Keep in mind that at Thompson Road, the municipality border changes to DeWitt, although the roadway name, Erie Boulevard, stays the same. And once it’s game time, just head west toward the city, and University Avenue will appear on the left, your main conduit up to the University Hill.
If it’s a restaurant with a TV commercial and an annoyingly memorable slogan, chances are you’ll find it on Erie Boulevard East. Home to Applebee’s, Chili’s, Olive Garden, Outback Steakhouse, Red Lobster, Ruby Tuesday, not to mention most every fast-food joint you can think of, the Boulevard is upstate’s version of Times Square. But, for those in the know, the Boulevard also boasts several lesser-known local gems.
At the top of the food chain is Tully’s Good Times, 2943 Erie Blvd. E. (449-9339). With nine upstate New York locations, Tully’s is a big sports bar with a cozy, small-town feel. Finger-food staples like Buffalo wings, nachos, chili cheese fries and Tully’s famous chicken tenders make up the majority of the menu, but the eatery also offers a selection of burgers, pasta and deli sandwiches. The lengthy list of beers on tap and more flat-screen TVs than you can count on two hands makes Tully’s the perfect venue for cheering on your team through a mouthful of piping hot potato skins.
If you’re in the mood to wine and dine at dinner, try Scotch ’N Sirloin, 3687 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt (446-1771). At this old-school steakhouse, the name says it all. Top-shelf booze and USDA choice beef are on the menu here, and with Scotch ’N Sirloin’s reasonable prices, you can splurge on both guilt-free.
Speaking of guilt, Erie Boulevard also has its fair share of entertainment venues that are open late—really late (wink, wink). Paradise Found, 134 Headson Drive (701-0931), is an 18-and-over gentleman’s club that provides live entertainment Fridays and Saturdays until 4 a.m. And, as the name suggests, Adult World, 2870 Erie Blvd. E. (446-2613), is an adult bookstore and toy shop with an attached strip club, open weekends from 5 p.m. until 4 a.m.
For another, slightly less salacious brand of live entertainment, check out eccentric concert venue Lost Horizon, 5863 Thompson Road (446-1934). Alternative rockers Nine Ball, who hit it big on the Syracuse scene in the late 1990s, take the stage at 8 p.m. on Friday, March 26.
The Shire Tavern, 3010 Erie Blvd. E. (446-2865), is another hidden gem for live music. The $1 pitchers on Friday nights don’t hurt either.
For breakfast, the options here are nearly unlimited. Predictable classics like Denny’s, Friendly’s, IHOP and bagel spots Bruegger’s and Panera Bread are clustered on the Boulevard. But if it’s filling diner staples that you crave, there are also plenty of cramped greasy spoons to choose from (and we mean that in a good way).
The All Night Egg Plant, 5781 Bridge St., East Syracuse (446-8178), tucked into a small shopping center just off Erie Boulevard East, is a cozy spot with plenty of character. Pancakes with outlandish add-ins (peanut butter and dates, anyone?) and delicious create-your-own omelets are the highlights here.
The Rise And Shine Diner, 6393 Thompson Road (432-5510), is another local favorite with lots of classic ‘Cuse charm. Records from local artists of the 1950s cover the walls, and a vintage jukebox holds even more musical nostalgia. The oversized omelets at Rise And Shine are a customer favorite.
Another option is Wegmans, 6789 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville (446-4280), whose in-store eatery is grossly underappreciated by locals. Featuring a gourmet Asian wokery, a panini station, a Mediterranean olive bar, and a selection of fresh-made sushi, Wegmans Market Café is more five star than food court. They serve a hearty breakfast on weekends. Plus, for out-of-towners who have yet to experience the Wegmans franchise in all its glory, the massive Fayetteville store, just seconds off Erie on East Genesee Street, is the biggest branch in the area.
Whether you’re looking for some hotel reading material, or you’re fixing for a latte, head to Barnes & Noble, 3454 Erie Blvd. E., DeWitt (449-2948). A Starbucks café with ample seating is nestled inside.
Need a nightcap but don’t want to tap into the overpriced hotel mini bar? The brand new Liquor City, 6793 E. Genesee St., Fayetteville (449-1818) is quite literally a metropolis of liquor and wine, organized by region. The low, low, low prices at this discount depot, right next door to Wegmans, will give you a heady buzz even before you imbibe.
