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The bakery that time forgot

Harrison’s on West Genesee (across from Sacred Heart) is 60 years old this year. There is simply not much to the place, and there never has been. It’s basically a small lobby with three glass cases filled with goodies. Nothing else seems to have changed since (what I imagine it was in) 1949. Except now they are now offering ice cream, which seems mildly sacrilegious, but probably yummy too. Then again, Harrison’s was always yummy in a slightly sacrilegious way for me, because every family funeral took place at Giminski-Wysocki a couple doors down; and when I was a kid it was the place we went for “calling hours break.” Also, of course, it was where some of the food came from for the wakes. Sacred Heart Church is all mixed up in this dream too. Easter and babka, Death and halfmoons. The best halfmoons.

{ 7 } Comments

  1. Phil | October 8, 2009 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    Harrison Bakery has also been inextricably linked to memories of my family–both sides, in fact. My mother adored the poppy seed strudels and I sometimes make the trek out to W. Genesee to get one–just for the happy memories of my mom, gone now for 15 years. All it takes is a simple pastry to bring her back.

    Also, since my wife’s family took me under their wing, they drag me to the Polish language Mass at Sacred Heart–they bribe me to attend a service where the only word I understand is Amen by promising a post service visit across the street for strudel (although the rest of the family favors the eclairs.)

  2. Stef | October 8, 2009 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

    I LOVE their poppy seed rolls. And, not to start a bakery turf war, but their poppy seed rolls are much better than Lyncourt Bakery. However, both have excellent chocolate fingers/longjohns/insert-favored-nomenclature-here.

  3. Ellen | October 9, 2009 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Phil, can you do me a favor sometime and please ask your wife what “Svanyach” means?

  4. sean | October 15, 2009 at 10:51 pm | Permalink

    now, for the rest of my life, i’m going to see the halfmoon cookie as symbol of life and death, some kind of wild celtic pastry (alright, i know these were polish funerals, but i’m thinking halloween). by the way, they’ve got a different nickname for those things in gotham, correct? white and blacks or dark and tans or something?

    sean

  5. Chris | October 27, 2009 at 4:37 pm | Permalink

    I am no longer in Syracuse but my wife, from NYC, and I argue about who has the best “black and whites”. the “half-moons” at Harrison’s are better than anything I’ve had in the big city and I’ve been enjoying them since I was an altar boy at Sacred Heart over 30 years ago. Along with Columbus Bakery, it is requisite visit every time I am back home. Glad to see the hope to keep it going.

  6. Ellen | October 30, 2009 at 7:45 am | Permalink

    As I’ve said before, the secret of the Harrison’s halfmoon is in the frosting. Specifically, in the way the white and chocolate overlap ever so slightly in the middle, making for a double layer. Most other halfmoons I have had, the cake is too dense (and dry) and the frosting is too dense as well.

  7. sean | October 30, 2009 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    courtesy of you. thanks, as always, for the inspiration: http://www.syracuse.com/kirst/index.ssf/2009/10/a_half-moon_halloween_trick_or.html