Category Archives: art of fine dining

ISO Fish Fry – Golden Spike Pub

Three of us had lunch at Golden Spike Pub in the village of East Syracuse last Friday. It is a family-owned and operated restaurant. It used to be called Marko’s Golden Spike after Marko Klapan, a dear friend of my father’s. Dad even worked there, briefly. Now it is run by Marko’s daughter Mary Celletti and her husband Jim, and their children.

Presentation: Jim designed and made all of the tables in the dining room! The room has a rustic feel to it, very welcoming. There is an entrance to the dining room but you can also access it through the large bar area (think Cheers!). We all ordered the fish and different sides. As you can see from the pictures, the presentation is inconsistent – plates used depending on the order. So Mom’s fried fish had the french fries on the plate and my broiled fish had the sweet potato fries in a separate basket.

Kathy had ordered onion rings as an appetizer as well as clam chowder soup for herself. The rest of the food came at the same time. The waitress had to make two trips. We were there around 1:00 PM and it wasn’t crowded. There were three other groups dining at that time.

Taste: This is hands down THE BEST broiled fish in town. It is mouth wateringly good. Buttery, hot, fresh. Mary removes the skin from every piece of haddock in the morning then the fish is cooked to order. They never have leftovers. They order a certain amount, have the fish delivered for Friday-only lunches and dinners, so it is not an every day thing. I came here once with my friend Joey, but we’d arrived after 7:00 PM on a Friday night and they were out of the haddock. That is why Joey thought The Retreat was his favorite fish dinner – because he’d never tasted this!

Everything else was fabulous as well. The sweet potato fries are served with maple syrup on the side and they are delish! I also had the coleslaw. I didn’t try to poach Kathy’s cucumber salad or the macaroni and cheese but I should have! It looks so good, doesn’t it?

Restaurant Experience: It was pretty quiet in the dining room. The waitress was lovely. She came to get our orders right away. I just felt so happy there!

Location: Golden Spike Pub is located at 411 West Manlius Street, East Syracuse, NY 13057. They also do parties and catering. You can contact them by phone (315) 565-5691 or by email GoldenSpikePub315@gmail.com.

They are not open on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday in the summer. Call them for updated hours of operation.

You can also find them on Facebook. That’s where they post the daily specials menu. I love everything! They do a superb roast beef sub with homemade chips. In fact, everything is homemade! They have the best food – and you know what a picky eater I am! <3

Parking: There is a parking lot adjacent to the building. I parked at the post office across the street because I was approaching via East Road and the parking lot appeared full. But when I crossed the street I saw plenty of room behind the apartment building next door. Oh well, next time I will know better.

ISO Fish Fry – The Fish Friar

Kathy and I went downtown on Saturday night to hang at the Italian Festival, which happens every year around this time (except last year because of the Covid situation). There was Italian food and music, and cover band dance music under tents and on two different stages around City Hall in Syracuse, New York.

Although I have a lot of Italian friends and recently found a lot of Italian in my own DNA, I don’t particularly like Italian food, Luckily, Kathy treated me to dinner at The Fish Friar, which is located right across from City Hall in downtown Syracuse.

Presentation: As you can see from the pictures, the presentation is divine. These fish sandwiches were $15 and came with two sides. Kathy selected house salad and macaroni salad and I had the roasted carrots and coleslaw.

Taste: Although I ate everything on my plate, I thought it was too salty (don’t hate me The Fish Friar fans). It was saltier than I remembered it from eating it the last time I was there.

Restaurant Experience: The restaurant is adorable! Small but comfortable. We ate outside at one of about five tables. The bathroom is very clean as well. :). The service was spectacular. It was such a beautiful night. We enjoyed the sound of the local cover band, Hard Promises, playing on the large stage set up for Italian Fest and later got all front and center to dance and sing along. We also spotted our cousins who strolled by and stopped to chat. Overall, it is an amazing place for a dinner date.

Location: The Fish Friar is located at the corner of Washington and Montgomery Streets in Syracuse, NY. They are open Tuesday-Saturday from 11:00 am – 9:00 pm and Saturdays from 4:00 pm – 9:00 pm. They offer an on-line service on their website. Call (315) 468-FISH for the deets.

Parking: There is no parking lot for The Fish Friar. Street parking only. Because there is currently so much construction on the roads in the city and many streets were blocked off for this immense Italian block party, we parked in a pay lot by the Civic Center and walked over. <3