Pascale’s Liquor Square, 3020 Erie Blvd. E. (445-0445), is another hot spot for wine lovers. The extensive selection, staff of uber-friendly wine experts, and great monthly specials make this liquor store one of Syracuse’s best.
Every college town has one: that one street where all the college-mandatory bars, restaurants and cafes are packed together in shockingly close proximity. In Syracuse, it’s Marshall Street, along with surrounding South Crouse and University avenues. Wander into practically any establishment in the area, just steps from campus, and you’re bound to get a good meal and a cold beer. The trouble in this packed neighborhood? Getting a seat, after finding a parking space.
During March Madness, Chuck’s Café, 727 S. Crouse Ave. (477-1544), is perpetually hopping—but for good reason. This quintessential college bar features abundant TVs, plentiful pool tables and, maybe most important, pitchers of beer for less than $5. The food is tasty, too. Typical bar fare like burgers, sandwiches, French bread pizzas and chicken wings are all on the menu for prices that hover around $4 to $6.
Just across the street, Faegan’s Café & Pub, 734 S. Crouse Ave. (472-4721), features a generous selection of more than 40 beers on tap. Although the atmosphere is a little more upscale than your standard coed hangout, Faegan’s still attracts the college crowd in droves. If you can get a table, the menu of classic pub food like soup, sandwiches, burgers and wraps makes for a great, relaxed lunch.
It’s no surprise that in this University-adjacent area, pizza joints abound, and Varsity Pizza, 802 S. Crouse Ave. (478-1235), is a local favorite, if not the local favorite, for pizza and wings. Deli subs, hot sandwiches and salads are also available at this cafeteria-style eatery. Packed with flat screen TVs and ’Cuse memorabilia, Varsity is the spot for good eats and a slice of Syracuse sports history.
Nearby Cosmo’s Pizza Shop, 143 Marshall St. (472-6766), is a modest diner that serves up pizza, burgers, milkshakes, sandwiches, spaghetti and other malt shop-style classics. Cosmo’s is also one of the only spots on Marshall that offers breakfast all day long.
Even though you’re practically on campus, you don’t have to join a frat to go Greek. There are several Greek restaurants in the Marshall Street vicinity, each offering a unique take on Mediterranean cuisine. Aladdin’s Natural Eatery, 163 Marshall St. (471-4000), features plenty of vegetarian options and a scrumptious selection of desserts; King David’s, 129 Marshall St. (471-5000), makes a killer falafel pita; and Acropolis Pizza House, 167 Marshall St. (472-4876), offers tasty Greek pizza, authentic gyros, pitas and souvlaki.
If you’re craving something even further East, there are several Asian options in the area. Panda West, 135 Marshall St. (474-7777), features classic Chinese fare with an upscale twist and some of the best spring rolls in town. Oishi Sushi, 713 S. Crouse Ave. (422-1116), is a funky sushi spot with an extensive menu of raw and cooked specialties alike. For Thai fare, appeTHAizing, 727 S. Crouse Ave. (295-2200), is your best bet for either lunch or dinner. Traditional Thai dishes like Pad Thai, chicken satay, and green and red curry are served in a comfortable but casual atmosphere.
For breakfast, Rachel’s in the Sheraton Hotel, 801 University Ave. (475-3000), is a classy choice. Slightly more chic than your average breakfast joint (more bagels with lox than a Lumberjack Slam), Rachel’s serves breakfast from 6:30 to 11 a.m. And if you’re still in town Sunday morning, Rachel’s brunch buffet, featuring carved meats, fresh fruit and made-to-order omelets, is a must. Brunch is served Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Off the Meat-Eatin’ Path
Don’t let the Dome Dogs fool you: Syracuse is not a city that caters only to carnivores. Healthy hot spots like Sugarpearl, Strong Hearts Café and Roji Tea Lounge offer some meat-free alternatives for vegetarians, vegans and the health-conscious among us.
Opened in 2007, Sugarpearl, 600 Burnet Ave. (422-7427), is a kitschy half-espresso bar, half-deli, serving creative vegan wraps and sandwiches to please even the most finicky palate. Breakfast is also served all day, and uniquely vegan treats like pumpkin pancakes and create-your-own tofu scrambles are on the menu.
