Syracuse Diners Blogs

Doc’s Little Gem: Six Months Later

Project Update | Written By Nathan Mattise

Doc’s Little Gem closed for good on April 1, 2010. This past week marked six months since the Syracuse landmark went out of business. Below is a slideshow preview of Doc’s from the “Dead Diners” project being done by Diners Without Frosted Tips, documenting some of the closed establishments between here and NYC via NY-17.  Turn the captions on for some more info on Doc’s or check out some links below.

Doc Good speaks during his last night at Doc’s blogger Nathan Mattise on the diner’s legacy

Syracuse New Times story on the fire that started Doc’s eventual demise post on songwriter Martin Sexton and his love for Doc’s

Culinary links of the World Cup and the Syracuse “Man v. Food” saga

    By Nathan Mattise

    • If the USA v. Slovenia game is one you intend on cooking for, Epicurious offers some ideas on World Cup themed cuisine (via @mmccormickcny).
    • ESPN’s Page 2 was so inspired by the idea of a 32-team international tournament that one writer has started off the World Cup of Beer with all World Cup nations represented (via A few US-supporters/readers liked the idea so much they dedicated themselves to drinking only American beer during the World Cup (via @SaranacBrewery).
    • Those interested in watching the events in Syracuse might be interested in checking out Kitty Hoynes, recently profiled on for their crowd during the USA v. England match (via @syracusedotcom). No word on if the Irish pub is following suit of all the Pizza Huts in Ireland and allowing free food in exchange for goals against France.

    An inside look at the Syracuse Diners team…

    By Nathan Mattise

    Check us out while we’re working in the collaborative media room, utilizing the 360-degree panorama feature you’ll see at in a few short weeks.

    Post Update 4-29-10 Here are a few stills from the crew’s work behind the scenes as well.

    First some on-location filming:

    Then some candids from our first in-house story viewing/critique:

    Syracuse’s own “Diner” musician returns this weekend

    By Nathan Mattise

    Did you happen to catch this week’s edition of the Syracuse New Times? Not only did they do an entire feature on area homefries recently, but now native musician and diner enthusiast Martin Sexton has coverboy status.

    Sexton is the Syracuse songwriter who famously penned the song “Diner” (noteworthy enough to be used in a Scrubs episode mind you). He will be in town this weekend for a solo show at The Wescott Theater. Sexton’s favorite diner, Doc’s Little Gem, won’t be open for a post-show snack but he can get at us. We’ve got plenty of quality diners to suggest.

    Food photos, Funk N’ Waffles celebrations, Bourdain recipes and bacon sculptures

    By Nathan Mattise

    • Anyone interested in making their own diner cuisine might want to pay attention to Anthony Bourdain. Last week’s episode of No Reservations featured techniques to make things like hamburgers and omelettes (via @NoReservations).
    • Finally, if you love bacon and you love Star Wars, do you love a bacon AT-AT? (via SciFiWire)

    A Farewell to Doc’s

    By Nathan Mattise

    A lot of people wonder “Why diners?” when they see allusions to the upcoming project. The answer is best summed up by a This American Life episode entitled “24 Hours at the Golden Apple.” Ira Glass and crew spend 24 hours straight inside their local diner talking to the variety of people who pass through in just a single day. They find love and heartbreak, youth and wisdom, humor and tragedy. It’s the scene for the microcasms of life to play out side by side almost on a daily basis (but to make it better coffee is served along the way).

    Doc’s Little Gem was that landmark for me during my undergraduate years. It was the place I first fit in, becoming the forum where some of the older folks in First Year Players asked me to join their 3 a.m. frittata runs. As as resident advisor, I brought residents there to hear about their life hopes and dreams while debating literary characters with tables around us. It was the first place I took my sister to eat when she finally came to see my campus. It was the first place I met the two-years-and-counting girlfriend’s father. I’ve even taken multiple close friends there for “morning after coffee” – when grandparents passed away or their own farewells from the area were imminent.

    The ideal diner will forever be represented by Doc’s in my mind. The decor was retro yet inviting. The staff was friendly and engaging. The food was plentiful and affordable (not to mention always strangely satisfying). It was the first place that came to mind whenever I was asked where someone should eat in Syracuse and it was the last place I ever expected to go away.

    As I grow older and inevitably make memory lane pilgrimages to campus, those trips became a little less satisfying last week. It’ll be great to walk across the quad or step inside the Dome, but to me Doc’s was just as much a part of my time in Syracuse. I know I’m not the only who feels that way. I’m just unfortunately among the last who will have the chance to do so.

    The last night at Doc’s Little Gem

    Project Update | Written By Nathan Mattise

    Michael Morse chose Doc’s Little Gem to be the subject of his work with the project. It’s one of the oldest and most well-known establishments in the area with plenty of stories just waiting to told.

    Then the news hit. Doc’s Little Gem would be closing.

    Morse’s goal to capture the essence of Doc’s became more important than ever now that future CNY’ers may never sit down for a Frittata at Francis Good’s place. Take a sneak peak above at footage from Morse’s project and see just how Doc himself was feeling on that sobering night his diner prepared to close its doors forever.

    Breakfast and Brainstorming at Stella’s

    Project Update | Written By Nathan Mattise

    What will be? Take a glimpse at our production team sitting down to sort that out during a recent breakfast outing at Stella’s.

    The group is headed by Prof. Seth Gitner, a multimedia veteran who came to Syracuse University via the Roanoke Times. He (or maybe his daughter Sadye) led the meeting while friend and former colleague Evelio Contreras was nice enough to capture everything. Continue to check out the blog for info on the rest of us in the crew and the projects were working on until the final product goes live.

    (And no, we weren’t inspired by the recent ads if you were wondering. They were trying to establish themselves as a community-centric media outlet by squeezing their film/lighting crew into the place. We simply craved homefries and, in a room full of young journalists, someone’s always got a camera).

    Video: syracuse diners from Evelio Contreras on Vimeo.

    Stella’s portaits, the future’s coffee cup, iHop’s “sandwich” and art’s food

    • Want to see more portraits like that? Check out Stef Campolo’s work for more shots from her recent visit to Stella’s Diner (then stay tuned to find out when you can check out her video story on the place at ).
    • Interested in the future of coffee cup design? The people with the BetaCup challenge sure are.
    • iHop doesn’t want to be outdone by that chicken-for-bread sandwich at KFC. They’re unveiling a cheesecake pancake concoction that utilizes cheesecake sandwiched between two of their pancakes.
    • Finally, if eating food is overrated in your eyes and you’d prefer using it as an art medium… check out

    Suzanne Vega, Bourdain sightings, old breakfast cereal and Food, Inc. streaming

    • Finally, the acclaimed documentary Food, Inc. is currently available for streaming on PBS’s website. Director Robert Kenner is also doing a live chat on Tuesday on the website.