Category Archives: food

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

Marketplace on James

Marketplace on James is a new store at 2802 James Street in the Eastwood section of Syracuse, New York, 13206. It is the former Tip a Few bar now transformed into an artisan gallery, a tattoo parlor and a food place.

My good friends and Eastwood residents Bob and Marie Leogrande have begun a new venture making and selling their homemade pastas and sausage rolls. They use family recipes and all natural ingredients. Everything is packaged fresh and ready to eat! The Leograndes are also available for catering private parties (big and small) and will be in the store for occasional pop-up lunches!

Picking up a few of Marlene Roeder’s Zen inspired coloring books is worth the visit to Marketplace on James. They are really lovely – everyone of all ages can enjoy them because, let’s face it, who doesn’t love coloring?

Yesterday was the grand opening of Marketplace on James complete with a visit from the mayor and media coverage. There are about fifty individual vendors represented. I believe they pay a monthly fee to house their crafts under one roof.

I was there briefly and took these snapshots. It is a bit overwhelming when you first walk in because there is so much eclectic merchandise. New folk art style paintings, antique repurposed furniture, handmade jewelry and a lot of gift-type thingys are situated on different retail fixtures and tables. There didn’t seem to be a clear view of individual areas the way the space is divided at The Shoppes at Johnny Appleseeds.

But it is whimsical and fun, if you enjoy gift shopping/browsing. This place is the brainchild of owner/operator Eileen Porto. Her mission – to bring community and small businesses together under one roof.

Marketplace will be open Monday-Wednesdays 7:00 am – 6:00 pm, Friday & Saturday 7:00 am – 9:00 pm and Sundays noon – 6:00 pm. Vendors will replenish stock periodically, so there will always be new goods to see.

The kitchen is new/updated and will have something aromatic available daily, including free samples of products from these fabulous local vendors.

There is only street parking available – no parking lot, but there are businesses on both sides of James Street in that area with parking lots – coffee shops, restaurants, hair salons, banks, etc. If you’ve never done it, you could make a day of it and explore Eastwood! There is an adorable deck around the corner to sit and have a coffee and maybe do a photo shoot by the wall mural – and an amazing plant shoppe that will make you say – this is so cool! (Or at least, it did me, lol). Enjoy!!! (for more information, call 315-928-6724) <3

Tenting It

The AmeriCu Arts & Crafts Festival is celebrating its 50th year in downtown Syracuse, New York. Located on the streets surrounding Columbus Circle, there are about 150 artisans and crafters represented in this three-day event. It ends around 4pm today, July 25, 2021, so there is still time to check it out!

There’s food trucks, drinks and music too. My sister and I were there for two hours yesterday. So fun!

This is a juried exhibition. Lula Castillo’s booth at the festival won an honorable mention award. Her work is incredible. She uses plants, nuts, seeds and organic dyes to create exquisite pieces of jewelry. I’ve never seen anything like this!

The colors are so vibrant and fun. I loved everything about her sustainable materials collection.

She comes to us from Long Island, New York (formerly Columbia!)

www.natural-sur.com

Booth A17

I thought Erin Primerano’s presentation of her handwoven fine art clothing was wonderful. Her tent looked like a real store! The pieces are one-of-a-kind looks, using a mix of fibers from silk to cotton, to wool and can be hand-washed.

Her company is called Haute Made and you can find her on Etsy! She lives in Syracuse, New York.

Booth A4

I met Ted Greenfield from Chittenango, New York, last week at his City Market booth. These wood charcuterie boards are gorgeous! His company is called Bayside Wood Products.

www.baysidewoodproducts.com

Booth E15

It’s always a pleasure to see the effervescent Barbara Conte-Gaugel (Syracuse, New York) and her mixed-media handbags and satchels. Everything is handmade from recycled fabrics (including leather and old flour sacks). The larger bags are among my favorites with whimsical patterns that inspire positivity. She is selling these bags at the festival but she is also a fine artist – paintings and assemblages.

www.barbaraconte-gaugel.com/

Devin Mack from Baltimore, Maryland, creates these fun wire sculptures of animals. He was in the process as I photographed him, said he does not use photographs, just whimsy, and the results are stunning!

www.drawnmetalstudios.com

Booth F13

Kathleen Scranton from Coventry, Connecticut, creates vintage book purses under the logo BeeZ. She comes to us from the business and marketing world. A chance rendezvous with a library eliminating old books sparked this plan to turn their covers into handbags. Purses come with a paperback version of the book.

www.beeZbyScranton.com

Booth C12

Michelle DaRin, Pompey, New York, is a rock star around here. Her face is on billboards, as she is currently represented by Cazenovia Jewelry! I noticed that everyone who walked by Montgomery Street was a customer, including me (I was wearing three of her bracelets!).

Michelle DaRin Jewelry is a one person operation – she is the face of the brand. She selects the stones, cuts the metal, does all the metal-smithing and strings the leather.