Strong Hearts Café, 719 E. Genesee St. (478-0000), is an environmentally conscious eatery with 100 percent vegan fare. The lunch menu features grilled sandwiches made with vegan cheese, tofurky, soy bacon and roasted veggies, while the all-day breakfast menu includes milk-free, eggless versions of French toast, pancakes and waffles.
While not strictly vegan, Roji Tea Lounge, 108 E. Washington St. (428-0844), is a quirky hidden gem whose atmosphere is as relaxing as its signature Asian teas. A massive selection of green and black teas, bubble teas, oolong teas and herbal infusions, plus an array of tempting and unusual desserts like Peppermint Green Tea Cookies, make this low-key locale the perfect place to unwind after an especially oolong day (sorry, couldn’t resist).
Taste and See
Contrary to popular belief, not all booze consumed during March Madness must come out of a red plastic cup. These local producers of wine, beer and liquor offer their grown-up options at tasting parties—no toga required.
Book a private wine tasting at Lakeland Winery, 877 State Fair Blvd. (487-2884). For $5 per person, head winemaker Andy Watkins will give you a taste (or two, or three) of what this 5-year-old local winery, which specializes in handcrafted vino, can create. Dry red, dry white, Riesling, cabernet sauvignon and other fruity dessert blends are just some of the wines you’ll sample, and when done, choose a bottle from Lakeland’s Wine Store, where more than 100 house-made wines are in stock. Snacks are provided, but wine tasters are encouraged to bring extra edibles to make it a real party. Call to book an appointment, or e-mail email@example.com.
At Hidden Marsh Distillery, 2981 Auburn Road (U.S. Route 20), Seneca Falls (568-8190), the buzz is all about BEE Vodka, the triple-distilled vodka made from 100 percent New York honey. The distillery is actually a subsidiary of Montezuma Winery, which specializes in mead-made wines. Smoother than regular vodka with a rich caramel undertone, this sweet spirit is made in small batches and distributed throughout New York state. Stop into the Distillery, about an hour west of Syracuse, between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., for a vodka tasting that starts at $1 per sample. The tasting also includes Hidden Marsh’s fruity liqueurs and brandies.
Middle Ages Brewery, 120 Wilkinson St. (476-4250), has been brewing up traditional English ales since 1995. And while the company’s unusual brews, with names like “Druid Fluid” and “Wailing Wench,” are worth sampling, the medieval-style brewery itself is a sight to behold on its own. Do both with a visit to the Middle Ages tasting room, open Mondays through Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Liverpool and Vicinity
By Leah Dennison
While you may be surrounded by other hotels and easy access to interstate highways, there is a village out there waiting to be discovered during your downtime between NCAA games. But Liverpool isn’t any village in upstate New York; it’s actually the birthplace of the Iroquois Confederacy, the ideals of which are played out every day in the U.S. Constitution. Not far from where the village business district sits, in 1550, on the eastern shore on Onondaga Lake, the Peacemaker summoned Hiawatha to forge a lasting peace among the five Indian nations that ruled upstate New York at that time.
So now that you’ve received your history lesson for the day, how about some ideas for how to spend the downtime between basketball games several miles to the south on the University Hill? Other than the village, the area locals call “Liverpool” is a pretty sprawling place, and it contains a healthy share of national fast-food joints, funky bars, coffee shops and locally owned spots for breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Just a couple of blocks from Onondaga Lake, The Retreat, 302 Vine St., offers a spacious casual dining atmosphere and plentiful portions. The diverse menu includes steaks, seafood, pasta, chicken, pub food, Mexican food, salads and several varieties of homemade cheesecake and other desserts. Average entree price is between $10 and $20. Serving food every day from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; bar open until 2 a.m. 457-6358.
Along with its brethren on Erie Boulevard East, Route 11 and West Genesee Street, the Liverpool Tully’s is also a sports-themed family restaurant equipped with multiple TVs as well as video games and billiards. The menu includes burgers, hot and cold sandwiches, soups, pastas and more. Dining room is open Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to midnight; Sundays, noon to 11 p.m.; and Mondays through Thursdays, 11 a.m. to 11:30 p.m. Tully’s, just around the corner from the hotel cluster, is at 311 Seventh North St. 451-6766.
