Ever hear of a frittata? Of course you have! Who hasn’t? It’s an Italianish open-faced omelet. Wait a second, though. We’re not speaking of THAT frittata. We’re talking about the frittata as served in and around Syracuse, New York. Also known as a fretta, a Syracuse frittata is a jumbled amalgam of eggs, potatoes, peppers, onions, sausage, pepperoni, and broccoli, or some subset of those ingredients. Cheese is optional. The other distinguishing feature is that it’s usually a massive plate of food, so much so that, unless the diner is accepting some sort of challenge, everyone orders a half or quarter portion.
Anyone who has spent significant time in the Binghamton, NY area knows what we mean when we assert that diners capture the essence of life in these parts. Some have closed over the years but many remain, some have been spiffed up and tricked out, others seem to be melting into the ground upon which they’ve stood for decades. All dish up the same predictable and reliable eats to anyone, from any background, who has the ability to pay the modest tabs. Gerald Smith, the Broome Country historian, has written a story that surveys the diners, both thriving and long gone, that have fed the Binghamton-area residents over the years. Check it out.