This week, 14850 Dining is checking out the Red & White Cafe. A few blocks northwest of the Downtown Ithaca Commons, this decades-old corner shop has been renovated to offer dine-in seating.
It’s open mid-morning to late afternoon weekdays, mostly catering to a lunch crowd that knows to stop by for hearty sandwiches and, especially, the famous fish fry.
The Red & White has a range of third-pound burgers cooked to order, with the usuals — plus creative combos like the Cowboy Burger, topped with BBQ sauce and onion rings. And the Surfer Burger, with swiss cheese, teriyaki sauce, and a grilled pineapple!
The Corner Store was a deli long before the Wells family remodeled and reopened as the Red & White Cafe, and the deli counter serves up turkey clubs, roast beef subs, grilled reubens, and one of the few pastrami sandwiches left in town. There’s even eggplant parmigiana.
Onion rings, french fries, and sweet potato fries are among the sides, and the crisp onion rings are made with thick slices of real onion, none of that minced and formed stuff. (For $4, I would’ve loved a bigger portion of onion rings, though.)
But it’s that fish fry we mentioned that keeps people coming back. Fresh haddock, battered and fried, as a sandwich, a sub, or a platter. Plus oyster or shrimp po’boys, scallop or clam strip dinners, enough seafood variety for a seaside town.
The Red & White Cafe now has seating for a couple dozen, a full-size rest room, and memorabilia from the old days as a neighborhood shop, like a grocer’s scale and a coffee grinder. And lots of great food that makes it worth a visit sometime soon for lunch or to grab supper on the way home.
Plan on spending $6-15 on a meal. Find the Red & White Cafe at 402 West Court Street, just west of GIAC, open 11am-6pm weekdays (until 7 on Friday), or give them a call at 607-273-5233 and tell them you heard about them here.