I imagine I’ve walked by Mom’s Diner– the little place on the corner of Westcott and Harvard– at least a thousand times.
Mom’s sits next to Recess Coffee, across the street from Alto Cinco and the Westcott Theater, right down the street from the Real Food Co-op, only a block from Stout Beard, in the heart of the annual Westcott Street Cultural Fair. Mom’s sits in the center of a fantastically vegan friendly neighborhood.
Since moving to Syracuse about 15 years ago, I’ve walked by Mom’s at least a thousand times without ever walking in. It always looked like the kind of place I loved before I went vegan, the kind of place I had to give up when buttery pancakes and scrambled eggs and bagels covered in cream cheese were no longer on the menu. I walked by a thousand times without it ever occurring to me that Mom’s might have some pretty fantastic vegan options of their own to offer up.
Thank God for kids.
A couple of months ago, my four year old daughter and twelve year old son– both solid vegan warriors themselves– convinced their grandmother to take them to Mom’s Diner, based on internet rumors of vegan pancakes.
Since then, they haven’t stopped talking about it, or talking down to me about the cool place they’d discovered without me.
This past weekend, on my wife’s birthday, the kids convinced us that the best way to celebrate a day for mom was, well, to go to Mom’s.
And I am so, so thankful that they did.
Mom’s Diner is exactly what I would have wanted it to be.
We walked in the front door and ordered at the counter. The vegan menu was posted to our right, in easy view, and during our visit featured pancakes, French toast, Zaatar pita, and tofu scramble. Then we took a seat (you can have a booth or a table) and I enjoyed the decor while my kids played with their napkins and slurped their drinks.
There were stickers. Lots and lots of cool, quirky, sarcastic stickers, stuck to every piece of equipment I could see. And awesome diner-themed posters on the walls, featuring scenes from, I think, “Friends,” “When Harry Met Sally,” “Pulp Fiction,” “Parks and Rec,” and a bunch I couldn’t quite identify.
I liked the place before I tasted the food. Once the food came out I was in love. My kids enjoyed their pancakes and French toast, and I have to admit they were pretty good (I snuck a bite here and there, for science). My son and I split some home fries, and again, those were good. Solidly good.
But the tofu scramble?
I’m going to say that the tofu scramble at Mom’s Diner is by far the best tofu scramble I’ve ever tasted. Full of tofu, of course. But also full of broccoli, home fries, peppers, onions, mushrooms, and all sorts of deliciously spicy spices.
When the couple who owns the place stopped by to ask us if everything was good, I couldn’t stop telling them how much I’d enjoyed it. They told me that they’d only started offering the vegan options over the past year, and credited their son with coming up with the menu.
My kids were right.
Mom’s Diner was exactly what we needed.
Now the thing I most need is a list of excuses to keep going back.
Mom’s Diner, 501 Westcott Street, Syracuse NY 13210, 315-477-0141