’re thinking–the North Side is quite the trek for such a simple-sounding meal. Well, my friends, the simplicity is the beauty of pho. Each bowl is a blank slate ready for you to customize. You get a side of bean sprouts, Thai basil, chili peppers, and lime. Add as much or as little as you like, but take my advice and be easy on the chili peppers. Top it off with some Hoisin sauce and Sriracha (the god of all hot sauces) and you’ve got yourself a big ol’ bowl of PHUN!

The portions are huge! For $7.95, you can get a bowl of pho with rare steak, beef meatballs, brisket, tripe, and tendon. Even though these meats may be different from what we’re all used to, they’re full of flavor and you’d be doing yourself a disservice to not try them all at least once. Yes, the meatballs might LOOK like cow testicles, I promise you they are not. There’s a reason Anthony Bourdain says he can’t live without pho.

Being from New York City, I expected to turn my nose up at Vietnamese food found in central New York. New Century quickly put me in my place. The pho is flavorful and authentic, and the menu has everything from spring rolls to Vermicelli (a Vietnamese noodle bowl served with meat and an egg roll) to fish still on the bone!

I stuck to pho because I phocking love it. I ordered the #15, which comes with rare steak and meatballs for under $8.00. I throw a ton of bean sprouts in my pho, along with some ripped up basil and lime juice. I stay far away from those peppers, looking to Sriracha for the heat. One or two squirts of hoisin and I’m on my way to pho Heaven. You are guaranteed to look like a dumbass while you eat this, so skip the self-consciousness. But, if you want to feel like a pho rock star, refer to this instructional video.

I will warn you, New Century isn’t about the ambiance. The restaurant is bare and the servers definitely do not coddle you. But, if you get your big boy pants on and decide to venture into parts of Syracuse unknown, the soothing broth will be enough to make up for the lack of decor and service.

How could you phocking resist?!?!

– Olivia Dibs


Hey guys! My name’s Olivia Dibs and I am a total foodie. The first step to recovery is acceptance, right? I’m so happy to get to bring you the scoop on all the good grub in Syracuse!

Year and Major/Minor: I’m a junior broadcast journalism major with a nutrition minor

Hometown: Queens, NY, about five minutes away from where 50 Cent grew up. THUG LYFE.

Most Embarrassing Moment: I tend to fall on my ass a lot, so I’m kind of past the embarrassment thing.

Movie I Could Watch Over and Over Again: Superbad. I’m a sucker for fat Jonah Hill.

Sometimes the idea of spending extra money on food seems as absurd as a Yankees and Red Sox fan being best friends. SU is a pretty damn expensive school, so extra money, for most, is as fictional as the fairy dust that made me fly as a kid.

But this weekend when I realized I needed more than scrambled eggs in my diet and that I needed to write this blog post, I took some visiting friends to Faegan’s. Although most notably known for it’s Flip Night, because what college student doesn’t love the possibility of drinking for free, Faegan’s Pub actually has really good food.

At Faegan’s you can have as good of a dinner as if you went to any place in Armory Square, but without waiting for over an hour and it’s within walking distance. The dishes on the table included chicken pot pie, a bleu cheese filled burger, quesadillas, and french onion soup. Claiming my job depended on it, I obviously tasted everyone’s dish.

The chicken pot pie had potatoes on the top instead of a crust, it was almost better than my grandma’s cooking, which is saying a lot because my grandma is a professional chef (in my family of course, not in life.. but same idea) The burger stuffed with bleu cheese was alright, but I don’t like bleu cheese so don’t trust my opinion in this matter. The guy who ordered in though, he had it finished in about 3.4 minutes so I’m guessing he really liked it. My dish was the quesadillas, I find it hard to not get them whenever I’m at Faegan’s. My professional opinion is that it’s the cumin and the sauteed chicken that really sets it apart from other quesadillas.

BUT my favorite dish of the night was the french onion soup.. O M G! I have never had french onion soup before, because I’ve always found it strange that people want to eat a bowl of onions, like hello! onion breath! Faegan’s you have changed my ming, it is now Wednesday and I am craving french onion, the same way Buffalo Bills fans are craving a winning season, I think the french onion soup may be a little easier to come by though.

As always it’s been a pleasure, sorry Buffalo fans but.. E-A-G-L-E-S EAGLES!

– Shelby Hilt

Foodie Review: Cafe Kubal

Posted: November 17, 2012 by jerkmagblog in MUNCH -- local foods
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For the first time since I have been at Syracuse University, I’ve come to notice that Starbucks seems to be facing some brewing competition, and it’s located just next door. Introducing: Café Kubal.

Obviously, Starbucks will always have its dedicated patrons. There are the robots that walk in like clockwork to order one of three of the same drinks every day, and the gold card members that jump up and down for their free drinks who just can’t fathom going to Dunkin Donuts. I guess it is very exciting though, when you’re spending $30 on coffee drinks just to save on one little measly nonfat sugar free caramel macchiato. Don’t get me wrong, I do love my Starbucks every now and then, BUT Café Kubal has opened my eyes to bigger, better, and cheaper things.

