Saturday, March 12, 2011

Brothers 2

Name: Brothers 2 Restaurant
Location: 2901 Watson Blvd., Endwell, NY 13760
Phone: (607) 785-5550
Cuisine: Pizza/Italian
Price: Varies, probably anywhere from $15-30 for two

Brothers 2 has been an area institution since 1970, founded by Italian brothers Domenico and Luigi Mata. They are well known for their banquet catering, in addition to their restaurant/bar/pizzeria on Watson Blvd. in Endwell. We recently bought a new car and as part of the deal we were given a coupon for a free pizza at Brothers 2. Pretty cool, we thought, since we were planning on going there soon anyway to try out the pizza since we'd heard some good things about it. The coupon provided incentive to stop by.

We'd driven past Brothers 2 a billion times but I really had no idea what to expect it to be like on the inside. As it turns out, the restaurant has a bar in the front, some booth seating to the left of the bar, and a larger dining area toward the back. It's a huge space and an old fashioned looking place that reminded me vaguely of Sharkey's in Binghamton. When we went, it was late on a Tuesday night and the restaurant was mostly dead. We used the coupon to order a half cheese, half pepperoni pizza and had high hopes it would live up to its reputation.

Indeed, it did. Both of us were instant fans of this pizza, with its thin-yet-flavorful crust and sweet sauce winning us over with every bite. It reminded me of a much superior version of the kind of pie you get at Cosmo's in Johnson City, another stalwart area pizza merchant. It's certainly different from our other favorites in the area like Grande's, Rossi's, or Joey's, but we enjoyed it.

It should be noted that pizza is but one of many things that Brothers 2 serves. They have a full menu of Italian dinners, subs and sandwiches, and some seafood options. I can't speculate as to the quality of the rest of their menu, but I'd be interested in trying it out sometime. One item that interests me in particular is their Pork BBQ sandwich, an item they consider a specialty.

Even though our waitress knew we were using a coupon and hence would probably not be spending a lot of money, I was very impressed with the service we received, which added to our enjoyment of the experience. According to the waitress, the best time to come to Brothers 2 is either Friday or Saturday night, because that's when their best pizza chef is on duty. Certainly I am willing to check it out at that time, but for now I was completely satisfied with the pizza we got on this particular cold Tuesday night, and I am glad to add Brothers 2 to our regular pizza rotation.

Grade: B+

Brothers 2 Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Corbin's Cafe

Name: Corbin's Cafe
Location: 115 Nanticoke Ave., Endicott, NY 13760
Phone: (607) 757-2678
Cuisine: Breakfast/Lunch
Price: Around $20 for two

Before I begin, apologies to our loyal readers for taking so long between reviews. It's been over a month since the last one. Sometimes the day job gets in the way of writing...but it hasn't stopped us from eating and trying out some new places around the area. New to us, at least.

Corbin's Cafe can be found in West Endicott, near the intersection of Nanticoke and Main. I really hadn't heard too much about Corbin's before heading over to check it out, so I didn't have much of an idea what to expect. We arrived on a rainy Saturday morning around 11:00 AM and the place was bustling. It's a small restaurant with about 10-12 tables of various sizes scattered around its small dining room. Since they were busy, it took us a few minutes to get seated, but eventually we were seated at a small table near the front of the space.

The menu at Corbin's seems to be going for a slightly more upscale diner vibe. They offer various breakfast items, including some specialty omelet choices and Eggs Benedict, as well as sandwiches and wraps for those wishing to go the lunch route. Ever the breakfast fan, I decided to go with their special that day, a Mexican omelet served with home fries and toast. Megan tried out lunch, opting for a Turkey Bacon Ranch wrap with a side of slaw.

I really enjoyed my omelet, admiring it not only for the taste but also for the presentation. The omelet included seasoned ground beef, cheese, salsa, sour cream, and a little cilantro and was perfectly cooked and very tasty. I'd have to say this was one of the finer omelets I've had around town. The rest of the plate was just OK. The home fries were not my favorite and were perhaps a little overdone in spots, while the toast was soggy and soft rather than crispy like I prefer. However, it was still very good tasting bread, even if calling it "toast" might be a slight misnomer.

Megan did not care for her meal very much at all. She commented that her wrap was quite bland and was lacking in the promised ingredients, namely the bacon and the ranch. There was so little bacon in the wrap that at first, she thought they had forgotten to put it in, and not enough ranch dressing to provide much flavor. She did like the slaw, and ended up dipping her bland wrap into the slaw to infuse it with a little more flavor. In the end, I don't think Megan would be too enthusiastic about a return trip to Corbin's.

Service was about average for the area, and I'd say the atmosphere was a little cramped, but somewhat charming. They had some weird, vaguely operatic music playing that was rather loud and intrusive as well. I think Corbin's is a fine spot for a good breakfast in Endicott, but it is not without some flaws. I would definitely go again, and would give a mild recommendation to check it out for yourself.

Grade: B-

Corbin's Cafe on Urbanspoon
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