There are many complaints regarding Parent’s Weekend, including the wide-held suspicion that it’s strategically scheduled on our most hallowed of weekends (Halloweekend, that is). Eating on your parents’ dime is not one of them. If you have family coming to SU this weekend, you might miss out on the fun, but you’ll eat like a king (or queen) with our six restaurant suggestions for Marshall, Armory, and beyond.
—Audrey Morgan, digital director of Baked Magazine. Follow Audrey on Instagram @audreymorg.
With decorative rugs hanging on the walls and beads dangling from the windows, King David’s has a mellow atmosphere that’s the perfect combination of sit-down restaurant and hole-in-the-wall. The entrées are relatively cheap, so you can get the most bang for your parents’ buck; clocking in at around $9 per person, the Vegetarian for Two consists of a vast quantity of Mediterranean specialties, from spinach pies to babaganoush and baklava for dessert. Though its name says otherwise, there will be more than enough food for the entire family. If you’re a self-proclaimed carnivore, there are plenty of meat dishes on the menu, among them enormous pocket sandwiches with fillings that range from gyro meat to grilled chicken (vegetarian options like falafel also abound).
129 Marshall Street
The food at this restaurant of Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives fame is all it’s hyped it up to be, and the spicy hot tomato oil is no exception. Make sure to get two for the table—all the better for sopping up with homemade stretch bread (it’s a Syracuse thing). The duck bacon flatbread pizza will likely provide everything you’re craving: depth from the bacon, a little funk from the cheese, and sweetness from dried cherries and a pomegranate drizzle. If you wish to honor the name of this establishment, order the Wicky-Wicky Chicken Riggies, or rigatoni topped with a spicy tomato cream sauce—your taste buds will thank (or hate) you for the addictive heat. The restaurant is almost always packed, so bring your parents Friday or Saturday afternoon, when the same food is served cafeteria-style.
311 S. Franklin Street
You can have Slider’s any day of the week—forego your normal hangover grub in favor of a proper meal if eating on Marshall. At Appethaizing, you’ll find fresh and flavorful Thai dishes that are in perfect balance. The portion sizes are substantial, so feel free to order a variety of dishes for the table and share amongst the family. Start with the Appethaizing rolls, filled with marinated pork and steamed vegetables—they’re crispy but never soggy (get two orders if there are three or more of you). Counter all that fried goodness with a sautéed dish, or go for more of the “bad” stuff: the Pad Thai is among the best you’re likely to find in Syracuse.
727 S. Crouse Avenue #4
If loud and crowded restaurants are your thing, bring your parents to Dinosaur. If not, go anyways for the food, as well as the lively, joint-like atmosphere. Efficient wait staff will ensure you don’t have to wait too long to be seated, and your parents will love the nostalgic touches to the décor. Depending on your appetite, order a tender brisket sandwich or try any variety of the St. Louis ribs—dry-rubbed and slow pit-smoked, then lightly glazed with Dinosaur’s original BBQ Sauce. If you don’t have a BBQ of choice, the Tres Nino’s plate contains brisket, ribs, and pork for a not-too-steep price of $16. You’ll want to opt for the homemade sides, but if you must save room for dessert, the sweet potato pecan pie, with its smooth filling and crunchy topping, will satisfy your year-round craving for Thanksgiving sweets.
246 W. Willow Street
This Irish pub-style restaurant and bar has a fun, convivial atmosphere that’s perfect for lunch. Dad will appreciate the draught beer on tap—maybe he’ll forget to ask about your grades after a few pints. The food is indulgently delicious, from Irish specialties like fish and chips to pub food standbys (buffalo wings, turkey melts). Should you find yourself there for dinner, try the herb-smoked fish taco, served on a whole-wheat pita with pico de gallo and chipotle mayo—it’ll change the way you think about bar food. Your parents will love the classics (think Sheperd’s pie), and the grilled salmon is a great option for anyone watching their waistline.
301 W. Fayette Street
If you’re in the mood for something swankier—or you know your weekly budget won’t cover a $25 entrée without some extra help from Mom and Dad—go to Phoebe’s for freshly prepared, elegant food. Its well-executed classics range from Caesar salad to roasted chicken breast and crème brûlée. At the moment, the restaurant is serving a seasonal pumpkin and butternut squash gnocchi. Rich, soft, and subtly sweet, it’s sure to please vegetarians, fall lovers, and everyone else.
900 E. Genesee Street