I was invited to Syracuse University to give a lecture during the Asian and Pacific Islander Heritage Month of April. I’d never been to Syracuse, and all I knew was that it’s a college town in New York. Even though April is officially springtime, it was still pretty damn cold at nearly freezing temperatures. I had no idea what to expect with Syracuse, but a few fun facts I learned:


  1. Syracuse University’s mascot is an orange named Otto.
  2. My theory proves correct again: Koreans really are everywhere.
  3. You can still find a cheap drink in New York.

Day 1 in Syracuse


  • Choring House
  • Chuck’s Cafe

We arrived in Syracuse in the evening, and with the cold weather looming outside, I was craving a bowl of steaming hot soup. Upon a Syracuse faculty member’s recommendation and good online reviews, the hubs and I ventured to Choring House, a Korean restaurant housed in what seemed to be a former office building.

“How good can Korean food in Syracuse be?” we thought, entering the no-frills restaurant with zero expectations.

Even though the place was packed, we still weren’t convinced. We were seated in a back room, and a young Korean woman took our order. To our happy surprise, the chigae was tasty and hit the spot. Glad to see a Korean mom-and-pop shop is making it in Syracuse.

Afterwards, we wandered the college town streets and happened upon Chuck’s Cafe where yet again, we were happily surprised to find a heavy pour of Jameson on the rocks was less than a McDonald’s value meal. Gotta love those cheap college bars (I miss Austin.)

Day 2 in Syracuse


  • Dinosaur BBQ

The most highly recommended place we try in Syracuse was a barbecue joint. Again, I was skeptical, considering we’re from the south where barbecue was born. The atmosphere of Dinosaur BBQ was great though, and the food wasn’t half bad (more on this later).

Day 3 in Syracuse

…And then we experienced the aftermath of eating barbecue the night before a flight.

But I believe in no regrets. But then again, maybe I say this because it wasn’t my stomach that was hurting.

Syracuse, you left us fond (and a little foul gastronomic) memories.

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