With Love…is a Special Kind of Restaurant in Syracuse, NY

Apple Pakora from With Love Pakistan - Syracuse NY

Even before Saveur Magazine featured With Love, I put the restaurant in my memory bank as we drove through the North Side of town a couple weeks ago. The almost romantic-looking font on the exterior glass of the building had caught my eye, and I knew I just had to check it out. When I finally visited the restaurant, I had just read an article in Syracuse.com, followed by a food review of With Love posted a couple months ago…and I was determined to visit…so I went with my mother that same day.

The concept of With Love is really cool. In a nutshell, you have six months to explore international cuisine from a specific country before a new global theme takes over.

The food is prepared by culinary students of Onondaga Community College (O.C.C.), who are perfecting their skills in the art of plating, grilling, sautéing, slow cooking, baking, batter making, frying, and other cooking techniques. Made fresh, the With Love menu is comprised of “both traditional dishes and reinterpreted dishes.”

With Love…Pakistan

With Love’s Pakistan menu is available until the end of June, which is now different than the one I sampled. I must admit, I took my time to write this review.

The food that I purchased during my visit was:

Apple Pakora

This appetizer is substantial enough to serve as a meal, and is comprised of Granny Smith apple, chickpea batter, chaat masala, and mint-cilantro yogurt. The spicy masala flavor really stands out in this dish that you think will have a sweeter flavor profile than it does. I am in love with the accompanying mint-cilantro yogurt, which is minty with a kick, but offers no sweetness whatsoever.

Apple Pakora from With Love Pakistan in Syracuse NY

Gajar Halwa

With the exception of carrot cake, I don’t associate carrots with dessert, but Gajar Halwa delivers a delicious marriage of carrot, ghee, cardamom, almonds and pistachios. With a flavor reminiscent to sweet potato (in my opinion), Gajar Halwa literally tastes like someone scooped pie filling and topped it with nuts and golden raisins. The ghee adds a sweet, creaminess that you’ll want to savor. Overall, I think the dessert delivers an appetizing combination of flavor, sweet, crunch, and chewiness.

Gajar Halwa from With Love Pakistan - Syracuse NY

Pink Chai

Made with green tea, cardamom, milk, and bits of pistachio, I had to try this hot chai drink. Our to-go cups of Pink Chai were sweetened for us, and after chatting with the host, we learned that a pinch of baking soda added to the brew reacts with the green tea leaves, which turns the beverage into this shade of pinky-mauve. It is best consumed hot, because as it loses its warmth, I feel a bitterer aftertaste emerges.

Pink Chai from With Love Pakistan - Syracuse NY

Two Salt City Coffees

My mother ordered two coffees, and she said that the brew was very good.

With Love takes credit cards, with the exception of American Express.

Hours of operation for With Love are:

  • Tues. – Wed. for lunch:  12 – 2 p.m.
  • Thurs. – Fri. for dinner: 5 – 8 p.m.

With Love Restaurant in Syracuse NY

The restaurant is located at 435 N Salina Street, Syracuse, NY 13203.

I did not sit in the restaurant to eat, but took my meals to go. The atmosphere is bright and welcoming, with intriguing visual touches. For example, I was told that the pay phone shown here was present in the original space. Engineering students from O.C.C. outfitted the pay phone to speak a phrase from the language associated with the restaurant’s featured country. I picked up the receiver, and sure enough, a pre-recorded message played. How cool is that?

The Inside of With Love Restaurant in Syracuse NY

There is also a dastarkhan situated by the picture window. Sitting in this cozy area means you are expected to abide by their ‘shoes off’ policy. They also provide socks for a small fee, if you like.

I will definitely return to With Love to sample additional entrees. The Pakora Trio, made with baby eggplant, baby spinach, green banana, chickpea batter, and chaat masala, has caught my eye on the current menu.

Have you ever eaten Pakistani food before?

10 thoughts on “With Love…is a Special Kind of Restaurant in Syracuse, NY”

  1. When I was little, my best friend was from Pakistan and her mom used to make the most amazing pakora! I saw your apple pakora and remembered her instantly – they were SO good. I’d like to try Pink Chai now too!

  2. Leigh Anne Borders says:

    I have never had any PAKISTANI food before. It looks delicious and I would certainly be open to trying it out. If I am ever in your area, I will check it out. In the meantime, I am sure I can find one in Atlanta to visit.

  3. roch says:

    I haven’t tried Pakistani food before since there isn’t one Pakistani restaurant in our city. We also haven’t been to any country that’s near it. The food looks too foreign for my taste. It’s quite nice and interesting.

  4. What a cool concept for a restaurant.You could truly experience many international meals all at the same restaurant. I have never food from Pakistan. The few items you sampled looked pretty good. I am very interested in the pink chai. I would love to visit the next time I am in NY.

  5. Echo says:

    What a fun concept for a restaurant! I love being able to try different things from different countries and cultures! This would be such an awesome experience for me!

  6. Louise says:

    I’ve never tried anything from a Pakistan menu before! The food looks delicious though. I hope to visit New York one day so I’ll definitely have to hunt this place down when I get there 🙂

  7. YUMMY! Looks like a great place to get a yummy bite to eat. I am going to NYC in a few weeks. Not sure if we will have time to stop here but it would be a place I would add to my list!

  8. Tami says:

    I have no plans to visit NY anytime soon, but if and when I do I will be visiting this special restaurant. I’d love to experience the “shoes off” experience. I also would like to try The Pakora Trio.

  9. Ali Rost says:

    What a wonderful place! My grandparents have lived all around the world as missionaries .. so international cuisine is something we love to eat. And what fun thing to have culinary students making the meals? If I lived nearby this is a place my husband and I would visit regularly. It’s fun to support a business with such a beautiful story!

  10. Yum! Everything looks so good! I want to go out and explore some more exotic and exciting restaurants around me. I tend to stick to the same old things. Also, that pink chai sounds like something I would LOVE!

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