If you are in Cortland or heading there to see part of training camp, you probably do not know your way around. No offense to the tiny community, but it is not exactly a destination for many reasons other than Jets training camp. What are good places to eat? Let's provide some suggestions.
I personally have never been to Cortland, but Yelp is our friend.
1. Hairy Tony's: 102 Main Street
I have eaten here several times over the years and it is simply amazing. The owner is a master at Italian and Pizza, owning a few pizzerias in this college town. How he is able to be a gastronomical genius at British Pub grub is beyond me, but he is! Having grown up in England, on pub food, I should know.
The setting feels like a bustling British pub. The menu has everything from Shepherds Pie to American burgers and plenty of Italian offerings as well. Tony is a culinary genius with all of his dishes.
On this night, I ordered the Clams Caruso for an appetizer; A MUST have for any clam lover. Sitting in a spicy pepper and sausage sauce, with plenty of spicy sausage to eat as well, this was fantastic!
For the main meal I had my old friend, Fish and Chips. The batter is as close to British as I have ever had in the states. The chips were thicker than regular American Fries but not quite the thickness of a true British chip. Still, very good.
With the many beers on tap, I was able to have my favorite snakebite(though they call it something else here I guess) - Guinness and Cider.
Our server, Merissa, was extremely attentive even though she had many tables on a busy Friday night. I felt bad that I had forgotten to ask for a split check in the beginning (living in TX for so long, they always give a split check unless otherwise specified, but it is the opposite in NY). She was a good sport about it and worked through splitting a $160 check 4 ways.
Even though they were busy, no one tried to rush us off as we enjoyed after dinner drinks and took our time to leave.
I have never had a bad experience at Hairy Tony's and this night was no different.
2. Pita Gourmet: 41 Main Street
Middle Eastern and Mediterranean food
Open 11am-9pm Monday-Saturday
I visited this place during a bachelorette weekend in the spring, and it was so good, I came back to review! Fantastic Mediterranean food, with the best baba ghanoush I've ever had--the tantalizing, smoky flavor was addictive. Hummus was also excellent, along with everything else we had. Atmosphere is nothing special, and it was quite busy, but that was understandable; I think I was there on a Friday night. Wish I was passing through Cortland more often!
3. Green Arch Restaurant: 107 Elm Street
This is the best kept secret in Cortland! I don't live in Cortland, but my daughter graduated from SUNY Cortland. Instead of going to the crowded restaurants on the main drag, we ALWAYS made it to the Green Arch. My favorite is the rigatoni and meatballs!
4. Doug's Fish Fry: 206 West Road
Open 11am-9pm daily
Doug's- it's a no-frills fried fish joint. Big portions, practically a whole fish fillet and a towering stack of fries with a cup of coleslaw (or switch out for baked beans as my family has always done.) All of their fried food is done in a basic cornmeal breading with basic salt and pepper, but always cooked to perfection. They serve just about any seafood fried but things like clams are only available on certain nights. The chicken fingers are good and I loooove their grilling dogs (they use Hoffman's). They serve basic wine and beer and have a great selection of Perry's ice cream, the ice cream made in nearby Ithaca, which is taaaaaasty!
This is an order at the front and pick up place. No waiters! Food comes on cardboard plates, Styrofoam containers, plastic utensils, all loaded on to a tray. The atmosphere is classic with wooden chairs, tables, and benches, outside picnic tables, nautical accents, and a lot of Jets football dedication given that the team practiced in town for a few years.
At Doug's what you see is what you get but in my opinion it's pretty darn good.
5. Brix Pubaria: 60 Main Street
Open 11am-2am daily
So we drove up to Cortland last night for some Brix and again this place does not disappoint. We got seated immediately and the waitress brought us our drinks very quickly.
We ordered the Whiskey Maple Wings, Buffalo Egg Rolls and Veggie Fries to start with.
The Wings were amazing as always. They needed a little more sauce, I think next time I will order a side of the sauce but even so, the sauce was AMAZING. These wings are awesome, Crunchy on outside, juicy on inside, and all around just the best wings ever.
The Buffalo Chicken Egg rolls are awesome as well. Their home made Gorgonzola blue cheese sauce is freaking epic and paired with the egg rolls this is just awesome.
The veggie fries were actually the highlight. We got zucchini fries, sweet potato fries and regular fries. The zucchini fries where so crispy on the outside and soft on the inside and were awesome. The regular fries are always great but what really stood out here was the sweet potato fries. These were the best fries I have ever had in my life. The taste was awesome. What really made the sweet potato fries was the dipping sauce It was a marshmallow maple sauce that I could eat for days. This was the best combo ever.
We got the caprese pizza like we normally do and we were not disappointed. This pizza rules every time.
The service was great too. The only thing I don't like is the noise. It is overly loud but that will never stop me from going here ever. I love this place and will continuously drive a half an hour just to eat here. I wish they'd open one in Ithaca, they'd get so much business!!!!!!
Overall you need to get out here and try this place. There is nothing that is bad on their menu!