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.
Shortly after Cherian Abraham moved to the United States from his Indian homeland, he opened the small video store that would blossom into Kashmir Groceries and Imports, a vibrant crossroads of South Asian sundries. Cherian’s son and the store’s present owner, Bijo, continues his father’s tradition of supplying local households with imported South Asian fare, Bollywood video rentals, and other knickknacks seized from Marco Polo’s suitcase at customs. Heavy sacks of basmati rice, cans of pickles and chutney, and rows of exotic spices line the grocer's shelves alongside fresh produce and certified halal meats. Phone cards keep loved ones up-to-date on juicy gossip and local monsoon reports, and a DVD-conversion service digitizes the essences of Indian cinema for at-home enjoyment.
Every week, one of Broadway Café’s baristas scrawls the weekly coffee special on the pastel chalkboard menu, eking out space alongside specialty pizzas, deli-style sandwiches, and salads. In addition to classic pies, such as meat lovers or margarita, cooks bake inventive iterations that include the buffalo chicken and the Rueben pizza, topped with shredded corn beef, swiss cheese, and kraut with a russian dressing sauce. Guests can also saunter in for breakfast sandwiches and wraps, all of which are available for catered events, such as birthdays, bat mitzvahs, and upscale bee attacks.
Outside, under a mammoth ice-cream cone, Arctic Island stands at the ready to sate sweet teeth and cool down overheated palates. Broadway Cafe's sister business slings soft-serve cones, scoops Premium Homemade Ice Cream flavors such as peppermint patty, and sprays whipped cream onto banana splits.
Nestled in Syracuse’s historic Armory Square district, PJ’s Pub and Grill’s unpretentious atmosphere belies the filet mignon sizzling in its kitchen. Patrons can slice into gourmet beef cuts and other upscale dinner entrees, such as a sesame-crusted tuna and portobello-stuffed ravioli, as games unfold on the eatery’s big-screen TVs. Alternatively, diners can opt for bar-style eats, which complement a bar-sized selection of wine, beer and shots. Dishes range from shepherd’s pie and grilled paninis to burgers, such as the Southwestern, crowned in pepper jack cheese and onion straws. A daily rotation of lunch and happy-hour specials adds an element of surprise to the dining experience, much like finding a winning lottery ticket in your date's wallet, and groups can retire to a choice of two brick-walled banquet halls for private celebrations.
Sam Mondello Jr. operates a family grocery of his own where he peddles fine Italian imports. The cozy neighborhood spot is a treasure trove of treats, with glass display cases packed with specialty meats and cheeses, produce coolers full of housemade sauces, and shelves loaded with espresso makers and Italian ceramics. The shop offers a sweeping variety of pastas made from premium ingredients, such as fettuccine made from whole wheat and rotini made from melted-down ancient Roman coins.
Sam and his staff extend their culinary expertise to preparing a wide variety of premade meals, whipping up Italian-style subs in the deli and freezing freshly made trays of lasagna and pizza. The skilled chefs provide hot Italian specialties to cater a wide-variety of special events, from large office functions to intimate football-game gatherings.
The 2,000-square-foot laser-tag arena at Shotz Lazer Tag & Billiards swallows up to 24 players in its black-lit barricades, spitting them out for tests of manual dexterity in the arcade and at pool tables. During games of tag, laser beams slice though a shroud of fog and hearts race in time to pumping music. The staff not only explains the rules of laser tag and equips players with gear, but periodically reconfigures the terrain to prevent frequent visitors from gaining a home-field advantage. Marksmen receive scorecards documenting the number of shots fired, their accuracy, and the location of any stains on their shirt after emerging from the black light. Nearby, the arcade rings with electronic yelps emitted by the gaming machines, and the crack of cue balls echoes over the felt of 9-foot Gold Crown pool tables.