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In response to Steve Appell's articles, several classmates have graciously offered their own particular memories of eating at Ithaca during our student years.

Read up and see if they inspire any further memories, delicious or otherwise, on your part!!

By Seth Stowell

The 400 Restaurant

During my Junior and Senior years, I lived in a rooming house on Dryden Road, almost across from the 400 so it became an extension of my quarters. I would often drop in for a cup of coffee in the middle of the afternoon. The food wasn’t great, but I became friendly with a waitress named Betty. I remember the day I opened the mail to find a job offer for exactly $10,000/year. I thought I had finally arrived. No one was around, so I rushed over the 400 and Betty and I celebrated together. (Too bad it was just another coffee.)

The Cayuga Inn

I think that was the name, but I am not sure. It was on a hill overlooking Lake Cayuga on the other side of the lake from campus. We used to go there on nice Sunday afternoons where the attraction was having a drink on the lawn while looking over the lake.

Hal's Deli

I used to frequent Hal's a lot during my sophomore year when I lived near downtown on State. Hal's had recently opened. I remember Hal himself, showing us one of the secrets of making a deli sandwich. It was that you ruffle-up the filling so that the sandwich looks thicker.

My father grew up during the very tough times of the Depression. He was worried that I would somehow not have enough money in Ithaca and go hungry. So he gave Hal $50 and asked him to feed me if I should ever need a meal. I never did need one and never did see the 50 again.


Do you remember Tetra-Paks? These were an Ag school experiment in packaging milk. The containers were made from waxed cardboard as were most milk cartons at the time. But Tetra-Paks had this odd pyramid shape which was formed by an ingenious machine which created and filled the container in one continuous step. The only problem was there was no way to open them without spilling milk all over oneself.

Lehigh Valley House

I didn’t do the experiment with putting pepper in the rolls and leaving them in the bread basket to see if the rolls were re-used. It was a fraternity brother. And it turns out, they were.


How can we omit Zinck's, the bar mentioned in Give My Regards to Davy? In my day was only a shadow of its former glory, frequented now mostly by townies. Apparently, it had been remodeled and that was the end of that. But, I had another fraternity brother who made it a practice to stop in once in a while to keep the tradition alive.


Who can forget in our freshman year all of the trips to Jim’s, the Chapter House, on Stewart Avenue. The proprietor, Frank, a real friendly guy, the headwaitress, Billie and her husband who was the Chef. You could get a really great steak there for just $8. It was at Jim’s that I was introduced to Whiskey Sours.

I was first introduced to Swedish Meatballs in the Home Ec cafeteria- fantastic food. As an Engineer often ate in the Statler Cafeteria- interesting assortment of delicacies. The Faculty Club was off limits unless you were invited by a Professor- I was 3 times- nothing special. The cafeteria in Hughes Hall (the Law School) did not open until the Fall of 1965- when I was starting Grad School- great food- chili was fantastic – but early in the week. During the week in Myron Taylor Hall you had the Commons- a Coffee House of sorts and for me convenient to the Engineering Library. My favorite was Roman Coffee- coffee with lemon. Over in Collegetown you also had the Unmuzzled Ox- in a Church and I believe Harry Chapin played his guitar here for the brief time he was at Cornell.

The place I went to most often on College Avenue was the place right across the bridge - Pop's Place. "Pop" was the nickname of "Populis" who I was once told had not been there since the 1920's. The proprietor was an affable man named Pete. His chief waitress was his daughter Tula. Over my 9 years in Ithaca we became very friendly. Thy always inquired about my progress on my Ph.D. thesis and I always heard about their trips to Greece. The food was very good. I loved the chopped steak with mushrooms and to this day it is one of my favorite dishes. The haddock platter was only $1 and excellent. The ice cream for dessert – fantastic. My favorite: maple walnut.

Continuing down College Avenue you had Pete's in the middle of the block. Great fries. But do not confuse this "Pete" with the "Pete" who owned Pop's Place.

Then you come to the "400" on the corner- of which Steve has written. Owned by an elderly couple named Jack and Madelyn. Many waitresses but the one I liked best was a friendly blonde named Betty. Jack and Madelyn were very friendly people. Madelyn always walked with a cane- a broken hip, I think. They also always inquired about my studies and my thesis. Truthfully, I liked it principally for a late night snack with my friend Seth Stowell on our way back to our apartments. The coffee and English muffins were just fine. Despite Steve's memories, I did not think dinner there was any great shakes. The salads always appeared "old" to me. I always thought the food was too bland, really tasteless.

Further down next to the IGA there was Yeno's- a "hole in the wall" place- great food but you had to serve yourself your own water from the tap. Used to eat there with my friend Jose Perez. Down on Eddy Street was Leonardo's – later Alt Heidelberg- good for a beer but terrible food.

Downtown was the Lehigh Valley House and Joe's. The former was great except I suspected them of taking the bread and rolls that were unused at a table at serving them again to new customers. As a logical engineer I wanted to perform an experiment - carefully slitting open several rolls and putting pepper in them to see if later entering patrons reacted- but this was just a dream. Joe's had fantastic eggplant parmesan. When I met my wife, Diane, in 1967 I think I took her there on an early date and that is why she went out with me again. Also downtown was a place I think called the "Dairy Barn" restaurant. Food was actually quite good. I remember eating there once and at the table next to me was Bob Earle- who was the host of the then TV shown, GE College Bowl- he lived in Ithaca- and I actually came back on a Greyhound Bus with him.

Up on the East Hill was a place called the Coddington. During the week you could get all the shells and Italian Bread you wanted for $3. There was also Curly's. Chicken right across from Milo's Wreckers.


Noyes Lodge Dining Hall, on Beebe Lake, had a reprint of a cartoon from the New Yorker in a real nice frame, hanging in the entry foyer.

Cartoon showed a broken-down sort of guy, listening to a Salvation Army music-band at the edge of the sidewalk. (We all remember the Salvation Army used to play music and then preach to the down-trodden.)

Broken-down guy says, "If you can play Give My Regards to Davy, I'm your man."

Additional comment from a past '65 Class Columnist. This exchange actually happened:

Dear Columnist: Visited Collegetown during last Reunion. It's really different now. All our favorite old dining places have been replaced with fancy Sushi bars.

Columnist reply: O Tempura! O Morays!


We enjoyed your article about "dining" in Ithaca and on the hill. We savored many Boburgers during our time at Cornell. In trying to recall the ingredients, we remembered: a cheeseburger with a fried egg and sautéed onions, but thought we missed one or two more ingredients, so googled "Boburger" and came up with a recipe on Flickr, as well as one from, of all people, Paula Deen! Can anyone remember additional ingredients, if there were any? When first married, we used to make Boburgers a lot....we need to fire up the grill and make them again this weekend. Thanks for the culinary memories.