The Hope Cafe Coffee and Tea House serves drinks, food and a philosophy of life.
Owner Matt Cullipher calls it “a community lounge.”
But voters in the recent Syracuse New Times Best Of poll call the Hope Café and Tea House the Best Vegan Restaurant and the Best New Restaurant in Central NY!
Having celebrated its grand opening on Aug. 18, 2017, the Hope Café, located in the Village Mall, at 305 Vine St., has quickly earned a reputation as a shimmering jewel on the local dining scene. Its inventive Peruvian recipes have accounted for its surprisingly swift success and its two new Best Of awards.
Vegetarians revel in the café’s black bean arepas, made with gluten-free maize bred, enjoy caprese paninis and gobble up big bowls of guacamole and chips. They also savor salads of baby organic spinach, tomatoes, onion, cubed mozzarella and Peruvian olives or nibble on maduros, which are ripened plantains sautéed in butter.
Carnivores get their protein with bacon and sausage omelets or paninis such as prosciutto’n’pesto, grilled chicken, meatball’n’mozzarella or pulled pork with Fat Matt’s BBQ sauce, named after the café’s affable owner.
Matt’s “masterpiece” is the Chicharron Sanguich, a flavor-filled pork belly served on a bed of thin-sliced sweet potato, topped with sarza Peruana and three Peruvian house sauces.
Hope Café sells a bunch of beverages, from Vietnamese coffee to juices, smoothies and sodas. The café’s emolientes are homemade teas used as holistic medicine in South America. The barley-based tea is liberally mixed with various spices, herbs and sweeteners.
Another specialty is “esencia de café,” a smoother, more caffeinated version of an espresso shot. “This is espresso the way it was meant to be,” Cullipher declares.
Like Café at 407 which supports the good work of Ophelia’s House, the Hope Café financially supports a 501(c)(3) non-profit, The People Project, which legally operates under the name Shekinah Gloria Ministries, Inc. The People Project, which partners with the Assembly of God Church, reportedly aids needy people in faraway nations such as Peru, Kenya and Pakistan; peopleprojectinc.com.
For café info, visit hopecafeandtea.com, or call (315) 451-5121.
Two more Liverpool eateries were also won Best Of awards: Ichiban Japanese Steakhouse on Old Liverpool Road was voted best Asian/Hibachi Restaurant, while the legendary Heid’s of Liverpool won for Best Hot Dogs.
Author Diana Abu-Jaber, who grew up on Morgan Road in Clay, has settled into a rock-solid rhythm of writing. Over the past 25 years, she has produced four novels, two memoirs and scores of essays and articles on her Arab-American background, food and film.
On Nov. 12, The SUNY Oswego alumna will deliver a Rosamond Gifford Lecture hosted by the friends of Onondaga Central Library, at 7:30 p.m. at the Mulroy Civic Center, 411 Montgomery St., in Syracuse.
Diana’s most recent memoir is “Life Without a Recipe: A Memoir of Food and Family” described as a celebration of improvisation, of unexpected detours and of living life on one’s own terms, the book draws upon Diana’s upbringing here by a Jordanian father, Ghassan, and an Irish-Catholic mother, Patricia.
Like her books, Diana has a sharp sense of humor, so her Nov. 12 lecture should be quite entertaining. Tickets cost $30 and $35; foclsyracuse.org; (315) 435-1832.
“To succeed in life, you need three things: a wishbone, a backbone and a funny bone.” – Reba McEntire.