The look is upscale Bohemian-chic/’70s vibe meets the new millennium.

www.michelledarinjewelry.com

Wildflowers Armory is a co-op – artisans who share in the responsibility of selling their wares in their store in downtown Syracuse (217 S. Salina Street). Co-owner Michael Heagerty posed for a few pictures with Kathy and me. He is an amazing person who has single-handedly changed the view of the local art scene in Syracuse – a beautiful person inside and out! <3

They have a double tent set-up on Montgomery Street at the festival with an eclectic mix of items for sale.

Merchandise includes clothing (like the awesome Everson is for Lovers shirt!), soaps, notecards, crafts, and artwork.

They also have an online presence – https://wildflowersarmory.com/

Finally, I want my Superintendent to buy these metal bear sculptures for our school (We are the Chittenango Bears!). And I want the cardinal sculpture for my back yard.

OMG, Dale Rogers! His work is exceptional. The sculptures are crafted from stainless steel in his studio in Massachusetts.

Booth C1-2

https://dalerogersstudio.com/

ISO Fish Fry – The Retreat

The search for the best fish fry in town may be over – OMG – last night at The Retreat!

Presentation: I ordered the fried haddock with sweet potato fries and coleslaw and my friend ordered the same but with regular french fries. Love!

Taste: The coleslaw had celery in it. It is probably the best mayo-style slaw I have ever had! The sweet potato fries came with maple butter, which was insanely good. And the fish was soooo fresh!

The only negative is that it was so good that I ate everything. As you know from my last blog entry, I don’t eat like this every day – and so, later I couldn’t sleep because it was all so salty – not for other people, I am sure, but for me. I was ridiculously thirsty and I ended up with a headache this morning, lol, like waking up from a food coma. Why does it have to taste so good??? I ended up getting a late start to my day this morning because of it. I’m going to admit here that it was worth it. <3

Restaurant Experience: We didn’t have a reservation so they put us on a list – said it would be a half hour wait for inside and an hour wait for outside (it was 6:30pm when we arrived). We went to the outdoor bar for a drink and within five minutes the call came through that our table was ready.

The waiter promptly took our order and within about ten or fifteen minutes we were eating! The waiter was a wonderfully cheerful person and, truly, I felt like I was in a scene from a movie.

Our conversation turned to manifesting dreams and I thought that was incredibly apropos, as I felt I had manifested the entire experience in a dream.

Location: The Retreat is located at 302 Vine Street, Liverpool, NY 13088

Parking: There is a huge paved parking lot marked specifically for guests of The Retreat. There is also street parking around the building.

ISO Fish Fry – Kiki’s

Kiki’s Authentic Greek Cuisine is located in the heart of Camillus, New York. They offer a daily fish fry (no coleslaw, but they do have spanikopita, which is amazing). It is a beautiful little restaurant with outdoor seating.

I was there last Friday. I am in search of the best fish fry in the area. The criteria will be as follows:

*Presentation

*Taste

*Restaurant Experience

*Location/Parking

I am no foodie/food critic, lol. Everyone who knows me knows that I don’t cook, preferring microwaved oatmeal with blueberries and a banana for breakfast, peanut butter out of a jar and a yogurt for lunch, and a handful of deli turkey for dinner – so , naturally, I will not be scoring these categories.

Presentation: I love their use of the color blue throughout the restaurant, as a nod to the Greek flag. They use a blue checked waxed paper on the plates – very cute!

Taste: The fish was fresh – very good. I didn’t eat the bread and all the fries and I wished they had coleslaw. They did have tartar sauce and lemon, which was nice.

Restaurant Experience: An overall fun restaurant experience!

Location: 64 West Genesee Street, Camillus, NY 13031 – It was a great day for lunching outside at one of their umbrella-ed tables.

Parking: They have ample street parking, as well as a small parking lot. It doesn’t seem to be a heavily trafficked place – only a couple storefronts were open when we were there around 3pm – some, like the antique store across the street, are only open on weekends. We got a space right in front of the place. <3

#tashkovski #coach #faithfullthebrand #allsaints #ragandbone

(Here is the link to another fish fry article.)

Every Second Sunday

I visited City Market at the Everson Museum of Art on Sunday. Walked around before it rained and met some new-to-me vendors, as well as old friends.

Randy Casciano of Salt City Salvage creates tables from vintage filing cabinets and bird houses with wine crates, among other repurposed items. He does not have a website yet (working on it) but his email is Randy@SaltCitySalvage.com. I love his work. I want everyone of these birdhouses, especially the copper roof one!

Barbara Floch had a beautiful display of her papier-mache crafted jars, sea shells and jewelry. She has a space at the Delavan Center and calls her company Gypsy Girl Designs. Find her at www.gypsygirldesignsandcreations.com.

Ken Nichols and his lovely wife Kris sold his handmade ceramic bowls and mugs. When I stopped by, they had a large crowd of fans gathered around. Ken is at this event every second Sunday, of the month 10:00 am-5:00pm, May through October 2021.

Goodies Mediterranean Grill & Cuisine was represented with to-go versions of their delicacies. As the sign indicates, they are located at 3605 James Street. Call (315) 433-1003 for more information.

David McKenney of GBD Studio (glass by Dave) presented his glassworks. He can be reached at (315)373-3078 if you would like to make a purchase.

Jane Zell was the musical guest. She is FABULOUS! This video is on my http://www.youtube.com channel. Yes, I have one! <3