From Pham to Table: Strong Hearts Cafe


Anthony Pham ‘19 , Editor in Chief

Welcome back to From Pham to Table. This week we are featuring Strong Hearts Cafe.

Strong Hearts Cafe, also known as Strong Hearts, is a place that welcomes all types of people and individuals inside its walls. There are two locations, one downtown and one on SU hill. Strong Hearts is a place that specializes in Vegan cuisine. Vegan cuisine is hard to find in Syracuse, and they are one of the places that specialize in it here.

Now, a bit of backstory. I was previously vegetarian for 4 years of my life, in which I learned to appreciate all types of vegetarian cooking as well as vegan cooking. Now that I’m no longer vegetarian, I appreciate it even more.

Inside, Strong Hearts is a warm and cozy space with walls covered in handwritten menu options and quirky signage, such as the one that depicts animals with the words friends on it juxtaposed with a sign that has fruits and veggies on it with the words food written across the top.

Strong Hearts serves a mixture of foods including ready-made pasta salads in the chiller ready to grab and go, breakfast foods, sandwiches, salads, pizza on Fridays, milkshakes, and desserts. Oh and a multitude of beverage options as well

For the breakfast options, there is a multitude of options that are available. One of my favorites is “Eggs” Benetricked which is Italian toast, Smokey seitan, seasoned and fried tofu, hollandaise with greens on the side. Or, you can grab The Waffle, which is one giant waffle sprinkled with powdered sugar and a side of maple syrup. These options are great if you’re out and about in the morning and looking for a bite to eat!

For the lunch and dinner options, they have salads, soup of the day, and sandwiches. Depending on what you’re looking for, they’ve got you covered.

For salads, a few options include Soba Noodle Salad with marinated tofu and mushrooms with a topping of sesame seeds and a sesame ginger dressing. Or if you are looking for something a little different they have a Grilled Portobello Salad, which has marinated and sautéed portobello mushrooms, topped with avocado, grape tomatoes, and alfalfa sprouts with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. When I was there with a friend, we split a Thai Tofu Salad which was absolutely amazing. This has a grilled sweet and sassy tofu, spring mix, Thai chili and lime cashews with a topping of edamame, red cabbage, cilantro, and sweet chili dressing. Either of these is great and I highly recommend trying something new for sure!

If you’re looking for something a little more substantial and wanna chow down, I would definitely recommend grabbing a delicious sandwich. A tried and true option is the BLT, which uses tempeh bacon on wheat toast with mayo, lettuce, tomato, and sprouts. If you want to kick it up a notch, I would grab the Cajun Seitan Sandwich, which has Cajun spiced seitan on rye bread with Daiya cheddar cheese, chipotle mayo, lettuce, tomato, and cucumber. My other friend grabbed their monthly special sandwich, which was their White Cheddar Chickpea Melt, which has their classic chickpea salad (something they carry all the time as a side salad), melted white cheddar, dill pickle chips, tomatoes, green leaf lettuce on a thick cut toasted marbled rye bread. This made me so jealous of her as it looked so satisfying.

The soup of the day rotates often but includes favorites such as Vegetarian Chili or Gluten Free Corn Chowder. I’ve had the chili before and it was so hearty and filling. If you’re looking to grab some soup, you better hurry as they tend to run out towards the end of the night.

A special thing that I love to do if I’m in the area on Fridays is to grab their vegan pizzas! They only serve these on Fridays as they tend to be a labor of love to make. My recent favorite is the Pesto Pizza which has a creamy vegan cheese right on top. This gives it a playful nudge to the white pizzas that you can find in most local pizza shops.

Something that I love to grab every time I’m there are their signature milkshakes. They are so creamy and thick, I love it. Now that’s a feat because they use no real dairy to give it that thickness. A favorite of mine is the Howard Zinn, which is their Chai Milkshake. It has the right amount of spice in it to give it that extra kick.

Another thing they carry, which I will absolutely grab if I think about it, is their desserts. They have a mixture of gluten-free and regular vegan desserts available including cupcakes, cookies, or half moons.

Strong Hearts Cafe is open late most days to give you every opportunity to try some delicious vegan cuisine. You won’t regret it! It’s a lovely place to sit down and do some work while enjoying something uniquely different and familiar at the same time.

If you’re a foodie like me and are looking for local places to try out, check out Strong Hearts Cafe! If you do, tag me with #FromPhamToTable