This past weekend we had to make an impromptu trip to Syracuse, NY, where Amy's mom lives, to do some administrative work for our car. It's only about a five-hour drive from our apartment in Brooklyn — just enough time to work up a major appetite.
A long-needed vegan café in Syracuse opened a few months ago, serving delicious fare — great sandwiches, sides, and most important; milkshakes. We made the stop at Strong Hearts Cafe, located on East Genesee street, and managed to nab the last empty table.
Amy's heart beats for baked goods of any kind, and she marveled at the selection of black & white cookies, cupcakes and muffins. She selected a gorgeous (and HUGE) chocolate-mint cupcake, and ordered a large salad with vegan ranch dressing. Nate was in the mood for something slightly more substantial, and ordered a Tofurkey and grilled Teese sandwich loaded with fresh veggies, a side of chipotle potato salad, and an Earth Crisis shake (peanut butter & chocolate).
The salad was the perfect size, contained fresh tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers and mixed greens. The vegan ranch was excellent. But, of course, Amy thought the cupcake was the star of the show. It was a fluffy cake, with a large ratio of minty green frosting and, along with a cup of coffee, pleased her tummy.
Nathan, as usual, devoured his grilled sandwich and side in a matter of seconds. Rumor is, it was also delicious. The side of chipotle potato salad was smokey and spicy — just right. The massive shake went down smooth, and was a wonderful value, compared to the cost of a vegan shake in New York!
We're thrilled that such a great place exists back home… so much that we returned on Sunday morning for brunch with Amy's mom.
Much like she does baked goods, Amy loves a good brunch — whether scrambled tofu, pancakes, oatmeal… you name it, she loves it. Nate, however, is "not be a breakfast guy," so he ordered an entree sized chick'n Caesar salad and a soda.
The salad was loaded with faux chicken strips, warm toasty croutons, and cherry tomatoes atop heaps of crisp romaine lettuce. The generous portion of dressing was tangy, salty and delicious.
Amy's mom, Colleen, ordered the vegan pancackes and a tart glass of cranberry juice, while Amy chose waffles with blueberries and another cup of great coffee. Shockingly, the check was only $27!
More finicky than either of us, Colleen claimed the pancakes weren't "done" enough, and traded Amy for her waffles. Amy had no complaints and even considered that she was getting the better of the two any way. The pancakes were hearty, with just the right amount of sweetness. Amy felt the waffles were underwhelming, but Nate who "doesn't really like that stuff" had no problem finishing what Colleen couldn't.
On the way out, Nathan bought himself a cupcake that looked similar to the one Amy had the previous day, except his was peanut butter and chocolate (a flavor he can't resist). Amy found this one to be a little more fresh than her mint, but found the ratio of frosting with the PB flavor to be a bit too rich. Nate, as usual, found no problems with the treat. In fact, Amy was shocked to be offered a bite at all!