Something great is happening in Central New York. Most recently a native who had moved back to the area started a new farm to table foodie place called The Stoop Kitchen in Armory Square. I loved what he wrote in his blog page. (If you get a chance you should read it as it is quite inspiring.) Syracuse is being resurrected with already established farm to table restaurants and new up and coming ones. Believe me. The heat is on in Syracuse.
Syracuse is full of pleasant surprises. Just a week and a half ago I meandered through East Syracuse with my friend and my son and discovered a wonderful gem of a place.
Upon entering Kosta's Pizza House, I saw right away the heart and soul of Syracuse in this small 30 year old establishment. There was nothing fancy here. It wasn't pretentious or particularly attractive, but its appeal goes beyond its physical appearance. What I saw was a good man making people happy by making delicious food and interacting with customers warmly and genuinely. Everyone is treated like family.
I love that Kosta is known as the Doctor of Hunger. People are not only hungry physically but they are hungry emotionally and spiritually. That's what makes Kosta's Pizza House so special. Kosta feeds the Syracuse community physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
That is what I felt when I met Kosta for the first time. He not only fed me the best Greek pizza I have ever tasted in my life but I also experienced community and generosity. I easily understood why people keep coming back here.
As I introduced myself as Elaine and my son Constantine, he instantly connected with me. He enthusiastically said with a smile, "Oh, St. Eleni and St. Konstantinos! You must remember May 21. It's a big feast day!" He said he always celebrates on May 21. So guess where I'll be this coming May 21! Kosta's, of course!
A college friend asked me not too long ago, "Why Syracuse?!" And I now say, "Why not?" While we have lived in the Syracuse area for only a short time, we have met good people, made dear friends, and had so many positive experiences. There is goodness, kindness and warmth in this community that we now call home. Like the owner of The Stoop Kitchen who believes in the future of this city, the number and variety of good restaurants has exceeded my expectations. If this is an indication of Syracuse's culinary future, then I too believe in Syracuse.