IPSWICH – Every morning, Julie and Bud Sicliano take their hearts, soul and Volkswagen bus to their restaurant, so that they can give you heartwarming fare with soulful service at the Heart and Soul Cafe.

Located in a sunny spot on Central Street in Ipswich, Heart and Soul is a comfortable hippie haven decked out in a sixties style, with bright colored concert posters, and a yellow VW bus parked out front.

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“We came up with a theme, which is kind of a retro 60s and 70s thing to incorporate music, and the general atmosphere. Obviously the magic bus is part of that,” Bud said. “It’s a fun color. It’s got the peace sign and everything on it.”

“They’ll call us by our first name when they come in,” Julie commented. “Everybody’s like, ‘Good morning, Julie. How you doing today?’ Bud shakes everybody’s hand and greets them, which I really feel is comforting.”

Just as comforting is all of the food coming out of the kitchen.

There is 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.

Crispy French Toast with Blueberry Compote at Heart and Soul Cafe (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“Crunchy French Toast is dessert for breakfast,” Julie described. “We grill it up nice with some nice ricotta cheese, and the blueberry sauce is just amazing.”

“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,” Bud added.

For something healthier, get the Arugula Avocado Toast.

Arugula Avocado Toast at Heart and Soul Cafe (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“We knew people love avocado and it’s good for you,” Julie commented. “We threw some nice, beautiful, yellow scrambled eggs and beautiful goat cheese. We made up this lemon aioli, then the cherry tomatoes. They’re really red and juicy. It’s amazing.”

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,” Julie explained.

At lunch, you can find all of that corned beef piled into a Reuben Sandwich.

Corned Beef Reuben at Heart and Soul Cafe (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

“Our Reubens, they’re 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,” Julie described.

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.’”

Fried Chicken Sandwich at Heart and Soul Cafe (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

If you can get your mouth around The Heart and Soul Burger, you will agree it is one of the best out there.

“It’s actually comical. It’s so big that you can’t fit your mouth on it,” Julie said. “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.”

If you have room, dessert is 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,” Julie described. “We bake it. You put your fork in; it’s so moist. The caramel oozes out. It’s to die for.”

Caramel Bread Pudding at Heart and Soul Cafe (Image: Phantom Gourmet)

While you will 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,” Bud said.

You can find Heart and Soul Café at 0 Central Street in Ipswich, and online at heartandsoul.cafe.

Watch Phantom Gourmet on Saturdays and Sundays at 10:30 and 11 a.m. on myTV38.

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