I had a delicious Hot Caramel Latte with skim milk and I plan on having a lot more, now that Mother Nature’s wrath is upon this poor city, because that latte was better than any I have EVER had anywhere else. The cup was the perfect portion of foam and liquid. Café Kubal even goes the extra step of making a design in the foam so it looks pretty when you take it! With the money I saved on my latte, I went the extra step and got myself a peanut butter cookie, which was unlike any other.

All I ask is that you do yourself a favor next time you are craving a latte, a coffee, a frozen drink, or a delicious pastry, and walk a little further down University Avenue. I promise you that you will not be disappointed.

Don’t wait in the way too hectic lines of Starbucks. Who has time for that? Check out the eclectic, cozy, relaxing atmosphere that is Cafe Kubal.

P.S. For those that drive, there is one located near Armory Square and it’s as equally delightful!

– Shelby Hilt

Study for five minutes. Procrastinate. Check Facebook. Nap. Study for real this time. Tweet about how much midterms suck #[insertsomethingsnarkyhere]. And then there is the inevitable realization: “shit, I’m hungry.”

For those “shit, I’m hungry” moments, No. 1 Kitchen is the perfect exam food that will never let you down. They somehow get your food to you even with multiple feet of snow on the ground, which, as we all know, can be anytime between October and May.

I do tend to find myself wondering whether or not they actually understand me when I tell them my address. They sometimes get Madison and Harrison confused, but when it does arrive to the right address, it’s like Manning’s three touchdown passes as the Broncos rolled over the Chargers this week, it’s MAGICAL.

My go-to is usually the steamed dumplings and house special fried rice (sophomore year, my two best friends went through a broccoli, chicken, and vegetable lo mein phase). But for the sake of blogging, I decided to shake it up this time. I ordered the Wonton Soup and General Tso’s chicken. Yum!

Thank you, No. 1, for not disappointing. The chicken was as comforting as Chinese food should be, although for you wimps out there, the spicy kick might leave you a little hot and bothered. However, the Wonton Soup was just what the doctor ordered for my soon to be all-nighter in Bird Library.

But that does it for this week’s Foodie review. I’m going to stop procrastinating and get some work done since my meal is gone.

– Shelby Hilt

Foodie Review: Papa Gallo

Posted: October 24, 2012 by jerkmagblog in MUNCH -- local foods
Tags: ,

So I’ve slacked a little bit in the Mexican food department, especially considering the fact that Syracuse’s selection of Mexican is a little subpar. Recently, however, I’ve come to discover a Mexican restaurant that isn’t Alto Cinco, and isn’t something you’ve probably heard of – which is why it’s awesome.

Friends, meet Papa Gallo: located on West Genesee Street. It is a brand new authentic Mexican restaurant you won’t want to miss out on.

The atmosphere is right out of Mexico, adorned in crosses, and you can easily celebrate Dia De Los Muertos at any time of the day. Our server was fantastically excited to be helping us, which was strange, but I was still tempted to extend a friendship invitation by the end of the meal.

My friends and I started the meal with homemade tortilla chips, guacamole, and both the mild and hot salsas.

Considering the fact that we were starving, the tortilla chips didn’t even hit the table before they were gone.

I ordered a quesadilla and my friends ordered burritos; one of which was terribly health conscious while the other made you partially consider P90X. My quesadilla, however, was an experience. I could barely finish one slice because it was so dense, though awfully delicious. Our meals were finished in complete silence; a silence which bordered the lines of an old married couple that you always feel sorry for in that one corner of the restaurant. I now understand why they keep it so silent: either the food rocks, or they’ve run out of ideas. In the case of Papa Gallo, the food definitely rocks.

This brings me full circle to my engagement to Papa Gallo. I am only twenty, but I really see a future with this place, and you should too. Polygamy is okay now because TLC said so. Embrace it, and eat more beans.

– Meredith Mendosa

Beverly Hills 90210‘ had The Peach Pit, Scooby Doo and his gang had the Shake Shack, and ‘Friends’ had Central Perk.

What do we have here in Syracuse? Stella’s Diner! At this weekend morning haven, you’re welcomed inside by the smell of the delectable breakfast food; from pancakes to omelets, to bacon, and more. It’s everyone’s favorite diner from students to locals, and if you can walk right in and get a table, kudos to you. There is almost always a wait of at least twenty minutes, but that’s a good thing. That’s how you know that what you’re about to eat is delicious. One of the best parts of Stella’s aside from the filling breakfast and Betty Boop memorabilia, is the fact that this is the go-to spot for hung over Fridays through Sunday mornings, which is the main source of cash flow for this noteworthy diner.