This drive-in hot spot for hot dogs opened its doors in 1917. Heid’s, 305 Oswego St., serves up dogs, coneys, chili dogs, chili cheese fries, onion rings and other greasy goodness seven days a week. Indoor and outdoor (if we’re lucky weather-wise) seating available. Hours of operation are Sundays through Thursdays, 8 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. 451-0786.
In a cozy, rustic, cabin-like atmosphere of barn wood and field stone, Jake Hafner’s Restaurant and Tavern offers a wide variety of fare, including chicken, seafood, steak, pasta, sandwiches, salads, paninis and more. There’s something for every palate and price range. Serving food Mondays to Thursdays, 11 a.m to 9 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 8 p.m., with the bar open until 2 a.m. every day, and a limited tavern menu available until midnight. Located at 5224 W. Taft Road, North Syracuse. 458-5108.
Steak, ribs, burgers, chicken, seafood, pasta and salads make up the menu at Colorado Mine Steakhouse, which also features a bar. Lunch is served Mondays through Saturdays, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; dinner is served Mondays through Saturdays from 3 to 11 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 11 p.m. Located at 1333 Buckley Road, North Syracuse. 451-6956.
Santangelo’s serves Italian cuisine including chicken, steak, seafood, pork, soups, salads and, of course, pasta—homemade and imported. Open Mondays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Saturdays, 4 to 11 p.m.; and Sundays, 4 to 9 p.m. Located at 673 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool. 457-4447.
India House, 720 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool, features lamb, chicken, seafood and rice dishes, along with plenty of vegetarian options. Open seven days a week. Serving lunch Mondays through Saturdays, 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.; Sundays, 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dinner is served Mondays, 5 to 9 p.m.; and Tuesdays through Sundays, 5 to 10 p.m. 451-1662.
Serving Mexican and Tex-Mex cuisine, Juanita’s Mexican Kitchen, 207 Oswego Road, Liverpool, is family-friendly and affordable. Serving lunch and dinner Mondays through Thursdays, 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Fridays, 11:30 a.m. to 9:30 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 9:30 p.m.; and Sundays, noon to 8 p.m. 478-2185.
One of the finest and most unusual eateries in Syracuse can be found at Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse, 302 Old Liverpool Road, Liverpool, less than a mile from Carousel Center. Featuring sushi as well as traditional Japanese cuisine cooked right at your table. Reservations are recommended. Open for dinner Mondays through Thursdays at 5 p.m., with the last seating at 8:30 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays at 4 p.m., last seating at 9:30 p.m.; and Sundays at 4 p.m., with the last seating at 8:30 p.m. 457-0000.
Want something light, or perhaps a spot of tea or cup of coffee while you’re away from the Dome? Give Cafe at 407 at Ophelia’s Place a try. Located at 407 Tulip St., Liverpool, this shop actually helps fund a non-profit organization for those afflicted by eating disorders and body-image issues. Ophelia’s Place offers various coffee and tea drinks, healthful salads, sandwiches and all-day breakfast items. Open Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. 451-5544.
Paparazzi Day Spa and Café, 4971 Bear Road, Liverpool (451-9509), provides a full-service spa and salon to rejuvenate mind, body and spirit after a day spent screaming for your favorite team. Services include hair, skin, hand, foot and nail care, make-up, facials, body wraps, air brush tan spray, waxing and massage. Walk-ins available for select services, but appointments are recommended. The building also houses Choc-A-Latte, featuring various chocolate coffee drinks, fruit smoothies and tea. Spa and cafe are open Tuesdays through Thursdays, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information about products and services, visit www.paparazzidayspa.com.
About a 15-minute drive from Liverpool, The Fun Junction, 7785 Frontage Road, Cicero, offers laser tag, a full arcade and concessions, with an anytime menu featuring pizza, wings, hot dogs, chicken strips, fries and onion rings. Arcade gamers can redeem their ticket earnings for various prizes. The Fun Junction is open Fridays and Saturdays from 2 to 11 p.m.; Sundays, noon to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays, 2 to 9 p.m. 458-9900.
Onondaga Lake Park is where it all started for Hiawatha and the Iroquois Confederacy, although there was nary a biker or inline skater in sight almost 500 years ago. Walk, run, jog, skate or bike one of the four trails at this linear park. People- and puppy-watch in the Good Dog Park—the first of its kind in Central New York—located in the Cold Springs section of the park. Or, if weather permits, enjoy a picnic in Willow Bay. Onondaga Lake Park is located at 106 Lake Drive, Liverpool.
