Great Italian food at "Mother's"

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2005/08/22 11:44:10 (permalink)

Great Italian food at "Mother's"

I know there are a plethora of great italian restaurants in the US, from NY, to Chicago to any big city and small town with a history of italian immigrants including old industrial towns like Youngstown OH, Utica NY and the like.

Well, I travelled to my childhood hometown Syracuse, NY this past week and stumbled across an old hometown restaurant that is EXACTLY the kind of restaurant that should be discussed on Roadfood.com.

Unfortunately, I went to this restaurant without my camera and couldn't do a proper review. So, hopefully, anyone travelling up and down I-81 will see this and post their own review.

The place is called Mother's, and it's located on 1st Street in Liverpool, NY. Usually, when one thinks of Italian in Syracuse, they think about Barbagellos, Aunt Josies, Borio's, Angotti's, Casa Di Copani's, Dominick's, Antonios, Santangelos, and all the little places on the North side. But this little mom and pop place on 1st Strett in Liverpool has been a village secret for as long as I remember. So much a secret, I forgot about this little place and, thankfully, was pleasantly reminded of it on my trip.

My friend and I had a camping weekend planned, but in typical Syracuse fashion, rain put the hold on my camping trip, so my friend and I went to Mother's to eat.

Mother's is situated in an old house which was later adapted for the restaurant. The carpeted floor slants to the left a bit, but most tables are situated so as to feel as if you're not on a slant.
The tables are covered with white and red checkered tabled coverings. There is white lattace and green plants all around.

The waitress was a long-time server and was very amiable offering suggestions and helpful hints. She spoke with the typical soft nasally voice common to the region and Western, NY.

I had escargo appetizer and a "half plate" of spaghetti with meat sauce, and my friend had the Lasagna which came with a salad.

A basket of bread with flavored olive oil to dip it in was served to the table. The herb and garlic enhanced olive oil was a perfect compliment to the plain, but fresh Italian loaf. Crisp on the outside, but soft in the middle.

The wine selection is poor, but inexpensive. We had some local beer and mixed liquor drinks.

My escargo was tasty. Flavored with italian seasoning in an olive oil and butter mixture, the snails were perfectly cooked. A bit too much of the oil mixture was on the plate, but it was easy to eat just the snail, without all the oil and the waitress provided two types of utensils to get the "little guys" out of their shell.

My "half plate" of spaghetti was anything but half of anything. A full portion of al denti pasta, made in house, was served with a slow cooked meat sauce over top. I'm not sure how large a regular plate is, but this "half plate" was a meal in itself and full of homemade italian charm. I was unable to finish my half-plate.

My friend's lasagna was both large in size and large in taste. His "piece" was at least a full eight in in length, four inches wide and nearly three inches tall. Do the math, and you'll find that this cannot be eaten in one sitting even without the bread and salad.

The same slow cooked sauce filled the seams to this pasta, ricotta cheese and italian sausage layered casserole. Due to it's size, the middle was not as hot as the outside, but it was certainly cooked through.
My friend ate about half of his plate.
In restrospect, we could've ordered the one dinner and had two plates sent out. There's no extra charge to split a main entree.

Although the escargo was superb, and my "half plate" of spaghetti was good, since I haven't had lasagna in quite a while, I found myself longing for his plate.

A pre-dinner drink for each of us, the free bread basket with olive oil, escargo appetizer, half plate of spaghetti with meat sauce, lasagna with salad and coffee to finish cost about $32.

Our waitress was so friendly and the ambiance was so inviting, we eached pitched in a $20 bill and left feeling well fed and relaxed with a hearty "breakfast" in a to-go box.

Sure, I've has better Italian, even in Syracuse, but Mother's is definately one of those restaurants that roadfood.com is all about.

Buon appetito!

By the way, the next morning, we ate our left overs, and were able to go camping.
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7 Replies Related Threads

    The Travelin Man
    Filet Mignon
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/22 11:47:52 (permalink)
    Is this place next to a small ice cream stand? I think I might have eaten there.
    #2
    Scorereader
    Sirloin
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/22 12:12:43 (permalink)
    There used to be an ice-cream place about a block away on the corner of 1st and Vine St.
    Across the street is a bank, and on the same side as Mother's is a barber shop and Nichols Liquors and Nichols Grocery store.

    #3
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/26 00:14:39 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scorereader

    There used to be an ice-cream place about a block away on the corner of 1st and Vine St.
    Across the street is a bank, and on the same side as Mother's is a barber shop and Nichols Liquors and Nichols Grocery store.




