Takeout Pick: Sticky Rice

Sticky Rice
401 E State St
Ithaca NY 14850

Ithaca is a college town, and as such it’s loaded with delivery and takeout options. But to be honest, after 5 years here, those options might tend to seem stale. Sticky Rice is a hidden gem among them. While they sell Thai food, they mainly serve Laotian cuisine, which is unique and delicious (and sets them apart from local competitors like Tamarind and Taste of Thai). From grilled duck curry (Gaeng Phed Ped Yarng) to beef stir fry in roasted chili paste, we’ve never been disappointed in their food. Always well cooked, properly seasoned, and if you like it spicy they do it better than any other place in town (be warned their hottest is seriously spicy – attested to by Siddharth, resident spicy food aficionado). At around $10 per dish, we recommend picking 3-4 for 2 people and sharing so that you can have a wonderful family-style meal!


Spicy Recipe Pick: Sweet & Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken

Sometimes I run into a recipe that catches me off guard by how different it is but how good it sounds. This was my reaction when I recently say Andrew Zimmern’s recipe for “Sweet & Sour Bangkok-Style Chicken.” With plenty of Thai chilies and KETCHUP, it sounded unique but absolutely delicious. And it was. I made a few minor tweaks, mainly because I couldn’t find lemongrass (I used a combination of lemon zest, ginger, and scallions). While my reproduction wasn’t exact, the essence of Zimmern’s recipe came through, and it was excellent. Although I used a few extra chilies to satisfy my spicy tastes, this recipes packs quite a bit of heat from the outset. The fact that I was able to use fresh peas that I had picked up at BB farms earlier in the weekend mad the dish that much better. Tricia and I enjoyed this dish over jasmine rice with some dry stir fried snap peas (also from BB) on the side. The recipe is here, and I definitely recommend trying it out!

Dessert Pick: Lemon Bars

Citrus flavored dessert are very versatile for guests. They are sweet and sour, tangy and tart at the same time. Sometimes I wished I lived in California or Florida and had my own lemon or orange tree! Today, I picked Martha Stewart’s recipe for lemons bars to try. These are absolutely delicious and refreshing and ridiculously simple to make with just a hand mixer! Make these to share for your next dinner party. The beautiful lemon color makes for a great photo and summertime dessert centerpiece.

Fresh Pick: BB Farms

BB Farms
1418 Dryden Rd (Rt 366)
Ithaca NY 14850

One benefit to living in Ithaca is the access to fresh locally grown produce in the summer. We are able to find fresh and delicious vegetables and fruits through the local farmers. While the Ithaca Farmers Market is very well known, a local gem that not as many people are aware of is BB Farms, located on the northeast edge of town across from NYSEG. They operate May to October, selling produce from several area farms. In May and June, they tend to sell more flowers (though they do have berries, potatoes, and other veggies), but by July they have some of the best melons, tomatoes, and peppers around. By August, they bring in their peaches, and these are ABSOLUTELY the BEST peaches we have ever had. EVER. Their prices are also unbeatable for most of their produce. . We went this past weekend, and we were lucky to find fresh snap peas, Ranier cherries, and green onions. I’m not exaggerating when I say the snap peas were the most tender and sweet we’ve ever had by a long shot.We highly recommend making a stop to check out their selection!

Sandwich Pick: QT Vietnamese

Having heard so much about bahn mi, we were very excited to try it. We were definitely behind the curve on this one. After getting great advice from Yelp and friends on Chowhound, we settled on QT Vietnamese Sandwich as a good spot for our entrance into the world of the bahn mi. Great choice. This little hole in the wall in Market East turns out some fabulous sandwiches. Pickled vegetables, fresh jalapenos and cilantro, great meat (we tried the BBQ pork and the Vietnamese ham), and a lovely mayo and pate spread made this sandwich delicious. The crusty baguette made it one of our favorite picks in Philly. Oh, and while salivating over our memories of these sandwiches, we shouldn’t forget to mention that they have a nice selection of bubble teas, and we also really enjoyed their deep-fried fish balls. For a fast, quick, cheap, and incredibly tasty meal, QT is a great place to go in Philly!

Dessert Pick: Sweet Lobby


Sweet Lobby
404 8th St SE
Washington DC 20003
202 544 2404

Sometimes planning ahead for food on your vacations is invaluable. And sometimes you just stumble onto an absolute gem. That’s what happened to us when we came across a microscopic store front called the Sweet Lobby on Capitol Hill. Packed with customers and emblazoned with stickers and flags indicating all kinds of awards, we knew right away that we’d better try what they had to offer. Turns out they make some of the most delicious French macaroons we’ve ever had. Oh, and their cupcakes rock. So good that they took home first place in Food Network competitions (Cupcake Wars and Cupcake Champions). Timothy, one of the competitors on those shows, was a fun guy to talk to, and we definitely think that you should try his cupcakes/macroons!

Mexican Pick: Garcia’s

244 Elmira Rd
Ithaca NY 14850

In every town that you live, there has to be one place that you could eat at any time. You know, the type of place that’s inexpensive, serves huge portions, and is a never-miss in terms of taste. In Ithaca, for us, that’s Garcia’s. Great service, massive plates, and great flavors. And the bang for your buck is unbeatable. Getting decent Mexican food in upstate NY is difficult, but Garcia’s brings good, authentic flavors to Ithaca. It’s a place that you should try if you spend an extended period in Ithaca!