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For about 60 days, Syracuse played a game of musical chairs with its Downtown Farmers Market. After a repeated chorus of praise, however, the music stopped and a decision was reached to relocate the market to its one-time temporary location, Clinton Square. This time, Chuck McFadden said, the move one block north from the market’s old location in a parking lot at the corner of West Washington and South Salina streets is permanent.Produce section: The Downtown Farmers Market’s new Clinton Square location is a hit with shoppers, vendors and city officials. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
Walk into Green Planet Grocery on any day and try to count how many times the words “natural” and “organic” greet your eyes. Chances are, you’ll be sleuthing for hours. The new grocery store opened its doors on June 26, greeting eyes with shelves of health products aimed at treating consumers’ bodies and the earth with care.
Life for milk drinkers used to be so simple. Choices were limited to old-fashioned cream-on-top or homogenized. A few calorie-conscious customers would drink skim (now called “non-fat”), but options stopped there. A couple of decades ago, you didn’t even have to go to a store to buy your favorite white beverage as competition between dairies was so intense, they would deliver to your door, leaving your order in a shiny, steel box on the front porch.
Pick strawberries quick for a sweet taste of early summer
On a hot mid-June morning in Clinton Square, a construction truck’s beeping complaint and children chattering between bites of fresh fried dough accompanied the sounds of vendors and customers trading produce for dollars at the Downtown Farmers Market. Between rows of rhubarb, shell peas and potatoes, a plethora of strawberries dot vendors’ tables.Ruby fruit: Abbott Farms in Baldwinsville provides the opportunity for u-pick strawberries, as well as just purchasing them from their farm stand. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTO
A global marketplace means stiff competition for imperial beer lovers
Before mass travel and transportation, local beer reflected local conditions. There was no understanding of “beer styles” as we discuss them today, and most drinkers had little idea that what passed for “beer” in a neighboring country could be radically different from beer at home. The local ale that an Englishman quaffed—made from English barley and hops from the fields of Kent—was a different species of brew from that enjoyed by his counterpart in Prague, who drank crisp lager spiced with the distinctive Saaz hops of Bohemia.
If you’re into doughnuts (the correct spelling, incidentally, according to the AP Stylebook), your favorite day of the year is just around the corner. Dunkin’ Donuts’ National Donut Day is Friday, June 4, and you can get a free ring of sugar when you buy a beverage at area Dunkin’ Donuts. Also on Friday, the winner of Create Dunkin’s Next Donut contest will be announced. Among the flavors:
• Cop Cake. A cake doughnut with chocolate icing, topped with white sprinkles and chopped Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.
• Monkey-See Monkey-Donut. A bananas foster-filled doughnut with chocolate icing, topped with Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup shavings.
• Mornin’ Paper. A chocolate butter cream-filled doughnut with white icing, topped with chocolate sprinkles.
• Much Ado About Nut Things. A chocolate cake doughnut with peanut butter icing, topped with shredded coconut and chopped roasted almonds.
The victor receives $12,000 and will see their winning creation sold at Dunkin’ Donuts nationwide.
Area restaurants adopt green practices like reusable takeout containers and eco-friendly paper products
As the old joke goes, after nuclear war, the only things left will be cockroaches and Cher. Well, maybe we should add Styrofoam to that list. When disposed in a landfill, Styrofoam takes upward of 2,000 years to fully decompose—and that’s no laughing matter. Toxic chemicals, byproducts and petroleum are released as foam breaks down, and tiny pieces of the material can choke animals and clog their digestive systems.
Three area Italian restaurants keep the spaghetti and meatballs rolling
Yorktown Circle charmer: Grimaldi’s Luna Park aims to please diners staying at nearby hotels as well as those from all over Central New York. Some of the staff include (from left) Karen Grimaldi, Lacie Eldred, Bryan Poulette, Matt Spaulding, Matt Hotaling and David Bradzell. MICHAEL DAVIS PHOTOS
Syracuse has never been at a loss for Italian restaurants, and it is no surprise that the highest concentration of eateries that feature pastas and pizzas sits on the Little Italy section of North Salina Street. Loyal diners return to spots that have been around for many years and order their favorite dish. “It’s the sauce,” announces one happy customer after another while wolfing down an over-generous portion of spaghetti and meatballs. The price usually is right, too. But while loyalty prevails, diners are still eager to try a new place.
The latest eatery entry in Little Italy is Asti Caffe, though it’s not at all new. Asti, 411 N. Salina St., had to shut down for six weeks due to an April 1 fire in the chimney of the wood-fired grill. While the dining room was not affected, there was extensive water damage to the kitchen. The good news is the restaurant had a soft opening last Thursday, May 14, and a “welcome back” celebration took place on Monday, May May 17, complete with a ribbon-cutting ceremony attended by Deputy Mayor John Cowin and 1st District Councilor Matt Rayo.
Rieslings are gaining in popularity, but it’s even better to sip a vintage that’s been around awhile
Does anyone order a glass of Chardonnay anymore? The buttery, oaked wine is sliding toward its nadir—it’s so 1990s, don’t you know—with the crisper, lighter, more accessible Riesling taking its place.