I would agree with the previous poster in that it is rarely a problem at lunch as long as you stay away from the main rush (11:45AM to 12:45PM). So either location works depending on what time you are getting into the area. They are about 70-75 minutes apart from each other. I have been to both locations and they both are excellent. I don’t know if you are familiar with the area but the Syracuse location is much easier to get to from the thruway and closer to it.
As for the return trip if you plan on staying close to 90 (the Thruway) I would second the Heids stop as long as you like hotdogs as they don’t serve hamburgers. (This was important with the kids as soem would only setlle for burgers.)