By KAY XIAO
The restaurants on the Commons and the rest of downtown Ithaca represent charming quirky Ithaca in the best light as a true haven for the hungry Cornellian to relax and make memories all while enjoying quality food. While the Commons is a little out of the way, making a trip beyond the bounds of Collegetown can be a refreshing change from mundane delivery orders, on-campus dining and Collegetown eateries. The variety of food in greater Ithaca never disappoints, and the local small town atmosphere of many foodie places provides a great way to get to know the real Ithaca outside of Cornell. By foot, car or bus, nothing in Ithaca is too far to get to. Besides, the scrumptious experience that awaits more than makes up for the extra mile or two.
Maté Factor, with its uncanny likeness to Bag End in Lord of the Rings, sits snuggly in the heart of the Commons. The log benches and woodsy decor create a mellow environment perfect for sipping slightly bitter maté lattes or refreshing smoothies while nibbling on a fresh salad or wrap. The beef chili sprinkled with cheddar and chives with a side of jalapeno bread is also a prime choice. However, Maté Factor’s fluffy buttery Belgian waffles drizzled with a slightly tart raspberry blueberry sauce and covered in whipped cream is what really gets me out of bed in the morning and onto the Commons. The sauce is delicious enough to drink by itself, and every bite of the sweet confection is perfection.
Joy Chua / Sun Staff Photographer