Elbridge cafe is more than meets the eye
By Christopher Malone
While driving down Route 5 through Elbridge, there’s a lot to see no matter which direction of travel.
There’s an orchard and farms, a school and a library, a golf course, several small businesses boasting Italian food to furniture and even larger businesses like Tessy Plastics. A lot is going on for a small community.
One of the more notable aspects of the route is Bailiwick Market and Cafe. If the notable red and while building doesn’t catch drivers’ eyes, the metallic statue of a steaming coffee mug certainly will; it’s a fitting hint for those unfamiliar with the eatery, which has been around since 2016.
Where the exterior of Bailiwick hoots country inspiration, its interior hollers mountain-town chalet.
The rustic Bailiwick is highlighted by its wooden furnishings, a notable loft area and a large fireplace. During the winter holiday season, where wreaths and stockings and other decorations emphasized a cozy atmosphere, the year-round cafe adapts to Central New York’s seasons.
What also stands out are the crafts — clothing (mittens and hats), cards and various food items — made by community artists.
Aside from food, Bailiwick strives to be a go-to for small gift shopping. In my opinion, it succeeds.
Where it also excels, the cafe and gathering place, which offers a plethora of tables, also hosts live music featuring regional performers.
Bailiwick offers all the meals of the day, including the weekend-favorited brunch. The concise menu, which can be found immediately as patrons walk in, is also found on a chalkboard above the register, where you order.
You’ll receive a buzzer, which will start shaking uncontrollably when your food is ready to be picked up at the counter, a few feet down from where the order was placed. The condiment, utensil and napkin station as well as the trash and dirty plate and tray station can conveniently be found as soon as you turn around.
OK — the food.
On my visits to Bailiwick, I opted for one of their coffee drinks and orange sodas. I’m unsure if the soda was made in-house (the label reads that the label itself was made in New Hampshire) but it was a healthier carbonated beverage with actual cane sugar and basic ingredients instead of the junk.
The campfire latte for the winter morning sounded delightful. The cafe-made toasted marshmallow syrup joined espresso and whole milk, cocoa and cayenne pepper. The concoction was nothing short of warm and comforting. The cayenne added a slight but not overpowering kick.
The Bonta Bridge sandwich sounded too good to pass up with roast beef, New York cheddar and horseradish sauce. These ingredients were joined by lettuce, tomatoes and pickled onions between halves of ciabatta bread. The crispy toasted bread and flavor of the sauce were noteworthy along with the fresh ingredients. Although the kettle chips may not have been homemade, the bread and butter pickles could have been eaten by the handful; I’m not one to go for bread and butter pickles either, and these were top-notch.
The weekly Bailiwick bowl special featured either steak or salmon atop a bed of quinoa and broccoli; a garlic butter sauce drizzled over the top livened things up. The generous piece of salmon was cooked perfectly and not overly seasoned. The flaky fish fell apart easily, boasted great color and was deciduous with the quinoa and crispy broccoli. The special, which varies weekly, came with an appropriate $15 cost.
The beef on weck, a personal favorite item of mine, was the polarizing item I ordered. The tender roast beef sat in a small pile between the halves of the in-house kimmelweck roll. The roll was fantastic with scarce caraway seeds and salt, a gateway roll for those not a huge fan of caraway. The $14 sandwich was served with a heaping pile of french fries and a cup of au jus to dip the sandwich in (and fries, too).
The beef by itself, despite how it was cooked, fell flat a little with flavor. The amount was pretty minimal, too, resulting in a very bread-heavy sandwich. I was also surprised it wasn’t served with cheddar, horseradish and even onion. Maybe I’m living in the Clark’s Ale House past but I’ve enjoyed other roast beef sandwiches touting the same presentation or at least explaining the option of having such things.
As a sweet treat, is the homemade ice cream from Bailiwick’s Field of Creams ice cream line. The hard ice cream is served year-round with several options including seasonal varieties. I love a good scoop with chocolate and peanut butter, and their “Dirt Road” had both with a bonus of cookie crumbs. I also got a scoop of the “Just Got Dumped.”
Where this is not an attestation of my relationship status, this guilty pleasure ice cream has just about everything anyone could ask for: caramel swirl, Chocolate Pizza Company chocolate-covered potato chips and pretzels, almond toffee and more chocolate cookie crumbs.
No matter the time of year and no matter the temperature, ice cream is an appropriate treat. The homemade, meltable, sweet and savory dessert was nothing short of satisfying.
The total came to around $60.
Bailiwick Market & Cafe has something for everyone, whether it be for a quick gift, a warm and comforting meal or cool off with some loved ones or friends over coffee and conversation.
Bailiwick Market & Cafe
441 NY-5, Elbridge, NY 13060
Sun.: 7 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Mon. – Wed.: 7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Thurs. – Sat.: 7 a.m. – 9 p.m.