By Megan Sheehan
Photos by Steven J. Pallone
Van Helsing, beware! There’s a new kid in town, and he is angry. He is garlic. He is Angry Garlic, and he just hit the streets of Baldwinsville last September with a goal to satisfy all who obsess over him.
It seems every cooking show, or recipe article causing a great drool worthy stir contains garlic. Even in the meme world online: “If someone tells you you’re using too much garlic, stop talking to them. You don’t need that kind of negativity in your life.”
This hits close to home with owners and garlic aficionados Jeffrey and Tiffany Rogers, who now live and breathe garlic. The two pair nicely together in and away from the professional world. Tiffany is the business brains with a degree in IT application development, and Jeff has 26 years of restaurant industry experience under his belt. The pair has long had the
dream of opening their own hot spot and despite major tribulation during their journey, managed to somehow use life’s personal low blow to push on and make their family dream a reality. The couple agrees: “A big ‘thank you’ to this community and our staff. Without both of them, we wouldn’t be a success,” Tiffany said.
Tiffany and Jeff have hired an incredible staff of 26 employees who seemingly all have hearts of gold and are like family. The couple couldn’t speak any higher of their cloved team who have been a great help to their renovation process.
“Our staff is spot on,” Jeff said. “Eighty-five percent of the opening staff remains here now.” The Angry Garlic is located in a three-story structure originally built in 1832. Formerly known as The Seneca House, the building needed extensive renovations before it could open as a restaurant—something the Rogerses say they couldn’t have accomplished without the dedication of their staff.
“They just want to be part of this,” Jeff said. “They’re insane. They’re so good.”
Pictures of the original establishment are framed on the wall to in appreciation of the structure’s history.
Jeff and Tiffany knew they were going to support as many local businesses possible in this process.
“We don’t just talk about supporting local,” Jeff said. “You show it.”
If there was any piece to their project puzzle that could be filled locally, they jumped on it.
“We try to do everything local,” Tiffany said. “You’ve got to get the small businesses. You have to help, everyone helping each other.”
Local artists not only designed their grumpy logo but also covered the walls with creative, specific, personalized art. They
found local tables, benches, and flooring to create a full on local embrace. Of the 22 beers on tap, 13 are from local breweries, which you can sip while listening to local artists perform on Saturday nights. One of the coolest things about their local intake, however, is their most important. They use 12 local garlic farms for their most treasured resource. From top to bottom, the Rogerses have utilized as many localities possible. And people are noticing.
“It’s important,” Tiffany said. “People appreciate it.”
Their affordable menu ranges from soups, salads, wings, burgers, and sandwiches, to smoked garlic mac and cheese and black garlic shrimp scampi. Ever heard of black garlic? It’s made through a super scientific process of fermentation taking 28 days that our garlic entrepreneurs have mastered and take on in house. This process results in a unique sweet taste any garlic connoisseur needs to experience. From this technique, the Rogerses are able to make their in home sauces and spreads. Another unique stamp is infusing olive oils with roasted garlic which opens the door to even more culinary opportunity. Of course, they also smoke their own garlic for over two hours every day. Every menu item is from scratch, and also contains garlic, including their desserts which are made by local neighbor, JessiCakes Bakery. Be sure to bring the little ones to enjoy the family friendly establishment with seven options on their kids menu. The unique spot has room for 88 if you include the restaurant, bar, and outdoor patio area which keeps things intimate.
Angry Garlic is part of a close-knit community of regulars, as well as travelers. Word has spread and already have had garlic enthusiasts from Clayton, Watertown, Pittsburgh, and even Canada come give the Rogerses’ menu a go. With hopes of someday expanding and bottling their own sauces and spreads, the Rogerses aren’t sick of garlic! And both admit: “We couldn’t do it without each other.”
Angry Garlic is located at 29 Oswego St., Baldwinsville. Kitchen hours are 11:30 a.m. 10 p.m. Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, and 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday; bar hours are 11:30 a.m. to midnight Tuesday through Thursday and Sunday, and 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday.