The Pastabilities Are Endless

The Pastabilities Are Endless

A Food Review by a Hungry Student

Being a student at SU, our food sources are very limited. Dining halls are average, and there aren’t too many “hot spots” around town. However, there is one place whose name I always seem to hear…

Opened in 1982 by Karyn Kortelig, Pastabilities has become one of Syracuse New York’s most popular restaurants. Open for over 35 years, this Italian-inspired pasta shop has seen so much success, it has even been featured on Guy Fieri’s Food Network show.

After hearing such great things about Pastabilities, I knew exactly where to bring my father when he came to the city for a visit. Having been to Syracuse many times before, my father had actually eaten at Pastabilities before. He had nothing but wonderful things to say about the restaurant and was excited to go.

We pulled up to, what my father described as the “usually overflowing” entrance, and I went inside to put our names on the list while he parked the car. Upon entering the restaurant I felt a rustic, artisan vibe.

Art is made here.

Luckily, we didn’t have to wait for more than five minutes, but my dad recalled times of having to wait upwards of forty minutes. However, he said that people never seemed to mind waiting to eat at Pastabilities. He said that they would sit at the steel-topped bar and enjoy specialty drinks, and order appetizers to pass the time.

People liked being at Pastabilities. It’s not just about the food. When we were walking through the restaurant to our seats, there was a live jazz trio playing music. People like being at Pastabilities. It’s about the people.

When it came time to order, my dad wouldn’t stop talking about this spicy tomato sauce they have. He put in a request for it before our waitress even had the chance to introduce herself. The waitress knew exactly what my crazy father was raving about, and smiled.

She nodded and headed into the kitchen. My dad didn’t say anything or stop smiling until the dish came out. The dish was really titled, “Spicy Tomato Oil”, and it tasted exactly how it sounds. Paired with a basket of fresh bread from their bakery across the street, the sauce is sweet and spicy.

It’s oily but has a saucy base with chunks of fresh tomato and garlic. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t drooling writing about it now. The two of us polished off the bread and the oil, and I was eager to order my entree.

For dinner, I decided to order the “Homemade Cheese Ravioli”. Inside this ravioli pasta are ricotta and aged provolone. On top of the ravioli is half of their marinara sauce, and half of their hot tomato oil, a combination in which they call, 50/50 sauce.

The pasta itself was cooked to perfection. After researching Pastabilities, I know that they cook their pasta differently than most Italian restaurants. I loved it. The cheese inside the ravioli was fluffy and delicious. It was creamy and sweet, with a little bit of salt.

The sauce was the perfect ratio of sweet and spicy, but there was way too much of it. My poor ravioli was drowning in 50/50 sauce. However, I was able to play lifeguard and still enjoy them.

As for my father, he decided to order the “Fresh Basil-Walnut Pesto Pasta.” What attracted him to this dish was the Locatelli cheese. My dad is a huge Locatelli guy. He gasped when the waitress put the pasta down in front of him and begged like a puppy while I took the photo to the right.

He loved this meal. No leftovers. There were no leftovers for either of us, but he had had a “big lunch” that day. My dad said everything about his pasta was delicious; The pesto, the noodles, the cheese, they were all brilliant.

Not only did we find a hotspot, but my father and I found “our place” in Syracuse. If anyone is bored of their usual dining routine, Pastabilities is a reasonably priced, gourmet, nice restaurant to go to with friends, family or maybe even on a date. The food is great and the vibe is cool. Pastabilities, you have my approval!

Cover Image Credit: Katie Napell

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Prep These Snacks for Healthy On Campus Treats

Easy to Prep, Easy to Take With You

Eating healthy on a college campus can be a bit of a chore, especially when you’ve got fast food places every few feet, and the college meal plan doesn’t exactly offer the healthiest options. Snacks are normally limited to whatever you can get out of the vending machines, so chips and candy bars are a staple. If you want to eat a little healthier, here are some healthy snacks that you can prep easily to take with you to class, the dorm room, or wherever you need to go — even if you don’t have a kitchen to cook in.

Fresh Fruit

Most fresh fruit needs to be refrigerated, but you do have some options if you don’t want to haul around a portable cooler or lunchbox to your classes.

