Eating, Socializing, Chilling, and Listening to Music on Syracuse’s Clinton Square
It is that time of year again when Syracuse’s downtown Clinton Square comes alive. This summer, during June 1 and June 2, Syracuse hosted one of the biggest summer festivals in the area: The Taste of Syracuse where more than 60 restaurants in the area came to showcase their famous dishes. As a big eater, I was sure not to miss the opportunity!
I left the house a little bit after 1 pm and decided to walk down there with Stephen ( close friend / photography teacher / fellow MBA student from Syracuse University). The god of weather decided to turn a week of gorgeous summer days into a weekend of weeping clouds and chilly wind. I would not mind the temperature drop but the sun could have made the day a little bit better.
When we arrived, there were a bunch of people but it was not as crowded as I expected it to be, probably partly because of the weather. There were a lot of restaurants participating in the event and each of them offered both a dollar signature dish sampler and a la carte.
There were a few concerts by local groups going on at different locations. They were playing some pop, country, and rock music. We walked around for a little while to see available options. My mouth watered so much. I swore I would have eaten everything if I could.
Oscar Meyer’s food truck girl giving out wiener sample. The giant wiener on the truck looks pretty..hmm..
Most of the samples were appetizers, the one shown here is a fresh spring rolls by a Vietnamese restaurant called Mai Lan on North State Street. This looked pretty good. I always order this every time I go to Vietnamese restaurants.
Some sort of shrimp sample at Kirby’s
One of our favorite restaurants, Lao Village also participated in this event. They were showcasing their chicken breast sticks, fresh and fried spring rolls with tofu, curry pops, and fried tofu for the sampler menus. I have had their chicken breast sticks before and they were pretty good as they were crispy on the outside and rather soft on the inside. They go so well with Thai sweet and spicy sauce. YUM!
I was craving for Thai food so badly that I had to get this mutated red curry from Lao Village. They put veggies like bell peppers, green beans, and cucumbers into the curry – which I have never seen at home. I guess they have to make do of the ingredients that are locally available and to match Americans’ taste. I will make my own version of red curry soon and I will make sure I will review it up here. In the meantime, refer to my easy authentic Thai green curry here
I found the curry to be a little too sweet with a strong note of coconut milk but it was not too ugly. It would have been better if it were warmer. The rice was cold and some parts were hard and I am normally very picky about my rice. Overall a 2.5 out of 5 for this $6 entree.
Moving along to the other block of the event, there was a rather long line at Charlie’s Steak Pit, offering all-American food. I should have tried the lobster roll but I was so full from the curry I had before.
Chicken wrapped with bacon on a griller. They were sizzling and definitely fattening (which is the best part right?)
My camera go-to man opted for a pulled pork sample from Liverpool’s very own BBQ house, the Limp Lizard. Stephen was saying that he actually liked it better than Syracuse’s renowned Dinosaur BBQ.
Look how beautiful this pulled pork look. Soaked-in just about right with that tender texture!
I stole this shot from Stephen, I guess he did enjoy the pulled pork 😀 Look at his face. Actually come to think about it, I am not sure if he was just irritated with my camera pointing at him or he truly enjoyed the pork.
I have recently become a big French Fries freak and was hunting for some nice ones. There was nothing that I like and Stephen knows how much I love french fries so he got me the next best thing, the salt potatoes from Tony’s, I am not really a big boiled potatoes fan but these MELTED in my mouth…it was veryyyy buttery with the right amount of salt. It made me happy. Thank you Stephen!! 🙂
And this is how the people at Tony’s prepared them.
Not really sure what these are but I think it’s some cajun food.
The Mission, Mexican restaurant from downtown Syracuse.
Moving on to dessert, the event was definitely a heaven for those with a sweet tooth. We could find all kinds of sweet stuff. Biscotti from Salina Street is one of the best places in Syracuse to get pastries. Blueberry cheesecake is very, very good here.
Ooooooh…Caramelized and glazed apples
Boba Suite, a bubble teahouse founded by a Syracuse University MBA alumni. They make the best bubble tea ever. My winter favorite is Lavender milk tea, sweet and aromatic. My summer favorite is pomegranate nectar with large boba (tapioka). The tapioka they use is sooooo soft unlike others that I have tried.
Cookies. Yum! Yum!
If I had not have peanut butter ice cream in the morning, I would have gotten myself a massive cone of soft serve.
There were a bunch of ice-cream parlors.
Brownie samples. *Mouth watering*
Edible Arrangement’s Fruit Salad
For those who have to complete the meal with some tobacco.
This is just a very tiny part of the event. Too bad that my belly could not take it anymore. Everything just looked so good. Syracuse definitely has many good restaurants that are waiting to be discovered. Have a fun summer everyone!