In and Around Downtown
By Georgia Williams
Visitors to the ’Cuse will soon discover the density of downtown: It’s not all that big, but there’s a lot of variety packed into it. While the main drag of downtown Syracuse—South Salina Street—has smatterings of goodies, the real action is on the side, especially Armory and Hanover squares.
Here are some general rules to make your visit to the Salt City easier. In New York state, beer is sold in grocery, convenience and specialty stores. Wine and liquor are sold in what we refer to as “liquor stores.” Unlike other states, you’ll never find beer in a liquor store and never be able to purchase wine in a grocery store. Bars can stay open until 2 a.m. And you can’t smoke in any indoor venue—restaurants and bars included.
On-street parking in the city costs $1.25 an hour. You will be hard-pressed to find traditional parking meters anymore; they have been replaced with large black machines that you fill with money, press a green button and out pops a receipt you put on your dashboard. The beauty of this new parking system is you can take the receipt with you and, as long as time remains, park anywhere else downtown without paying again. They have been retrofitted to accommodate credit card payments as well, so no worries if you’re short on quarters.
We like to think we’re a friendly sort around here, so if you encounter anyone who’s grumpy, feel free to report them to the nearest authority. Meanwhile, enjoy your brief visit to the Salt City; we’re glad you’re here, we hope your team wins and we welcome you back anytime.
CENTER CITY CUISINE
Whether you’re spending one day in Syracuse, or four, there are ample restaurants so you sample any cuisine you like without ever repeating yourself. And that’s just in Armory Square. Some of Syracuse’s most interesting eateries call the downtown district home, and none of them requires a suit and tie; after all, this is Syracuse.
Lemon Grass and its less ostentatious sidekick Bistro Elephant provide some of the best fine dining downtown, during both lunch and dinner. A Thai restaurant, Lemon Grass offers an extensive menu, daily specials and a wine list to die for. Just a hallway away, Bistro Elephant offers small plates, large plates and some of the best beef in town. Both are located at 238 W. Jefferson St. (475-1111).
For a really unusual menu, head to Empire Brewing Company, 120 Walton St. (475-BEER) where the focus is on Cajun cuisine. Jambalaya, catfish, crawfish and gumbo occupy the menu that also features pizzas, salads, soups and other must-try items. Open for lunch and dinner, Empire also brews its own beer and serves a killer brunch on Sunday mornings. Favorite local band Los Blancos entertains on Sundays starting at 12:30 p.m.
Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, 246 W. Willow St. (476-4937), is another must-see during a visit to Syracuse, and lunch and dinner await the hungry diner. More than pulled pork and ribs are served at Dinosaur; beef brisket, chicken, even spicy shrimp make mouths water. And save room for some of most inventive sides in town: tomato and cucumber salad, black beans and rice, carrot and raisin salad, and rice and gravy.
There is always live music playing somewhere around town, and this weekend is no exception. Check out our extensive listing of Club Dates, starting on page 30, and enjoy some of Syracuse’s finest bands.
Among other notable downtown eateries: bc Restaurant, 247 W. Fayette St. (701-0636); Kitty Hoynes Irish Pub, 301 W. Fayette St. (424-1974); Clark’s Ale House, 122 W. Jefferson St. (479-9589); Syracuse Suds Factory, 320 S. Clinton St. (471-2253); Sakana-Ya Sushi Bar, 215 Walton St. (475-0117); Freedom of Espresso, 144 Walton St. (424-8840); Pascale Bakehouse Café, 500 S. Warren St. (448-0255); Pastabilities, 311 S. Franklin St. (474-1153); and Mission Restaurant, 304 E. Onondaga St. (475-7344).
If you want to celebrate with a barley sandwich or two, Syracuse certainly has no paucity of pubs and bars in which to tip a few. The following is by no means an exhaustive list, but it gives you an idea of what’s downtown:
Across South Salina Street from Clinton Square stands the oldest commercial district in the city. Hanover Square is home to several shops and hot spots, including: World Lounge & Martini Bar, 134 E. Genesee St. (422-3404); Wild Will’s, 139 E. Water St. (423-9287); J. Ryan’s, 253 E. Water St., with 69 beers on tap and a tavern menu (399-5533); and the Bull & Bear Pub, 125 E. Water St. (701-3064).
