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Mother's Cupboard

3709 James Street, Syracuse, NY - (315) 432-0942
Posted By Bill Homan on 2/18/2014 5:13:00 AM
Syracuse, NY is a city with a wealth of great diners and Mother's Cupboard is among the best. Located just a couple of miles from Carrier Circle (Exit 35 of the New York State Thruway), Mother's is a tiny shack that you might miss if you blink when driving by. I used to pass it many times on the way to my sister's place and I had assumed it was abandoned as it was always closed. You see, I was always driving by in the late afternoon and as is the case with many diners in the area, they are openly open for breakfast and lunch.

Thankfully, I saw Mother's featured on a TV show and hightailed it there the next morning. A foot-wide blueberry pancake for me, vegetable omelette for my girlfriend and an order of home fries to share, we were very full and very happy. Everything was great, but the home fries truly stood out as they were fresh-cut potatoes and Peter, the co-owner and cook, takes a minimal approach when making them on the well seasoned flat-top. He tosses them on with some butter, salt and paprika and them leaves them alone to form a wicked crust on one side.

On the menu, a 6-pound frittata challenge awaits anyone brave (or foolhardy) enough to try. I've only tried to conquer the half size, only to cry uncle well before finishing. The potatoes and Italian toast (a "must have" on local breakfast menus) do fill one up rather quickly. I realize that the combination of broccoli and pepperoni may seem like an odd one but it shows up in almost every frittata/fretta I've ever seen and it really works. The biscuits & sausage gravy with a side of home fries I had on one visit almost put me in a food coma, but it was totally worth it.

Mother's is very tiny and there is usually a line outside the door, but they try to get you in as soon as possible. While waiting in line, it is possible to find out about a local concert/fundraiser, which politicians are running for office or find someone to fix that computer that's having problems from the flyers posted in the entryway. Once inside, I would suggest a seat on a stool at the counter. The sound of Peter flipping, scraping and clanging is somewhat hypnotic and stirs the appetite. Upon glancing around while eating, it becomes apparent that this is very much a place frequented by locals, as evidence by Peter and the waitresses seemingly knowing almost everyone by name. I have yet to try lunch here as I just can't tear myself away from their breakfasts, but as I stop here a few times a year when I visit my sister and her family, I know I'll get around to it soon enough.

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Scorecard

4 - Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Overall: One of the Best - Worth a Trip
Home Fries
Foot-wide Pancake
Half Frittata
Vegetable Omelette
Biscuits & Sausage Gravy
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

From the crispy edges to the spongy center, this massive blueberry pancake was a joy to eat.
"From the crispy edges to the spongy center, this massive blueberry pancake was a joy to eat."
Bill Homan





This was actually the 'to-go' portion of a full order from a fellow diner who couldn't finish the whole thing.  He saw me taking pictures and asked if I would snap one of his 'trophy'.
"This was actually the 'to-go' portion of a full order from a fellow diner who couldn't finish the whole thing. He saw me taking pictures and asked if I would snap one of his 'trophy'."
Bill Homan


The buttering and griddling of the biscuits put this rib-sticking dish over the top.
"The buttering and griddling of the biscuits put this rib-sticking dish over the top."
Bill Homan


A very filling vegetable omelette with a side of toast.
"A very filling vegetable omelette with a side of toast."
Bill Homan


Creamy and crispy, these are some of the best home fries I've ever eaten.
"Creamy and crispy, these are some of the best home fries I've ever eaten."
Bill Homan


Also known as a 'Fretta' at many local establishments, this mash-up of tasty ingredients will fuel you for the whole day.
"Also known as a 'Fretta' at many local establishments, this mash-up of tasty ingredients will fuel you for the whole day."
Bill Homan


Listen to Mother!
"Listen to Mother!"
Bill Homan


So many great choices.
"So many great choices."
Bill Homan



""
Bill Homan


Mother says, CASH ONLY!
"Mother says, CASH ONLY!"
Bill Homan


The S.O.S. is next on my 'to-do' list.
"The S.O.S. is next on my 'to-do' list."
Bill Homan


A tiny place where the locals go for big flavors.
"A tiny place where the locals go for big flavors."
Bill Homan



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