My sister and I live five hours away from each other in big New York State. We like to meet in Ithaca at the wonderful Quilters Corner quilt shop. Twice the helpful quilt shop gals have directed us to the nearby Ithaca Bakery. The food is so good we plan to dine there every time we head for Ithaca.
Apparently many others share our view. Ithaca is a college town -- Ithaca College and Cornell University -- and the place was packed on a recent Wednesday with college-age kids and many others of all ages.
The Bakery specializes in baked goods, especially bread, made in-house, and all kinds of sandwiches with fun names. The sandwiches are helpfully categorized under Farm to Bakery, Empire State Favorites, Specialty, New York Deli Style, Grilled Panini, Hoagies, Breakfast, and Bagel.
My sister had "Rick's Casablanca" at $9.95, featuring a slab of "local house-cured ham," which was just like you would carve off a great ham on Easter. It also featured caramelized onions, Manchego cheese, and a piquant tomato-garlic spread on warm, toasted French bread. My sister, a great and adventurous cook, loved it. (We both bought some of the Manchego cheese on the way out.)
I had good old egg salad on the house pumpernickel for only $3.75. I opted to kick in an extra 50 cents for "hand-sliced" pumpernickel, which the counter employee said meant "thick cut." Glad I did. The sandwich was huge, and great for the price. Best of all, the egg salad was not too gooey with mayonnaise.
You place your order at one of the many counters, and then someone delivers your sandwiches. Next time I hope to order "Ramona's Big Adventure," featuring local grass-fed beef from Trumansburg, NY, fresh mozzarella, arugula, tomato and pesto, or any of the other choices that sound so tempting. There is also a good selection of vegetarian and vegan, which befits a college town.
The coffee is the local brand "Cayuga," which is listed as fair trade. Many of the selections are touted as made with local products from the rich agricultural land of New York State.
There's something very tasty for everyone at Ithaca Bakery. You won't be disappointed.
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