If Tom Carvel's ice-cream truck hadn’t had a flat tire one fateful day during Memorial Day weekend in 1934, he may have never started the country’s first retail ice-cream company. Faced with losing his entire supply of ice cream to the heat, he simply sold it from the side of the road. He was so successful that, years later, he opened his first store on that same site.
Carvel stores soon sprang up across the Northeast, including DeWitt’s own Carvel shop. Opened in the 1940's, the same year ice cream was first declared a food group, it’s the oldest still-operating Carvel franchise in the country, according to the Post-Standard.
Every day, the store’s staffers layer their famous chocolate and vanilla ice-cream cakes with crunchies, and whip up batches of their soft-serve ice cream each day to create cones, sundaes, and shakes. Customers can place cake orders online, choosing from shapes ranging from a small square to a football to the famous Fudgie the Whale.
When Nord Brue and Mike Dressell began perfecting their bagel recipe with the help of a professional NYC bagel maker in 1983, the bagel was still an anomaly in the food world—it was geographically and culturally still isolated in New York City. Fueled by a desire to change that, the duo opened up the first Bruegger's deli with the hope of eventually introducing the rest of the country to the bagel. Brue and Dressell have since realized their dream, sharing their distinctive recipes and culinary traditions at 300 locations spread across 26 states. To this day, they oven-bake their centerless bread rolls every morning and afternoon, populating counter displays that also brim with daily made breads, Vermont cream cheese, and custom-roasted coffee.
Executive Chef Phillip Smith and his network of chefs still use the original five-ingredient recipe for their dough, which they shape into more than 20 bagel varieties. Because they draw from each region's local recipes and from dialogue and Pictionary games with local consumers, certain menu items may vary from store to store across the country. The bagels are often served with Bruegger's eclectic cream cheeses such as bacon scallion or pumpkin, or as sandwiches with meats, cheeses, and veggies often sourced from local or organic produce. Coffe gets just as much attention, with house blends of 100% arabica coffee.
Dedicated to providing hearty meals at affordable prices for Syracuse's working people, Cosmo's Cafe's owner and his dedicated staff plate ample portions of classic American breakfast and lunch fare. Cosmo documents his culinary adventures online, making evident his passion for cooking and love for the café. Breakfast feasts sizzle in skillets throughout the day, served to-go or at tables under the pleasant glare of the café's hanging plants and richly hued green walls, and lunch-box specials allow diners to pair deli sandwiches with salads or homemade soups. On Fridays, fish sandwiches served with slaw and fries satisfy dietary requirements for cuisine often misconstrued as vegetarian cuisine, preventing diners from having to eat vintage hot rods or the innards of pinball machines.
A student of the baking arts for most of his life, Mario has more than 40 years of experience in the field, stretching back to when he learned the subtle art of yeast fermentation from a European immigrant. The same “from scratch” mentality still pervades his recipes for cakes, breads, rolls, and cookies made each day at Mario’s Bakery, Inc. Here, curved-glass display cases protect a colorful collection of delectables hewing to that from-scratch m.o.: traditional Italian cookies, buttery rugula, and flaky, honey-kissed baklava. Along with freshly baked bread and rolls, the shop also serves cakes with edible images, pastries and other specialties for various occasions.
The Deli Downtown keeps it simple. They serve comforting American cuisine of baked-daily bagels, as well as inventive sandwiches made with tangy balsamic dressing, fresh mozzarella, smoked turkey, and homemade focaccia bread. An air of nostalgia permeates the restaurant, with its chessboard linoleum floors, silver-and-vinyl soda-fountain stools, and red-neon accents. The savory smells of toasted reuben and turkey-club sandwiches fill the remaining air as chefs labor at the panini press. For those who refuse to conform, diners can plot out their meal to perfect specificity with the build-your-own-sandwich menu.
Tina Corso Hess and her team of bakers follow their own special recipe to craft artful cookie bouquets. Her signature cookie is a modified version of the classic shortbread with a softer texture that melts in your mouth. The Syracuse-based team bedecks 5–12 cookies with royal frosting, with a variety of designs that are ideal for birthdays, holidays, or a friend who just found out he's not the heir to a famous candy factory. Each 4- to 5-inch cookie is individually wrapped to preserve its design, keeping it fresh for up to 90 days without refrigeration.