Fans of affordable locavore food have a new winner at The Gates

August 19, 2013

You may already have enjoyed live music, a DJ, a cocktail, craft beer, or kombucha at The Gates, a bar and club that opened last fall on Eddy Street in Collegetown. You may even have gotten to try their fries, available this spring, or enjoyed one of a few nights with food from nearby eateries like Mexeo. We're glad to report that The Gates is now serving a full menu of delicious food with a locavore bent, and at reasonable prices.

Sweet potato fries topped with amazing chili.Sweet potato fries topped with amazing chili.We're going to start out with the fries, because the menu at the Gates does. In fact, the fries options take up as much space as the sandwich options. The handcut "regular" Russet fries are out of this world, the sweet potato fries are somehow even tastier, and that's even before we get to the sauces and toppings.

The chicken-bacon (really!) gravy is fresh and works well by itself, or topped with melted cheddar. The southwest veggie fries are basicaly the fries version of nachos. And the chili is sublime poetry in food form, made with local Autumn's Harvest beef, tomatillos, peppers, and secret spices. (We promised not to tell.)

Veggie burger at The Gates.Veggie burger at The Gates.As for that sandwich menu, it features pulled pork made from a Piggery pork shoulder, either as a sandwich topped with cole slaw, or atop a natural beef hot dog. There are enticing locavore burgers and chicken sandwiches, as well as a house-made veggie burger that's always vegan and gluten-free. (In fact, there are always multiple vegan and gluten-free options on the menu, and a gluten-free bun is available for all of the sandwiches.)

The folks at the Gates used to run Culture Shock, downtown on Cayuga Street, and if you remember the excellent salads down there, you'll be glad to see similar ones here -- including the Sexy Vegan, mixed greens topped with pumpkin seeds, cranberries, chick peas, and more.

The Gates also offers naturally raised chicken wings with a variety of tasty and creative sauces. You can have a standard Buffalo-style sauce, or branch out with Sriracha Maple Mustard, Spicy Hawaiian, or even Garbage wings. Monday is wing night, with wings just 50 cents each and happy-hour drink pricing all night.

As impressed as we are with the food, we love just as much that nothing on the menu is north of $10, even the Bacon Apple Burger, topped with local bacon, cheddar, caramelized onions, and apple butter. Simply put, this is a great dinner at a great price, easily competitive with nearby eateries offering, shall we say, lesser food.

It wouldn't be hard to enjoy a meal for ten bucks, but plan on spending $15-20 per person to do a really thorough job, and stick around for the DJ or a live band. Find The Gates down the stairs at 422 Eddy Street or at thegatesithaca.com, or call 607-319-4198 and tell them you heard about them here.

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