You’ll overhear all kinds of conversations surrounding the night prior by students and locals alike (but mostly students). Leaving Stella’s, you’ll have a working knowledge of how many beers some dude consumed, the hot man some girl brought home, and/or the embarrassing dancing on the bar scene you may have been a part of last night.

As you eat some delicious pancakes, a mouthwatering fretta (which always provides leftovers!), or the famous breakfast sandwich “The Stella,” you and your friends can piece together the sh*t show which we all have at some point in our lives. I personally recommend the fluffy french toast, as Cambell’s says: mmm mmm good!

– Shelby Hilt

This week, with my broken foot and all, I hobbled up the steps of a bike shop/restaurant called Mello Velo on Westcott. I know what you’re thinking, did she eat tires? No, but I was greeted with an excessively handmade atmosphere. Every piece of furniture was most likely stolen from a hipster’s home from north Euclid. In the corner and through a door, there were a ton of bikes hanging from the walls, with spare parts strewn everywhere.

In the back was a cafe with a giant old school coffee press that could make anyone feel cultured. The giant hand drawn chalk board had different options from panini’s to wraps and a giant selection of coffee that could make Starbucks weep.

I chose the BLT panini with avocados because avocados are a fucking super food, and Dr. Oz told me so. Not only did this panini taste like heaven got bored with the whole afterlife thing and started up a sandwich shop, but the coffee came in a mason jar. A mason jar! By this point I felt like that hipster on north Euclid.

My lunch companion ordered a plain coffee and choked on it, but besides that, I’d say the sammy was a hit. My iced mocha was worth the extra “sippage,” but it at first tasted like a straight up chocolate bar.

All and all, the food was great. However, if you happen to be handicapped beyond crutches, I’m afraid that you’re shit out of luck. Although I’m not sure what use a bike shop would be to you anyway. (Biking is a side project of mine)

Before I leave, I’d like to add that my meal was topped off with a one hour play date with a puppy husky, apparently belonging to one of the bike shop attendants who deemed the cripple and her hot friend safe enough to leave his baby with. So keep an eye out for the puppy, but also try one of the panini’s, you’ll probably be in a relationship with it by the end of the meal. Thanks for reading and stay tuned for next weeks foodie review!

-Meredith Mendosa

Foodie Review: Gannon’s

Posted: October 10, 2012 by jerkmagblog in MUNCH -- local foods

Many of you probably saw the little, old school ice cream cart that perched itself outside the Waverly entrance of Bird Library in the beginning of the semester. That cart belongs to Gannon’s Isle Ice Cream, and if you have not ventured off campus to enjoy their culinary delights, you are really missing out.  About a 12.5 minute drive, this isle holds many treasures.  Chocolate Raspberry Truffle, Charlie Brown, and Pretzel Logic are my must try flavors. I frequent this establishment often, whether it’s rain or shine, cold or hot, when it comes to Gannon’s, my roommates never have a problem coming up with reasons to why we should enjoy their tasty treats! If someone needs a pick me up, if someone changes the channel from Bravo, or if it’s 8:22pm, these are all completely logical reasons for gorging on some ice cream deliciousness.  So please do me (and yourself) the favor of walking, biking, even hitchhiking to this kingdom of ice cream before it closes mid-November, you won’t regret it.

– Shelby Hilt

Find your center, because this place will really make you feel like you’re eating in a yoga studio. “Om Boys” is a new vegan restaurant right across from Urban Outfitters in Armory Square. For those of you who still haven’t been to Armory Square, I head warning of your inherent solitary lifestyle.

Om Boys boasts local farm grown fruits and vegetables that you can actually purchase in addition to burritos, wraps, salads, paninis, and general café type food.

Besides the positively bleak atmosphere, the food was actually pretty good! I’m not exactly an advocate for eating healthy, but eating a burrito without the post hibernation was fantastic! Yes, I’m looking at you, Chipotle.

I was accompanied but a couple health nuts that were quite literally raving and giggling with excitement as they took pictures of the food to show their mothers (which is where these pictures came from. So thank you, Rebecca Mass.)

The only downside to this vegan mecca was the smoothies, but I could chalk that up to poor choice. Even my peanut gallery agreed that fruit smoothies shouldn’t taste like peanut butter (that pun was slightly intended). I actually asked to return the smoothie for another, and found that the watermelon flavor was refreshing and sweet!

All in all, I’d faithfully revisit Om Boys with a good sense of not rolling over from fullness. However, keep in mind that it takes a lot to make this food. Just my burrito and smoothie cost me a whopping 17 dollars. Some may say worth it. I, may just grab a 5 dollar cheese burger at Five Guys next time around and walk on the treadmill for 10 seconds/hours.

But, if you like vegan, vegetarian or whatever – Om Boys is  a great place to go. Hope this helps, keep reading for more! Peace Out rice cakes

–Meredith Mendosa