We had a staycation here in Ithaca this week and it turns out a big highlight was a trip last night to the "Belly" food enterprise which inhabits Lot 10 bar on S. Cayuga Street every Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.
Belly is a food truck type enterprise, sans the truck, using Lot 10 as a three-night-weekly outpost. Unfortunately for us, we work those three nights, so when we had a chance to hit it this week, we did.
We wish we could tell you about everything on the menu, because that would mean we had eaten everything on the menu, but we only had one offering, the schnitzel and spaetzle. It was so good that we didn't want anything more. Well, we did, especially when we saw the other choices coming out of the kitchen, but we left great enough alone.
The menu changes weekly, depending on what's good at the market, and the creative impulses of the chef. It is a simple but splendid formula.
Our pal Manny Flores is part of the operation. He is from Queens and has worked at some of the best restaurants in Manhattan, but also has a feel for the fast-moving and hip, the ethnic, funky, and real. This is what Queens is, after all, and Manny represents. He takes your order dressed in crisp clothes, with a quick smile and a gift of gab. You are in the hands of a pro, here, who will make sure you're not only well-fed, but laughing and relaxed, and happy to be there. It's a tall order, maybe, but Belly fills it.
It's a great place to be. Maybe we will take next Friday off, too.