Wednesday Food: Going Home to Endicott, NY!

This past weekend Eric and I traveled to my hometown, Endicott, NY to visit my family (about an hour south of Syracuse).  It had been almost 2 years since we've been and we were freakin excited! We had a jam packed schedule, with many places to go and people to see - but we keep our priorities straight.  We were there for great food too!

We got into town Saturday afternoon and were already enjoying the change in weather - 20 degrees warmer than Portland, so thankfully Spring had shown up somewhere! We started by hanging out on the front porch of my childhood home, stretching our legs after the 8 hour drive.  Later, we got together with my very best friend, Claire and her boyfriend Tim - who traveled home the same weekend from West Harlem.  They both work in film editing, and have crazy schedules similar to the food industry, so it was really great to see them!
We took them to the American Carpatho Russian Citizens Club, an exclusive establishment for the people of the Russian Orthodox faith (although in recent years, they have opened membership to anyone).  My mother's side of the family is Russian Orthodox, and we had many family events there growing up.

This was the plan.....go to the Club for cheap drinks and free pool, then get takeout from across the street. What's across the street you ask?

Consol's Family Endicott tradition in mine and many other families for years! Sure, there is also Coretese, Little Venice and all the other Italian restaurants in Broome County.  None of them compare - Italian American food at it's simplest and most delicious. No trip home is complete without dinner at Consol's. And eating their thin crust pizza at the Russian Club was like bliss for me, melding my two heritages together beautifully!

For our take out Saturday night, we got pizzas and a few other appetizers. In Endicott, there are so many places to get pizza and all of them are different and tasty. Consol's signature style is an extraordinary thin, crispy crust. And when you get takeout, they do not use boxes. They come like this:
Because of the thin crust, it's not very filling. If we are dining in the restaurant, we would sometimes order it as an appetizer.  Anyway you slice it - the best!

That was not our only trip to Consol's this time, we were lucky enough to go again! This time we dined in with my Grandparents and enjoyed a real home style dinner.  Consol's menu has always been pretty standard Italian fare such as homemade pastas, chicken, eggplant or veal parmigiana, manicotti, and antipasti. A few years back they added some new dishes, like what my mom ordered. Chicken Sofia is rigatoni dish with broccoli, tomatoes and chicken tossed in a light cream sauce.

As always, I stuck to my favorite dish and ordered Homemade Linguine w/Marinara Sauce. Sometime I switch to the Homemade Gnocchi w/Marinara, which is just as delicious. You really can't beat fresh pasta. I'm in heaven with tasty carbohydrates, garlic and fresh tomatoes.

Eric, like me, stuck to his favorite Chicken Parmigiana w/Homemade Spaghetti.

There are a multitude of Italian restaurants in my hometown, and they all claim to have the best homemade sauce. Seriously, I have to say that twice because there really are so many.  I take pride in my hometown cuisine, and Consol's seems to be one that never gets old and it's always hopping. Even on a Monday night you have to wait 20 minutes for a table! They are busy 7 days a week.

Stay tuned for next week, I'll be back in my kitchen in Portland, ME.

Remember, when the kitchen gets too hot, get back in there and keep cooking!


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