Friday, September 23, 2011

Top 5 Places for Hand and On-The-Go Food in Syracuse

Sometimes food doesn't always come accompanied with forks, spoons, or chopsticks. Occasionally, you have to enjoy it without the utensils. The following is a list of some of the best hand and on-the-go food found in the city.

"Pineapple Express" from Darwin

1) Milkshakes @ Strong Hearts Cafe: 719 E Genesee St, Syracuse, NY
Arguably some of the best and sweetest milkshakes you'll ever have, Strong Hearts Cafe serves up some delicious shake concoctions such as blueberry, peach cobbler, dreamsicle, vanilla espresso, pina colada, and my personal favorite, Oreo cookies and cream. Best of all? The shakes are entirely vegan. Shame on you, Strong Hearts for being so good and yet so deceiving.
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2) Ice Cream @ Gannon's Isle: 1525 Valley Dr, Syracuse, NY
Gannon's Isle as been offering some of the tastiest ice cream options in Syracuse since 1982. They constantly rotate over 200 ice cream flavors, some of which include Rocky Mountain Raspberry (white chocolate ice cream with raspberry and dotted chocolate almond pieces), Hidden Secret (chocolate ice cream with Gertrude Hawk candies), and Creme Brulee (French Vanilla ice cream with caramel ripple and chocolate covered carmel cups). All homemade, airy, and incredibly rich (due to their slightly higher butterfat content as compared to most other brands). Whether it's 91 degrees outside or -1, it's never a bad time for delicious and homemade ice cream. Also, check out some great pictures and information about Gannon's on Syracuse Guru.
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3) Sandwiches @ Darwin: 211 N Clinton St, Syracuse, NY
Though my praise has been high as of late, I can't say enough how wonderful it is to have a high quality sandwich shop in Downtown. Darwin's weekly and ever evolving menu features their Midnight Train to Georgia (roast beef with melted swiss), a muffuletta (a New Orleans classic), Ships Passing In The Night (a veggie option with mozzarella, portabellos, red onions, tomatoes, spinach, basil, and creamy balsamic dressing), and of course the one that I'm partial to, the NYC Lobster Roll, which is one of the biggest and tastiest lobster rolls you'll find anywhere.
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4) Coffee @ Cafe Kubal: 3501 James St, Syracuse, NY
To some, coffee is food. Here, whether it's a nutty and sweet espresso or a rich macchiato or latte, it's brewed, pressed, roasted and ground daily and some of the best in the city. Aromatic and flavorful, you'll find influences from Latin America, Africa, and Indonesia, to name a few. You can also order in bulk online. A 12 ounce bag will run you about $12, but well worth it when it's all roasted, packaged, and shipped fresh.
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5) Burritos @ Ponchito's Taqueria: 3800 New Court Ave, Syracuse, NY
In what may resemble a small baby wrapped in a flour tortilla rather than a made-to-order burrito, Ponchito's near Eastwood serves up some incredibly huge and tasty burritos - which are great for on-the-go eating. In the location and style of a Mexican roadside stand, customers can fill their burritos with not only beans, cheese, salsas, hot sauces, sour cream, and guacamole, but main ingredients like ground beef, carnitas (seasoned pork in beer broth), marinated and roasted chicken, chile rubbed steak, or grilled veggies. And don't miss their other newer location in the Valley at 401 W Seneca Turnpike at the former Bill's Inn location.
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Honorable Mention
Hot dogs @ Alliance Bank Stadium: 1 Tex Simone Dr, Syracuse, NY
Doubtful one can imagine a more picturesque late summer evening than one spent at the ball game enjoying a Hofmann hot dog. You can get them anywhere you say? Why is the baseball stadium on this list? Because they're grilled on the spot and even better than most dogs you'll find at the Major League level. Not only are they incredibly fresh and clean-tasting, but you'll find they have no preservatives and come packed inside an unbelievable crispy and snappy casing (A bold statement, but I'd even argue that the hot dogs are better here than they are from Heid's). If you're not a native Syracusan, give the coney a try - essentially a white hot dog made with veal and pork and is slightly more spicy to its red counterpart. Throw some yellow mustard, chopped onions, and pickle relish on there and you're good to go. But don't be fooled: they also sell the steamed-ish packaged hot dogs at the stadium at various locations too, so make sure you go to the actual grilling station found along the 3rd base side. Unfortunately, baseball does not run year-round, so in the fall and winter, you'll have to settle for a Dome Dog. Which are good mind you, but just not the same.
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