    I am going to have to dig out my old notes...but the place I recall was a very old-school Italian place right next door to a soft-serve ice cream joint. I think we technically parked in the ice cream places parking lot. I remember my place had a bar in the front room, and a dining room in the back. The decor included a wall covered with celebrities (seemed like many local celebs) pictures on the wall.

    Steve
    #4
    Scorereader
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/26 10:40:58 (permalink)
    That sound's like my personal absolute favorite Italian place in Syracuse...AUNT JOSIE'S!!!
    It's at the intersection of N. Salina St., Kirkpatrick St. and Lodi St. on the North Side

    They have the BEST meatballs!

    The ice cream stand is called A J's Ice Cream.

    The parking lot of Aunt Josie's is right in front of the ice cream stand.

    Aunt Josie passed away several years ago. A sad day for Syracuse restaurants.
    But I went there 5 years ago and they were still cooking using Josie's recipes and methods (the sauce was slow cooked over 24 hours)

    The ice cream is very good too.

    AUNT JOSIE'S address is 1110 N. Salina Street Syracuse, NY

    MOTHER'S is in the Village of Liverpool at 201 1st Street.


    #5
    The Travelin Man
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/29 17:48:23 (permalink)
    quote:
    Originally posted by Scorereader

    That sound's like my personal absolute favorite Italian place in Syracuse...AUNT JOSIE'S!!!
    It's at the intersection of N. Salina St., Kirkpatrick St. and Lodi St. on the North Side

    They have the BEST meatballs!

    The ice cream stand is called A J's Ice Cream.

    The parking lot of Aunt Josie's is right in front of the ice cream stand.

    Aunt Josie passed away several years ago. A sad day for Syracuse restaurants.
    But I went there 5 years ago and they were still cooking using Josie's recipes and methods (the sauce was slow cooked over 24 hours)

    The ice cream is very good too.

    AUNT JOSIE'S address is 1110 N. Salina Street Syracuse, NY

    MOTHER'S is in the Village of Liverpool at 201 1st Street.





    Aunt Josie's is the place! Good job. Sometimes I think it is amazing that people can decipher something someone throws out with only a few clues. I looked at my notes, and Mother's was the other place that we considered the night that we went to Aunt Josie's. That is where I got confused. The recommendation came from the Wyndham hotel when we insited that there had to be more to food than what one would find in the Olive Garden -- which is where they directed the group before us when asked for an Italian recommendation. We told the guy that we had a car, weren't afraid to drive into a bad neighborhood....but wanted really good food. He suggested Mother's and Aunt Josie's and told us that we wouldn't be disappointed in either.

    We were going to try the ice cream, but they were closed when we came out of dinner. I will try to make it on my next trip up that way (probably in the spring).

    Steve
    #6
    fablerox
    Junior Burger
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/29 18:21:01 (permalink)
    Nothing really compares to a meal at a real Italian mother's house. My mother in law makes the greatest eggplant parm. Another bonus-no bill.
    #7
    Scorereader
    Sirloin
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    RE: Great Italian food at "Mother's" 2005/08/30 14:58:06 (permalink)
    Free food is hard to pass up.

    My good friend's Nana made me the greatest veal parmigiano I ever had. I was 16 or 17, and went over to Nana and Nano's house with my good friend (and my closest tie to the Italian heritage) and Nana served us this wonderful dinner complete with bread, antipasti, spaghetti and dessert. Nana was almost embarassed that I was eating over, as she hadn't had time to prepare a "real" meal.

    The meal was superb, and I was sure to tell her not to apologize. "I'm in heaven, Nana," I assured her.

    It was also the first time I had been served wine at dinner. "Have some vino," she offered. It was normal in her house to serve wine at every dinner. I drank a very modest amount of wine, as at this point in my life, I hadn't the proper palate, nor experience to truely enjoy the wine. But, it did add to the meal, nonetheless.

    I will not only not forget the meal, but I will never forget the warmth and love that was shared at the table. Just a regular day, and a regular meal, that wasn't so regular.

    On a funnier side. Nano was the source of great humor and long tales of his youth in Pamploma. He would reminisce about his school days and young adult life growing up, playing the trumpet, going to school, meeting his wife, and the many tiny events inbetween.
    One day, after Nano told us of the time he played with the Pamplona Symphony, Nana asked,(and mostly in jest, I should add) "Nano, how is it you member all these things from your youth, but cannot remember the meal you had last night for dinner?" He told us, "I'm old. The older you get, the wiser, you get. The older you get, the wiser you get. I'm old. And I'm very wise; I know lots of things. But, my brain....my brain...it'sa full, my brain itsa full...it can't take no more, I have to forget things, to remember things...that's why I don't know what I had for dinner last night, ok? Ok!"






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