Business, Central New York, Community, Food, Syracuse, Travel

Soul Food in Syracuse

LeTeak’s Soul Food is currently located at 2859 S Salina Street in Syracuse. (c) 2018 Dallas Jackson

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Audio Transcript: LeTeak’s Soul Food

By Dallas Jackson, SYRACUSE, N.Y. – (NCC News)

LeTeak’s Soul Food first opened in the Southside of Syracuse in 2016. The restaurant is owned by Theresa “Teak” Giles and her husband LeRoy. The restaurant’s name is a combination of the two owners’ names. Most of the staff at LeTeak’s are all relatives.

Jeremiah Jones is among the youngest who helps run his mother’s business. Jones explained the staff also includes his older brother, who helps with the register, and his aunt, who cooks. He said his mother owns multiple businesses and that it was her idea to own a restaurant.

“She wanted to bring a soul food place to Syracuse, since they were all closed, for the community,” Jones said. “She has a heart for the community.”

When LeTeak’s first opened, there were lines down the street. Since then the restaurant began to gain more of an online presence to have a consistent flow of business. LeTeak’s was cash-only at first but now takes credit cards and partakes in catering and online deliveries. The restaurant has done its best in finding a balance where the prices aren’t too high for customers or too low in terms of the food costs.

Jones also said his mother created a few job opportunities with LeTeak’s. They’ve hired some of the neighborhood kids and less fortunate to help them make some money.

Jones says one word comes to mind when he hears the words “soul food.”

“Passion. I never noticed how much people love to eat,” he said.”How much it brings people together.”

The restaurant only serves lunch and dinner. Haddock and pork ribs are currently two of LeTeak’s popular items. Jones says they’ve tried to branch out from traditional soul food items as well.

“We tried to add a couple items that wasn’t soul food to be a little more diverse,” Jones said. “But our restaurant, our best dishes are Mac n’ Cheese, yams and fried chicken. That’s our most popular.”

The more diverse options include a Philly Cheesesteak, Shrimp Po’boy and Taco Salad. Looking forward, Jones says LeTeak’s wants to try doing something special for the holidays this year.