The other happening downtown district has even more places to wet your whistle. Try Blue Tusk Pub & Wine Bar, 165 Walton St. (472-1934); Al’s Wine & Whiskey Lounge, 319 S. Clinton St. (703-4773); Limerick Pub, 134 Walton St. (475-1819); and Empire Brewing Company, 120 Walton St. (475-BEER).
(Even if You Don’t Root for the Orange)
As long as the Syracuse University Orangemen stay alive in the NCAA Tournament, the following specials apply to customers, whether they are here for the March 25 and 27 games or not. The deals began on Monday, March 15, and continue until either SU loses in the tournament, or wins the whole shebang. Just be sure to mention the “1 for 1 Orange Special” when you visit each particular bar, restaurant or attraction. For more information, visit www.visitsyracuse.org/alltheway.
Arbor House Inn, 41 Fennell St., Skaneateles (685-8966). Stay three nights and receive the third for $1.
Armory Massage Therapy, 327 W. Fayette St. (476-0411). Receive a 10 percent discount on a single massage therapy session.
Best Western Liverpool Grace Inn & Suites, 136 N. Transistor Parkway, Liverpool (701-4400). Stay three nights and receive the third for $1.
Comfort Suites, 5875 Carmenica Drive, Cicero (752-0150). Stay three nights and receive the third for $1.
Dolce Vita, 907 E. Genesee St. (475-4700). Buy two dinner entrees and receive one international appetizer for $1. Order one drink off the “SHUT IT DOWN” menu and receive second drink for $1.
Doubletree Hotel Syracuse, 6302 Carrier Parkway, East Syracuse (432-0200). Buy any “’Cuse Cocktail” or draft beer at the Syracuse Regatta Bar and Grille and get the second for $1 or buy one appetizer at the Syracuse Regatta Bar and Grille and get the second for $1.
Erie Canal Museum, 318 Erie Blvd. E. (471-0593). Receive a 10 percent discount on any item in the gift shop.
Jefferson Clinton Hotel, 416 S. Clinton St. (425-0500). Stay three nights and receive the third for $1.
Lakeland Winery, 877 State Fair Blvd. (487-2884). Receive a 750 ml bottle of wine for $1.
Land of Oz and Ends, 1315 Route 5 W., Chittenango (687-3319). Receive a 10 percent discount on any item in the gift shop.
Oneida Lake Artisans & The Brick House Café, 9570 Main St., Brewerton (676-2360). Buy lunch or dinner and get coffee and dessert for $1.
Onondaga Historical Association, 321 Montgomery St. (428-1864). Buy one Syracuse China “Approved Sample” plate for $15 and get a second for $1.
Phoebe’s Restaurant & Coffee Lounge, 900 E. Genesee St. (475-5154). Buy one bottle of Syracuse Pale Ale and get a second for $1.
PJ’s Pub and Grill, 116 Walton St. (478-3023). Buy one entrée and get a second (of equal or lesser value) for $1.
Ramada Inn Syracuse, 1305 Buckley Road (457-8670). Stay three nights and receive the third for $1.
Renaissance Syracuse Hotel, 701 E. Genesee St. (479-7000). Buy one of their featured “Orange Crush” cocktails and get the second for $1 at Library Lounge or buy one appetizer and get the second for $1 at Redfield’s.
Spaghetti Warehouse, 689 N. Clinton St. (475-1807). Buy one spaghetti dinner and get a second for $1.
Speedy Greens Organic Restaurant, 8169 Brewerton Road, Cicero (752-0333). Buy one entrée and get a second for $1.
Sugarpearl Café, 600 Burnet Ave. (422-7427). $1 espresso shots.
Syracuse Chiefs, 1 Tex Simone Way (474-7833). Rent a luxury suite for two nights and receive the third night for $1.
Syracuse Opera, 411 Montgomery St. (475-5915). Get a family four-pack for Humperdinck’s Hansel & Gretel for $100.
Syracuse Symphony Orchestra, 441 Montgomery St. (424-8222). Buy one SSO admission ticket and receive another for $1 (for all remaining March concerts).
Wise Guys Comedy Club, 201 S. Salina St. (477-9898). Buy one signature SU cocktail and receive a second for $1 or buy one appetizer and receive a second for $1.
