“Welcome to the Magic Bus.”
“Here we go.”
“I always give the peace sign.”
“You drive by people. It just makes them smile.”
“I always feel like we’re going faster in this thing than we really are.”
“Welcome to downtown Ipswich.”
“There’s the Heart and Soul over there. Heard that’s a pretty good restaurant.”
Every morning, Julie and Bud Sicliano take their hearts, soul and Volkswagon bus to their restaurant.
“People ask, “Who’s the heart and who’s the soul?”
So they can give you heart warming fare with soulful service at the Heart and Soul Cafe.
Located in this sunny spot on Central Street in Ipswich, Heart and Soul is a comfortable hippie heaven decked out in a sixties style, with bright colored concert posters, and a yellow VW bus parked out front.
“We came up with a theme, which is kind of a retro ’60’s and ’70’s thing to incorporate music, and the general atmosphere, and obviously the magic bus is part of that.”
“When people look at this van, it just makes them smile. It’s a fun color, it’s got the peace sign and everything on it. Everybody waves and they say, “Peace brother. Peace Brother.”
And while you’ll always find a characature of Bud and Julie on the wall, you’ll usually find them in the flesh working the dining room
“Hi guys! 2?”
“Just checking in with you guys.”
“How was your toast good?”
“We do have a lot of fun here. No charge for the entertainment at the Heart and Soul.”
“They’ll call us by our first name when they come in. Everybody’s like, “Good morning, Julie. How you doing today? Or Bud.” Bud shakes everybody’s hand and greets them on the weekends, which I really feel is comforting. It’s a very comforting feeling.”
And just as comforting is all of the food coming out of the kitchen. There’s Fried Chicken and Waffles topped with a blueberry maple syrup. North African style Shakshuka served with pita to sop up all the goodness. A French Toast Breakfast sandwich stuffed with egg, cheese and maple sausage. Or for a more traditional way of getting your French Toast fix, try Heart & Soul’s crunchy version with a blueberry compote.
“Crunchy french toast is dessert for breakfast.”
“I love blueberries, and the compote is made from scratch here. I love the crunchiness on the outside and the softness and the warmness on the inside. It has a little bit of everything liking to my senses.”
“We grill it up nice with some nice ricotta cheese. And the homemade spicy blueberry sauce that Chef Christian makes is just amazing. Usually when I bring it over to customers they’re like, “Oh, that’s so big, I can’t finish it.” But whenever I go over, it’s gone. I’m like, “Oh, clean plates.”
For something healthier, get the Arugula Avocado Toast.
“We knew people love avocado and it’s good for you. We threw some nice, beautiful, yellow scrambled eggs and beautiful goat cheese.We made up this lemon aioli sauce, then the cherry tomatoes…..they’re really red and juicy. It’s amazing, it’s delicious.”
Just as tasty is Heart and Soul’s Housemade Corned Beef Hash.
“We really keep it simple because good corned beef doesn’t need to be doctored up with tons of stuff. If it’s good and if it’s cooked right. We had a little bit of potatoes, boom, there it is.”
At lunch, you can find all of that corned beef piled into a Reuben Sandwich.
“Our Reubens, they’re just so big on our beautiful Iggy’s rye bread. It’s filled with this beautiful corned beef and it’s just juicy, a nice homemade Russian dressing with some Swiss cheese. It’s amazing.”
The Heart and Soul Fried Chicken Sandwich is a must try. Topped with pickles, slaw and barbecue sauce, this one is Bud’s personal favorite.
“When you sink your teeth in and say, “Oh my God, this is so good.”
And IF you can get your mouth around The Heart and Soul Burger, you’ll agree its one of the best out there.
“It’s actually comical. It’s so big that- You can’t fit your mouth on it. When we first brought it to a customer, they just were like, “This is so good.” We put shoestring fries on there, and The burger’s just so big and juicy. We use a special sauce with some nice boursin cheese. Amazing, amazing. It’s always gone, but their mouths are wide open.”
If you have room, desserts a must, whether you order some of Heart and Soul’s gelato or go for a slab of their Caramel Bread Pudding.
“It’s a bread pudding that we make out of cinnamon rolls. And we bake it, and it’s to die for. You put your fork in, it’s so moist. The caramel oozes out. It’s amazing.”
And while you’ll most definitely leave with a full belly, your heart and soul will be fed by Bud and Julie as well.
“We put our entire hearts and soul into this café; physically, emotionally, and then some.”
“We do give our hearts to everything that we do, and when you leave, you have a full heart. People just feel good, and that’s the feeling we want people to leave with. I’m all about spreading love, especially today. So people do. They feel that when they leave. “That was a great experience,” they say to us. “Thank you. Everything was great. Food was great. You guys are really sweet and nice.” And we’re like, “Thanks. Come back. Please come back.”
Heart and Soul Cafe
0 Central Street
Ipswich, MA 01928