Saturday, April 24, 2010

Friday Five

The Week

Unbelievably, I found myself in Syracuse, NY this week. Trust me – nobody is more confused than I am. I guess the one advantage to being on the road is being able to see new places, but really – who wakes up and thinks, “Gosh – I really want to go to Syracuse, NY today.” Needless to say, it was just a work/run/sleep kind of week. And, as luck would have it, the one friend I do have out here was out in Seattle. C’est la guerre.

The Travel Note

I will say one thing for small airports – I was off the plane and in my car driving away in under 15 minutes.

The Restaurant

Upon finding out I was heading on a trip to Syracuse for business, I contacted my friend who's a local and knows good food for restaurant recommendations. His reply was, "This is why [my wife] and I are such good cooks." He then went on to say that many people would suggest Dinosaur but he wouldn't. In my short time here he was proven right on both counts - many people would point me in Dinosaur's direction, and now that I've been there I wouldn't recommend it.

The place has a great vibe - old wood everywhere, very lively and packed nuts-to-butts. I was able to score a spot at the bar only because two people were leaving when I arrived. The bartender who helped me out was very friendly and amazingly efficient considering the crowd that was there.

The beer selection is rock solid (which is why they got their second star). The Syracuse Pale, which I had, is a pretty standard pale ale - not overly hoppy, but still tasty. With 22 taps I'm sure you could find something there.
On to the food. I did the ribs/brisket combo with sides of slaw and macaroni&cheese (which the bartender recommended). The mac&cheese was very good, with (I believe) jalapeños. The rest just wasn't that good. The slaw was dry. The ribs came out room temperature and didn't have that much flavor. The brisket was fine, but brisket (as far as I'm concerned) is just a carrier for BBQ sauce. Their BBQ sauce was just bad. I don't know that I can describe it, but the flavor just wasn't right.

I'm glad I went as it seems like the "must visit" place in Syracuse. But I certainly won't be heading back.

The Five

When you start to visit various cities and parts of the country, you start to run into strange rules and laws – mostly involving alcohol. Here’s a list of 5 rules I’ve found rather odd.

  1. In Oklahoma beer over 3.2% ABV cannot be sold in liquor stores cold. On top of that, while you can buy 3.2 beer in grocery stores it must be placed in a bag before leaving.
  2. In Benton County, Arkansas you can’t purchase alcohol of any variety in a store. However, you can enjoy it at a “private club”, a requirement than can be met by any bar or restaurant by having a sign-in sheet at the front door.
  3. In order to play poker at Turning Stone you have to “join the club”, which means paying $2/day to become a member.
  4. In the Houston, TX airport on Sundays, you can’t get an alcoholic beverage before noon. However, between 11a and noon you can have a drink as long as you have food in front of you.
  5. Nevada state law prohibits any municipality from making a criminal offense of public intoxication. This explains Vegas.

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