By Gabrielle Reagan
If you like to walk or bike everywhere and traffic circles make you scream, booking your hotel in Carrier Circle might seem like a bad idea. Relax, it’s not that tricky, but it is safer and easier to navigate the circle by car.
On the way to the Dome, just remember to merge onto the Thompson Road south exit and follow that to Interstate 690 West. From there, use Exit 13 toward downtown and turn left at North Townsend Street. Then take a left at East Genesee Street and follow that until Irving Avenue where you will turn right. Parking lots will emerge almost immediately.
Come Friday, amid all the March madness, you’ll need a break from hotel cuisine. Don’t fret. By booking one of the many hotels around Carrier Circle, you have an abundance of options available to excite taste buds and satisfy cravings. Conveniently located just off of Carrier Circle, relax and celebrate with popular restaurants unique to the Syracuse area.
Traditional steakhouse Justin’s Grill, 6400 Yorktown Circle, East Syracuse (437-1461), offers custom-cut Western Angus beef, fresh seafood and crusty hearth-baked breads. They also feature classic desserts made fresh daily.
If you’re craving Italian, Joey’s Italian Restaurant, 6594 Thompson Road, offers two great restaurants under one roof with Joey’s Classic Italian Dining (432-0315) downstairs and Pronto Joey’s Casual Italian Dining (432-0260) upstairs. At Joey’s, you can catch a quick bite before a night on the town or sit, relax and enjoy three courses by candlelight. Whatever you choose, just remember that trying Joey’s famous meatballs and sauce is a must.
If you want a late-night snack with a little, shall we say, entertainment, Diamond Dolls, 6720 Townline Road, (455-5936) is a great place to get cold beer, hot wings and bar chow while kicking back and relaxing for some male bonding.
If you do want to walk somewhere safely for a nice meal, the Green Onion, 6596 Old Collamer Road, East Syracuse (432-1710), is close enough and offers an extensive menu featuring daily soups and salads, pasta and vegetarian dishes, as well as chicken, seafood and steak plates. For something a bit more casual but still close, check out Ruby Tuesday, 6405 Yorktown Circle, East Syracuse (414-0450), for some all-American dishes or the fresh salad bar.
If you don’t mind a 10-minute drive, there are some great picks just outside the circle for lunch or dinner.
For lunch, try Brooklyn Pickle, 2222 Burnet Ave. (463-1851), for giant, made-to-order sandwiches that go great with their homemade soups. For health-conscious visitors, try Sparky Town, 324 Burnet Ave. (422-8041), where the atmosphere is as eclectic as the food. Proud to be a funky place to meet and eat, Sparky Town serves fresh, healthy comfort food with a wide variety of vegetarian options and brews up delicious fair trade coffee.
For dinner, try any one of the three Italian fine dining restaurants on Burnet, just minutes away from Carrier Circle. Dominick’s Restaurant, 1370 Burnet Ave. (471-4262), greets visitors at the front doors with an aroma of their homemade sauce.
Casa Di Copani, 3414 Burnet Ave. (463-1031), is another fine dining restaurant offering authentic Italian cuisine. Choose from steak, chops and fresh seafood or try the chef’s special, a veal and lobster cardinale.
Featuring eclectic Italian dishes, Gentile’s, 305 Burnet Ave. (474-8258), is another option. Chef Kevin Gentile’s unique menu changes seasonally, and the winter 2010 dishes, extended into April, feature fresh seasonal ingredients like asiago and goat cheeses and roasted squash. Their fried calamari with chili and lime aioli is one of the best around.
Weighlock Café, 6750 Weighlock Drive, East Syracuse (433-9900), is also a great option for fresh sandwiches, featuring hand-carved roast beef and turkey, or try their homemade soups. This café opens at 6 a.m., offering fresh brewed gourmet coffee to pair with bagels or pastries. If you are in a hurry, Weighlock is the perfect choice since their café features a drive-thru.
For an affordable breakfast a little further away, try the No Name Diner, 3900 New Court Ave. (414-0352) where you can choose anything from chocolate chip pancakes, frittatas, omelets, to eggs Benedict and much more. If you just want coffee or a quick bite, head to Dunkin’ Donuts; there are three close by: 6378 Thompson Road (south of Carrier Circle), 6584 Thompson Road (north of Carrier Circle) and 6681 Collamer Road (Route 298, about two miles east of Carrier Circle).