There's no hurry at Uncle Buck's BBQ. The chefs slow-cook and smoke meats such as ribs, brisket, and chicken, imbuing each plate with a tenderness that can't be rushed. Even the Old World-style pizzas have to bake inside a traditional brick oven long enough for the cheese to melt over and around the assorted toppings, such as pulled pork, sweet peppers, and garlic. Sub sandwiches and hamburgers, wings tossed in one of four sauces, and hefty steaks round out the menu of neighborhood-style American cuisine.
With its wood-paneled wainscoting and robin's-egg blue walls, the restaurant's dining area embraces the same casual, down-home charm as the menu. Outside, a wooden patio seats diners beneath an aluminum roof that provides better sun protection than a parasol slathered with sunscreen.
The Sokolowski family fired up Checkers Family Restaurant and Pizzeria in 2001, determined to fill the following decade with cheese and pepperoni pizzas and spicy wings. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner courses grace tables that sprout like wild wood-shop projects from the floor of indoor and outdoor eating areas. Every Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Checkers hosts fish fries that grant fresh haddock a starring role in both a sandwich and fish dinner.
Gianni leads a team of formaggio painters in smuggling classic Bronx flavors from his former community to his current digs in Syracuse. In the Castle Hill pie, cooks cover a disk of house-made dough with layers of sauce, cheese, bacon, and ground beef before sliding it into a hot oven until it crisps, bubbles, and imitates the sounds of a kitchen timer ($15.95). Broccoli trees line the Mosholu Park pizza's toasted crust, paved with creamy ricotta cheese so that garlic cars can easily coast into the mouths of nearing diners ($15.95). Patrons may also craft their own crusty cuisine by tailoring toppings ($7.95+) or try pie-by-the-slice ($1.75+). Orders of golden garlic knots bathe in butter and garlic sauce before offering to turn tongues into slip 'n' slides ($1.25), and wings can range in spiciness depending on the size of customers' fire extinguishers ($4.20+).
Sardo’s dishes up an opulent array of eatables, featuring a wealth of specialty pizzas built from hand-tossed dough and fresh toppings that are prepared daily. The extensive menu sates grumbling stomachs and forgotten geometric taste buds with triangular slices ($1.75 each) or colossal circles, such as a 16-inch Sardo’s Paradise, a twice-baked disk smothered in garlic and tomato sauce and sprinkled with sausage, pepperoni, and a variety of vegetables under a bubbling canopy of mozzarella and ricotta cheese ($18.99). Friday and Saturday nights battered-haddock sandwiches ($5.99) and dinners ($7.99) materialize on menu pages like an edible Brigadoon, delighting palates before vanishing into the misty depths of patrons' stomachs. Pasta dishes lift up orders of chicken or eggplant parmigiana on litters of penne pasta ($7.49) and chicken wings ($6.99 for 10) coat fingers and content grins with your choice from seven sauces.
Riccardi's pie-purveyors satisfy visiting appetites with an array of delectable bites residing on a highly pizza-centric menu. Hot wings ($7.99/dozen) keep salivary glands busy extinguishing localized mouth fires, while mild, medium, barbecued, and breaded versions ($7.99–$8.75/dozen) seduce taste buds with less-aggressive tactics. New York—style pizza sates cravings for cheese and tomato sauce by combining them on 14-inch ($8.99), 16-inch ($10.99), or colossal sheet-sized ($16.99) dough platforms. Fashion slices with regular toppings of ham, hot peppers, or sausage ($1.50–$2.75 each), or decorate the savory circle with premium toppings such as eggplant, meatballs, or pineapple ($2–$3.25 each).
Named Syracuse's best independent pizzeria, Peppino's specializes in pizzas piled with fresh toppings and comforting Italian favorites. The menu showcases a vast variety of victuals, including pasta, calzones, wraps, and breakfast items. With carefully constructed dough as their canvas, pizza Picassos can customize crusts with sauce, cheese, meatballs, caramelized onions, and an array of other toppings tapestries ($10.50–$12.50). Pre-conceptualized specialty pies include chicken alfredo, hawaiian, eggplant parmesan, and an avant-garde white pie that challenges diners to find their own meaning in its austerity ($14.95–$18.95). This deal is valid for dine-in, takeout, delivery, or teleportation.