  • Apples are awesome sources of fiber and can be stored in a bag or backpack without refrigeration. Other tree fruits — pears, peaches, nectarines, etc — can also work, though you might need to be a bit more careful with someone of these. They’re soft enough that they might squish in your bag if they end up under a textbook.
  • Bananas — A potassium powerhouse, these little self-wrapped fruits are perfect if you need a quick pick me up during the day.
  • Citrus Fruits — Oranges, Tangelos and Mandarins are great little snacks, as long as you have somewhere to dispose of the peel when you’re done.


This might seem messy, but apple sauce packets designed for small children can be a great way to carry a healthy snack with you without the need for a spoon. If you’re handy though, you can turn the foil lid of a regular applesauce cup into a spoon with a few twists! As an added bonus, many of these packets contain other fruits and some even contain vegetables.

Green Bean Chips

These sound a little odd but hear us out — dried green beans have the consistency of potato chips while giving you all the nutritional benefits of regular green beans. You can buy them pre-packaged (check your local farmers market if you don’t see them at the grocery store) or you can make them yourself, just by drying them for a few hours in a cool oven.

Fresh Vegetables

These might require some refrigeration, but you won’t need anything more than a cutting board and a good knife to prepare them. Some good vegetable options might include:

  • Carrots — alone or with hummus or dip, these snacks keep for quite a while in your bag, making them ideal for between class snacks.
  • Celery — while it doesn’t have a lot of nutritional value, it’s super tasty when paired with peanut butter or other nut butters.
  • Sugar Snap Peas — a tasty treat with a hint of sweetness, these can be eaten raw and whole or dried into chips.

Any fresh vegetable you can chop up and stick in a container can potentially be a good snack. Some of the softer vegetables, like tomatoes or cucumbers, should be stored with a cold pack though to keep them fresh.


Most nuts, like almonds, cashews, peanuts, and walnuts, are packed full of good protein and fiber to keep you going throughout the day. They also don’t need any refrigeration, so you can stash them in your bag and forget about them until you need them. If you get bored of one type, it’s easy to mix them up. They’re also a great addition to any trail mix.

Just be careful to enjoy them in moderation. While nuts are good for you, they can also be high in calories.

Nut Butters

If crunching on nuts in a quiet lecture hall doesn’t appeal to you, try switching to nut butters instead. They have all the nutritional benefits of the nuts themselves, come in a variety of types, and can be spread on just about anything. Make a nut butter and jelly sandwich, eat celery with nut butter, or spread it on crackers — the sky is the limit. Stick to natural or organic nut butters though — these usually don’t have any additives, which makes for a healthier snack.


Don’t start loading up the butter. Without all the extra toppings, popcorn can be one the healthiest snacks in your arsenal. Invest in a cheap air popper — they’re about $20 at Wal-Mart and take up very little counter space — and pop your own. It’s okay to add a little bit of butter, but you don’t want to make it equal the stuff you can get at the movie theater.

Protein Bars

These aren’t always the healthiest option, depending on the brand you choose, but they can do in a pinch and many are flavored with chocolate or other sweet options, making it easier to pick up a protein bar instead of a chocolate candy bar. Look for brands that are low in processed sugars and made with all natural ingredients.


This savory spread is made from chickpeas, which are high in protein, and can be paired with just about anything. Dip carrots or pretzels in it, spread it on crackers, or use it as a replacement for mayo on your turkey sandwich. Hummus can be high in salt, depending on the flavors that are added to it, so enjoy it in moderation. It does also need to be refrigerated, so stash your hummus in with your fresh vegetables or other cold snacks.

Snacking on campus doesn’t need to be entirely unhealthy, even if you do enjoy your chips and candy bars. Supplement your snack regimen with a few of these healthy alternatives to help you lower your sugar intake and keep you energized so you can get to all those early morning classes!

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To My Beloved Starbucks, Thank You

I could not do it without you.

Dear Starbucks,

I cannot thank you enough.

You have truly helped me survive school, work, and just life in general. I truly enjoy the whole Starbucks brand.

Since I have been in college, you have always given me a good place to study. There are two Starbucks on my campus and each has just the right amount of noise, the smell of coffee, and always enough sunshine or lighting to read or write.

I have never met anyone who works at Starbucks who I have not liked. I am sure being a barista is a stressful job, and the things I have seen people order and ask for are absurd. However, I have never seen a Starbucks employee not fulfill these needs with a smile.

If only your drinks were always 50% off, I think you would truly fulfill my greatest dreams.

Respectfully Yours,

A Coffee Lover

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