When I first heard that there was going to be a marketplace in downtown Syracuse that would be filled with different types of restaurants, I thought it was going to be the coolest thing in the world. There were 3 things I’d read about that immediately caught my attention, those being a soul food place, a cake place and a pie place. I didn’t pay much attention to anything after that. 🙂

It’s with that in mind that a couple of weeks ago I finally had a chance to visit the Salt City Market down on South Salina Street (Syracuse NY, for those who don’t know the area). Truthfully I probably picked the wrong day to go; not only was it a very cold Friday morning but there was a lot of snow piled up and the roads were icy; I wasn’t in the best mood walking around in that, especially the ice.

It took me a few minutes to figure out how to get into the building. Turns out that there are apartments on the 2nd floor that I didn’t know about, which explained why I couldn’t open that door. I walked a little bit further, saw all the glass and went inside. The first thing you see is the bar, which I didn’t know was going to be there. It was 11:05 and they already had a customer. lol

You know the thing about having big expectations? That’s what I’d been living with. You’d think that since I knew the area pretty well that I’d have known what I was walking into. There were multiple establishments where you could get some kind of food, but they weren’t actually restaurants, and there wasn’t a lot of seating. I’m sharing all the images I took of the inside of the place, but I’ll admit to a little letdown… all my fault.

I’m going to describe a few things that were a bigger letdown for me. There was a place called The Cake Bar, but it didn’t have any cakes. It had a few cupcakes, and it’s possible that they hadn’t made any cakes for the day, since the market didn’t open until 11.

There was another place called Pie’s The Limit (are you sensing a theme) that had mini, open pies. In other words, they were individual pies that didn’t have a crust on top. I bought one of these which had just come out of the oven, which reminded me of the large “toasters” we used to have in the cafeteria between the dorms in college. I ate it when I got home, and had to add a lot of Equal to it before I could taste it; I have a major sweet tooth.

The place I’d been wanting to visit is called Miss Prissy’s, which is supposed to be a soul food restaurant. I described it to a friend of mine later in the afternoon that it was more of a “fusion” soul food restaurant. I had certain things in my mind that I was going to order, only to realize they didn’t have any of those things; ugh! No smothered chicken; no sweet yams. Not even any black eyed peas with cornbread. They did have a couple of things I might have ordered, but they said they weren’t going to open until 11:30, and I knew I’d be on my way home by then.

The market has a juice bar, a Vietnamese counter, a Southern foods counter, a Burma counter (I had to look that up because I had no idea where Burma was, and it turns out it’s now called Myanmar), a Jamaican counter, a Middle Eastern counter and a Thai counter. Other than the Southern counter, I didn’t recognize any of the dishes at the other places, and I thought I should… but it wasn’t traditional food from most of the places. Even the Southern counter didn’t have a lot of traditional southern foods, and I refused to pay for a hamburger, even though the price was reasonable, because wanted something… well… different.

The only one there I recognized the name even if I’d never had any of it was shawarma, which I knew about because of The Avengers; isn’t that a shame! lol I decided to order a beef shawarma sandwich to take home to eat because truthfully I was ready to leave. I didn’t have high hopes for anything I bought, but I was hopeful. I already mentioned my encounter with the pie; my encounter with the shawarma was worse. I couldn’t taste any of it. They put some white stuff in a plastic cup, and I dipped my finger in it and couldn’t taste that either.

I’ll acknowledge that it’s possible this review isn’t all that fair because of the weather and because some of the kiosks (decided to change words) were just opening when I got there. Often what gets you going is the smell of the food in the air, but there was none of that anywhere; I couldn’t even smell the pies being cooked. My expectations might have been too high; I didn’t like E.T. the first time I saw it because everyone was talking about how great it was.

I will say that the place was nice and clean and other people seemed to be enjoying themselves. There were also a few people like me just walking around trying to find something they wanted, so I wasn’t alone.

Eventually a grocery will be added for the people living in the area; I think that’s a good idea, though I’m not sure where they’re going to put it. My last criticism is the same as the criticism I have for a lot of places downtown; it was hard finding a place to park, but it’s possible that because there was some construction going on and snowbanks everywhere that it might be alleviated when the weather gets better… but I doubt it.

I hope it works out, and I plan on trying it again when the weather warms up, and I’ll go a bit later so that everything should be open and maybe I’ll be drawn in by the aroma. However, I’m never buying shawarma again; curse you Tony Stark! lol