‘Best of’ contests are always kind of fun. Best beaches, best books, best bods, best failed celebrity plastic surgery, best awkward interview on late-night TV, best blog (hint, hint), best best of contests. You get the idea. There is a best burger contest happening on syracuse.com, and there are five finalists in the running:
- Ale N Angus Pub (Downtown Syracuse)
- Blarney Stone (Tipperary Hill)
- Johnny Angels Heavenly Burgers (Skaneateles)
- Village Burgers (Liverpool)
- Zebb’s Deluxe Grill & Bar (Mattydale, Utica)
I’ll add my own vote, though nobody asked me to, it’s unofficial, and it is way too late. Just consider it my version of voting in a Florida election.
My nominee: Abbott’s Village Tavern in Marcellus.
A small narrow place that you really have to look for on Main Street, Abbott’s was a great find for Wife L, Father-in-law D, and I last Saturday. Look for it across the street from the beautiful Presbyterian church, the oldest in the village, that stands tall at the intersection of Main and North streets.
In fact, while we sat upstairs in the fairly new second-floor addition of Abbott’s, we could look out at the beautiful white steeple of the church, which dates back to 1803.
Abbott’s is definitely more bar than restaurant. And on this early Saturday afternoon we were the only patrons for most of our visit before a couple of guys came in for a cold beverage. Our friendly barmaid/waitress explained that Abbott’s recently changed hands, and that things do pick up in the evenings when there often is live music.
What I liked about the place, in addition to the exposed brick and beautiful woodwork on the second floor, was that it knows what it wants to do, and does it well. Abbott’s does bar food: six varieties of burgers, three wraps, a couple of salad options, and then chicken wings, mozzarella sticks, and other appetizers.
I had the Captain America burger, and immediately felt stronger and more patriotic. It is served with American cheese, lettuce, pickles, and a “fancy sauce.” Not a special sauce of Mickey Ds fame, but a “fancy sauce.” Wife L and her dad opted for the Bacon Lips: cheddar, bacon, bacon, bacon, lettuce, onion, tomato, and mayo. Woof.
We all loved it. The black Angus beef was tasty and grilled just right. The pickles on my burger gave it a nice crunch, and the secret sauce added a nice touch. My companions enjoyed the messy delight in front of them. And the fries, which are coated with Parmigiano cheese and parsley, were great. Our waitress recommended ranch dressing for them instead of ketchup, and she was definitely on to something.
We had popped in after working up an appetite after walking through the village of Marcellus and Marcellus Park as part of the latest YMCA folksmarch. We walked right by Daniel’s, the other village restaurant that was a great stop for us a few months ago.