Syracuse >Food & Dining > Pastabilities
311 S Franklin St, Syracuse, NY | Directions 1320243.048621 -76.155525
RUDE SERVICE-DECENT (OVERRATED) FOOD – This place is overrated, hasa poor to insulting wait staff and the manager "Gabe" thinks he's a pyschologist. DON'T GO HERE UNLESS YOU WANT HEARTBURN, AN UNEDUCATED LESSON IN PERCEPTION, AND A WAITTRESS TO DISMISS YOUR TIP AS NOTHING WORTH LOOKING AT. THERE'S BETTER FOOD AT ANY GREASY SPOON.
an extensive review – Not sure why Pastabilities is one of the busiest restaurants in downtown Syracuse on the weekends. It may very well because it's one of the only ones. Not that there aren't other eateries downtown, but Pasta's certainly is one of the few that focuses on their restaurant, rather than their bar. You'd think that with that edge, and the fact that it is one of the few places in downtown that you can enter without showing ID on a Saturday night, they would have better service.
The Service: I've been to Pasta's quite a few times. I've always gotten mediocre service, at best. However, they are not alone in this. Syracuse, in general, really needs to step up their customer service. How about a smile every once in a while? Also – it's pretty crazy that they don't accept reservations. That aspect alone has kept me away from them on more than a few occasions.
The Food: The food at Pastabilities is fine, but not good, and definitely not great. If you have lived outside of Syracuse, you would know this. So, you may ask, "why do people (ie: me) keep going back?" Answers = 1) some local person (who always swears that Pastabilities has great Italian food) invites us out for dinner and we don't want to be rude and tell them otherwise, and 2) because Pastabilities has a large menu that caters to a wide range of patrons that want something that is about 1.5 steps up from Olive Garden. I think what keeps them going is their well-known Pasta's stretch bread and their spicy tomato sauce. That's what I go for. I also head back every so often because I know that picky eaters will be happy here, as the menu is simple and rather plain.
The Atmosphere: I want to end on a positive note. My favorite thing about Pasta's is their digs. It's a casual place (tee shirts and jeans are fine) and the lighting is very complimentary. The location isn't bad either. If you can't find street parking – try the Atrium Garage up the block on the corner of S. Franklin and Fayette.
Recommended for those that are afraid of adventure, or who really love stretch bread (which can be bought at the Pasta's bakery or at the Syracuse Real Food Co-op). However, we might just have to be rude to the next local that invites us out. There's only so much Pasta's we can take.
Students Beware – My son's girlfriend took him here for his birthday. It was Saturday night, and it was early. Although there were better tables, they were put in the dark back corner of the restaurant. Within 10 minutes of ordering, their food was thrown on the table....and they barely put their forks down before the plates were grabbed from them and a check put on the table. They didn't rush to pay the check since the goal was to spend a nice evening having a nice dinner.
If you're a student, have your parents take you here unless you are looking for a fast food experience.
Lame! – Love the food. But they close at 9 PM. Rediculous. Typical Syracuse.
Food Falls Flat – The first thing you will notice is that Patsabilities has a very inviting storefront atmosphere. The ambiance and setting for a nightly dinner are close to perfect for a bistro style pasta house. The service has always been great and while the waits have been long, they have never been excruciating. However, once have been seated and the meal begins, something else begins to happen. The wine offerings are extensive and of good choice, however, the menu leaves little to be desired with misguided offerings that fall very short of expectations and leave you wanting much, much more. If you are so bold as to buy-in to their offerings you will find food that has too much of all the wrong things. The pastas are too creamy, often very bland and if they have flavor, the flavors do not work well. There are two things that are almost a saving grace for the meal itself; the first are the salads, which have always been fresh and tasty. Second is the spicy tomato sauce and bread served before the meal but I am not returning to a restaurant for good bread and salads. I have visited Pastabilities three or four times simply because the atmosphere is so inviting and in hopes that I was wrong in my judgment with the previous experiences but the outcome has been the same every visit and I am sure I will not be back.
Great atmosphere-horrible food.
Great lunch spot – I work downtown and this a great place to get good Italian for lunch. I like the cafeteria style line for lunch, moves quick and your food is ready in minutes. Never had a bad meal here and you can atually eat a great lunch for $7-8. I did try to go down for dinner, but like most places downtown... too long of a wait.
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