Liehs & Steigerwald has been handcrafting sausages and meats in Syracuse since 1936, when its German-immigrant founders first began sharing their traditional recipes and culinary methods. Current owner Chuck Madonna, who began working at the shop at age 15, and co-owner Jeff Steigerwald now run an expanded operation that keeps butchery simple. Butchers custom-cut top-grade meats on request, grind chuck fresh several times a day, and craft sausages of all sorts, from traditional kielbasa to specialty cheddar and chicken-wing bratwurst.
Savory sausages reside in all-natural casings, free of additives and fillers, and acquire a smoky flavor and a husky timbre in an old-fashioned smokehouse. At-home delivery service ferries the shop’s meats directly to customers’ abodes, though some specialties, such as corned beef, take a little extra time to prepare. Profiled by the Post-Standard, the Irish-American staple takes three weeks to perfect, and Liehs & Steigerwald’s butchers carefully marinate the corned beef in brine, spices, and fresh four-leaf clovers, creating succulent slices that require no extra seasoning before cooking.
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.
Upon visiting Jolimé Fresh Garden Cafe Don Cazentre of Syracuse.com discovered something a bit unique on the menu: piadines. Unlike pizza, these chewy Italian flatbreads have the structure required to hold up a very sizable bounty of toppings. So sizable that when Jolimé owners John and Lisa Caveny first encountered piadines in San Francisco, they noticed an unusual trend. “The women were picking the salad off the bread with a fork, while the men picked them up and folded them over like a sandwich,” John told Cazentre.
In addition to piadines, the Cavenys also whip up fresh quiches, roast their own turkey and chicken everyday, and craft salads, sandwiches, and soups from fresh ingredients, many sourced from local farms. Breakfast sandwiches, egg platters, and oatmeal help patrons start the day along with fresh baked goods, granola parfaits, and fruit. At the coffee bar, baristas pull shots of espresso to make peppermint mocha lattes and stir up creamy hot chocolate.
At Taste of India, an aromatic spread of sizzling tandoori meats, creamy paneers, and rich curries enraptures palates with its intense flavor and vibrant colors. Like licking an ice cream cone while operating a rowing machine, each meal combines appetizing taste with wholesome healthfulness, packing a punch of fresh ingredients culled from local farms and an ample selection of vegan or gluten-free dishes. As spicy tikka masala and slow-simmered vegetables tickle olfactory apparatuses with sweet scents, fluffy loaves of bubbly naan or steamy forkfuls of basmati rice soak up pools of tomato sauce and cream peppered with green herbs, red tomatoes, and yellow turmeric. Taste of India can also serve clientele with drop-off catering, and its opening in 1988 makes the restaurant as old as many budding pro athletes and, pending an amendment allowing 24-year-olds to wear ties, the next president.
Tonini's Pizzeria?s chefs use family recipes, home-grown garlic and basil, and New York?area suppliers to bring the recipes alive. Gourmet pizzas, pastas, and sandwiches are crafted with the help of quality ovens and stoves. Each dish is crafted from fresh ingredients, including garlic and basil grown in the owners? own garden. Twenty gourmet pies feature an eclectic mish-mash of toppings, such as the french fry pizza with mozzarella, american, and asiago cheese, ranch dressing, bacon, and fries. Dozens of sandwich options include a hawaiian burger with grilled pineapples and Tonini?s panini with layers of roast beef, spinach, onions, and a secret mustard recipe.
Asahi Japanese Restaurant's sushi bar features a moving conveyor belt that displays colorful plates of the signature Japanese seafood. In addition to sushi and sashimi, the friendly staff also makes available such entrees as chicken teriyaki, hibachi steak and shrimp, and vegetable tempura. Asahi Japanese Restaurant can also cater parties, though it probably can't replicate the in-restaurant conveyor-belt experience unless your party's at a conveyor-belt assembly line.