Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-06-05
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

DISH: SAVOR Cassava Cafe
DISH: Weekly Dining Guide, Special to the online edition of Windy City Times
by Andrew Davis, Windy City Times
2015-12-09

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


I recently spent a morning at the Gold Coast spot Cassava Cafe ( 1211 N. LaSalle St.; CassavaCafe.com )—and was pretty much alone, save for the cheerful worker behind the counter.

This was a shame, because this is an eatery that's much more than an eatery. Sure, there are bites ranging from pastries to a tasty grilled-cheese sandwich that has cheese on the outside of the bread as well. And there are Metropolis Coffee, coconut water ( the real thing—not the chemical-filled concoctions one buys at many U.S. grocery stores ) and its very popular boba tea ( with a complete description of that concoction on the cafe's website ). However, there is a study/work/relaxation area, board/card games ( Apples to Apples, and Connect Four, for example ) and even a foosball table. The atmosphere is tranquil—down to the music, which can include orchestral versions of songs like Lady Gaga's "Paparazzi," Justin Timberlake's "Cry Me a River" and Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit."

Co-owner Vung Nguyen told Savor that Cassava ( which opened in August ) came about because "most of the bubble-tea places are on Argyle [Street] or in Chinatown—and I live two blocks from here. When I went to Occidental College, there were bubble-tea places everywhere; I went to one and it was my study [place]." She took a circuitous route to becoming a cafe owner, having been a biology major, but would like to see the cafe expand to the point where she doesn't have to always be there. ( Cassava typically is open 6:30 a.m.-12 a.m., seven days a week. )

The menu, which has a mix of Asian and U.S. items, "reflects who I am," Nguyen said. "Bubble tea is from Taiwan, the chai is from India, the shaved ice is from Korea, there's coffee from Vietnam and then there are the American things. I feel the menu reflects who I am because I left Vietnam when I was 3 years old to go to Hong Kong, where I lived for six years. Then I moved back to Vietnam for a year or two, and then I moved to the U.S. Then, I got the chance to travel and try the cuisines of different countries."

As for the games, "our generation loves a balance of work of fun," said Nguyen, who's in her 20s. After studying for three or four hours straight, it's good to play something. You can do your own thing [there are books here as well], but you can interact with others as well."

Regarding the cafe's name, it's traced back to the signature tea. "The popping boba tea—back then, there were small black pearls that are made of tapioca flour, which comes from the cassava root," Nguyen said.

Nguyen said the best thing about owning Cassava is that "I get to do whatever I want. I decorated this entire space from scratch—the color scheme, plants, paintings and everything else express my personality. We even built the tables ourselves. [Also,] our menu items are made from scratch, and I buy organic. I'm very conscious of what I put in my body." As for the worst thing, she said it's "pushing your product out there," noting that some people are taken aback by how different her items are, down to the price ( especially compared to Chinatown ). However, this writer can attest that the menu offerings are not overpriced for the Gold Coast.

"I don't really go clubbing or even drink," Nguyen added in conclusion. "I want to offer an alternative to [that scene], while offering a sense of community."

One thing, though: I hope Nguyen puts the cafe's menu online. That way, people can see the various items this charming spot has to offer.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

SAVOR Wines, Mezcalito, silent discos and more... 2019-06-11 - Lounging at Mezcalito Mercadito Chicago, 108 W. Kinzie St., recently opened a downstairs lounge called Mezcalito—and the colorful basement spot definitely has ...


Gay News

DINING Father's Day items, drag-queen brunch, Ribfest 2019-06-11 - —There will be a specialty Father's Day menu at The Claridge Hotel's Juniper Spirits & Oysters, 1244 N. Dearborn Pkwy., on June 15-16, ...


Gay News

SAVOR Lunch at The Albert, Walton Street Kitchen 2019-06-04 - Maybe it's the scientist in me ( having majored in biology as an undergrad ), but I found The Albert ( 228 E. ...


Gay News

DINING Food-truck social, Ina Mae's Sno-Balls, JoJo's brunch 2019-06-04 - —The Pilsen Food Truck Social will take place June 8-9 at 1200-1300 W. 18th St., 12-10 p.m. A few of the food trucks ...


Gay News

DINING Pride Bowl, OPALGA's donuts, Band of Bohemia mocktails 2019-05-28 - —All June, Furious Spoon will offer its Pride ramen bowl. For each $16.95 bowl ( with veggie broth, chili-infused noodles, spicy miso, napa ...


Gay News

Wendy Williams talks snacks, LGBT pride 2019-05-27 - Talk-show personality Wendy Williams dropped into the Sweet & Snacks Expo in Chicago recently, thanks to her partnership with SNAX-Sational brands. She was ...


Gay News

DINING Pizza museum, restaurant openings, Equality Illinois brunch 2019-05-22 - —Roosevelt Collection announced the official grand reopening and new exhibits at the U.S. Pizza Museum. Open on Fridays from 1-8 p.m. and Saturdays ...


Gay News

SAVOR Bonci Pizza; Bernie's Chicago 2019-05-21 - Cash isn't accepted—and pizza is purchased by weight. Those are just two of the more unusual concepts you'll find at Bonci Pizza ( ...


Gay News

CEO to speak on food distribution issues 2019-05-14 - Beth Ford, president and CEO of Arden Hills, Minnesota-based Land O'Lakes, Inc., will speak on Thursday, May 23 at noon at a meeting ...


Gay News

DINING Burger Month, Antique Taco, Willis Tower event 2019-05-14 - —To mark National Burger Month, Jake Melnick's Corner Tap, 41 E. Superior St., is offering three different burgers only in May. The Que ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.