Good Buddy’s Pub, the newest addition to the CopperTop Tavern and Tully’s Good Times family, might just be the best kept secret in Syracuse. Open since February 2014, Good Buddy’s is part sports bar and part family restaurant, specializing in hand-packed hamburgers and home-cooked favorites like the Grilled Meatloaf and the Campfire Pot Roast.
Manager Jason Simpson, who has been with the company for more than 20 years, and Sara Grzasko, our waitress, recommended a few of their menu favorites. They did not steer us wrong the entire meal.
We were seated in the adorable Buddy Room, surrounded by pictures of famous Buddys through the years. There’s Buddy Holly, Buddy Hackett and Buddy Rogers, to name a few.
Campfire pot roast. Michael Davis photo | Syracuse New Times
We started with the Loaded Kettle Chips as part of the Happy Hour “Snacky Things” specials. Topped with a homemade cheese sauce, horseradish, bacon and scallions, the chips were gone within minutes of hitting the table. Other great things to order during Happy Hour (or any time) are specialty cocktails, including Spiked Shakes like the rum, banana and peanut butter-flavored “Drunken Elvis.”
The Cowboy Burger is a fresh 100-percent beef patty topped with bacon, barbecue sauce, cheddar, crispy onion straws, scallions and Cowboy Ranch sauce. Now a vegetarian, Sara says that she orders the Cowboy Burger with a homemade asparagus patty — and she loves it just as much as the original. We had to take her word on it, however, because the original patty is juicy and perfectly cooked, with the tangy barbecue sauce providing just the right subtle companion.
We tested the Sriracha Fire Burger, which definitely lived up to its name. In between bites, make sure you have water or beer nearby, because you’ll need it. The Fork and Knife Burger Melt is not for the faint of heart: three quarter-pound patties between two grilled cheese sandwiches and topped with all the fixings.
I desperately wanted to try the (since retired) King Burger, topped with provolone, bacon, sautéed onions, lettuce, tomato, a fried egg and bacon mayo, but I needed to check out Jason’s recommendation for a Mac & Cheez. Good Buddy’s has several flavor options for its iron skillet macs, such as bacon or broccoli. The Buffalo Mac was creamy, light and cheesy but also packed a punch of buffalo chicken flavor. The portion size was more than enough for a single person, so we ended up taking about half of it home. And it’s even better reheated.
Although we were thoroughly stuffed after the entrees, Sara persuaded us to try the desserts, which are made at the restaurant. The popular Monkey Bread cinnamon and brown sugar pastry was a big hit with us. Fresh out of the oven with dollops of ice cream and whipped cream on top, our spoons were flying.
Good Buddy’s Pub, 4002 W. Genesee St., Camillus, is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Saturday, 11:30 a.m. to midnight; and Sunday, 11:30 a.m. to 10 p.m. For information, call 412-0301.