Tag Archives: Great waitstaff

Diner Week Critique: Niki’s Quick Cup (Syracuse, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

DirectionsWeb siteOverall Rating: 4

The old adage is that you can’t judge a book by its cover. However, in diner culture, you can totally… just not with the results you’d expect.  The traditional “greasy spoon” terminology combined with my travels leads me to believe the rougher the cover the better the book.  You see it all the time locally – Mother’s Cupboard or Mama Nancy’s for instance – so don’t let Niki’s Quick Cup fool you.  You’ll drive by the first time thinking it’s some type of shed for the nearby car dealer, but after entering just once, you won’t forget it again.  Continue reading

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Diner Critique: Market Diner (Syracuse, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 3

CNY summers are filled with fresh produce.  There’s the apple picking that dominates towns like Lafayette (perhaps more in the fall), the downtown Farmers’ Markets on Tuesday. an infinite amount of food based festivals and then the granddaddy of them all.. the CNY Regional Market. After a Saturday morning filled with rigorous food shopping, having a diner in close proximity is a necessity. That’s where the Market Diner comes in.

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Diner Critique: Ruston’s Diner (Jamesville, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

DirectionsWeb siteOverall Rating: 5

Forgive me while I’ll weave an extended NCAA Basketball analogy.

March is a time for underdogs and upsets  in basketball and life. Every field has its share of Kentucky’s and Duke’s. Those are the names first off everyone’s lips in the CNY Diner Scene – Stella’s, Doc’s maybe The Eggplant. Each year however the NCAA Tournament brings to light lesser known sides that have all the characteristics of the major programs, they just lack the exposure (CNY’s own Cornell this year for instance). Today I found CNY’s mid-major diner that deserves major program status. Meet Ruston’s Diner. Continue reading

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The Anonymous Legend of The CNY Diner Scene

Food Essay Written by Nathan Mattise

You’d think “Syracuse diner enthusiasts” would be a small enough niche community. You can find all of the major players within two-minutes of a Google search, right?

I thought the same thing until last week. I was meeting with a group of colleagues because we’re embarking on a TBA comprehensive project on area diners. In walked an elderly man dressed in a collared shirt and a sweater. After he spoke to us for nearly a half hour, he walked out of the room as the most knowledgeable authority on diners in CNY.

Meet the Diner Docent. Continue reading

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The Food Issue, a Funk employee, funky stuff in food and… Bourdain!

Food Links | Compiled by Nathan Mattise
  • Finally, this week I had the opportunity to interact with two of my Top Five Fav Pop Culture People…Ira Glass (I asked him about food too) and ANTHONY BOURDAIN!

During his Q&A session, I managed to ask him about his favorite breakfast meal (not available in this country) because my question about his development as a writer was asked while I waited in the microphone line. The first half of the night was all Bourdain riffing on his topics of choice including:

His favorite TV food personalities (Giada, Ramsay, Paula Deen, Flay, Batali, Alton Brown… he shares the opinion of this blog on a certain sweatband wearing host though 🙂 ).

His distaste for the Food Network

His tips for Americans traveling abroad (Eat where no other Americans eat, respect the local customs 100 percent)

– His take on the recent Organic-push in response to food processing horrors

It goes without saying, absolutely worth the trip.


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Diner Critique: The Firekeepers Diner (Nedrow, N.Y.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating: 3

It’s not as flashy or as large as other geographic conflicts, but there is a lot of history between Onondaga Nation and Syracuse, N.Y.  It largely stems from the land rights complaint (as outlined on the Nation’s official web site) by the Nation against NY State. My personal, visual representation of it has been the giant graffiti’d anti-government billboard that welcomes you to Nation territory while driving on I-81. Needless to say, I’ve been told numerous times not to wander around off exit 16.

This sign pictured above is what should be the visual representation of the area. For locals, if you can get past whatever incorrect perceptions of the Nation you may have, you’ll get treated to a diner experience that’ll have you planning a return trip. Continue reading

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Diner Week Critique: Dino’s Breakfast & Lunch (Eynon, Pa.)

Review | Written and photographed by Nathan Mattise

Directions | Web site | Overall Rating:  4

Ever notice that even  top-notch celebrity chefs on the Food Network or Top Chef still claim nothing is more satisfying than their mother’s cooking?

Growing up in Archbald, Pa., my mother’s cooking consisted of Sunday breakfasts at Donovan’s or Sebastianelli’s. When I was finally old enough to branch out on my own, I needed a place to satisfy my own angsty teen hunger. Thus, Dino’s Breakfast & Lunch entered my life and became the go-to establishment for missing first period to grab an omelet instead.  Continue reading

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