Monday, October 15, 2012

Karamela Cafe...You Have Two Fans!

We've been covering the drama at Karamela Cafe (1250 S. Michigan) over the course of the last year (here and here) and to be honest , much of it was probably us fantasizing about a new spot opening.  Opening a business isn't an easy task.  Anyway, Karamela Cafe is officially open and naturally we were intrigued to try it out.

On a random Wednesday last week, we ventured into the quaint shop and were greeted by smiles from the workers who were manning the open kitchen in the middle of store.  The decoration inside is nice and well done.  Nothing looked cheap.  Lots of attention to detail from a decoration standpoint (we specifically liked all the tiles all over the place).  It's not too polished though, very warm and homey.

When we arrived it wasn't busy.  One other party of three sat at a table in the front enjoying dessert.  This changed as our time went on as numerous people/groups came in and out.

We quickly sat down, reviewed the menu and went to the counter to order.  The menu is pretty streamlined. One side has salads, sandwiches and sweet/savory crepes.  The other side of the menu focuses on desserts, drinks and smaller items.  While it doesn't have a lot of options in terms of meals, they all sounded pretty good to us.

Since it was dinner time and we were hoping for a meal we opted for crepes.  We can get salads and sandwiches all over the neighborhood, so wanted to try something a little different.  We ordered a Prairie Crepe which included brie, ham (or turkey), baby spinach, pecans and was topped with balsamic glaze.  We also ordered a Atlantic Crepe which included smoked salmon, tomato, baby spinach, cream cheese, dill & chives (see picture below). To our surprise they also came with a small salad (nothing fancy, mixed greens, baby tomatoes, carrots, balsamic dressing).

The Atlantic Crepe (smoked salmon, tomato, baby spinach, cream cheese, dill & chives)

The crepe was made of Buckwheat, which was different and enjoyable. Both meals were extremely savory and definitely passed the "would you order it again" test.  However, there were other things that looked intriguing so we will probably try some other items next time.

As a gesture of goodwill, one of the workers gave each of us a small "glass" of Greek yogurt with some honey and a blueberry to top it off, which was also quite enjoyable.

Overall, we were skeptical about this place given the setbacks it had with its opening. Now that they're open we will definitely be back.

Looking at Karamela Cafe from a broad standpoint, it's a great addition to the neighborhood.  It provides some extremely unique options for the hood and definitely fills a niche with its European offerings.  The only thing comparable in our mind would be Little Branch Cafe.  In regard to prices, it seemed reasonable to us.  Crepes, salads and sandwiches were about $7-$10.  Desserts seemed to be a tad overpriced, but judging by their beauty the price was probably be justified (we will let you know after we sample this part of the menu next time).

Our only quip is that it was a tad stuffy in the place.  We got adjusted pretty quickly but a simple check of the thermostat would probably be helpful.

To sum it up...Karamela Cafe you have two fans!  Welcome the Sloop and can't wait to try some of the other things on your menu (pastry, coffee, smoothie, etc)!

(Hat tip: N!)


Anonymous said...

Went in there twice for lattes and crepes. There seems to be an owner type who shouldn't be making drinks.

There is another girl who looked like she was doing a good job, but was busy training people on the food as well.

Anyway, if they can figure out how to make a proper latte consistently, I suspect I'll be in there a LOT.

The crepes were really good.

Don't understand what people are talking about with the high prices. They seemed normal to me.

Some things to figure out, but I'll be giving them some time to work out the kinks.

Anonymous said...

this place blows...

Anonymous said...

please the last thing the southloop needs is another jointthat will close down in 4 months. what they should have done is put in another bar...theres nothing over there. Who the hell wants crepes and deserts at 1130 ion a sunday---please! This place is lacking in the creativity dept. I say jsut make it a big booze bar and get it over with, it also smells inthere

Anonymous said...

i dont get why people put breakfast places in the south loop anyway, no one goes to them anyway. The only thi9ngs that last are seriously the dry cleaners and pet places. People leave the south loop for their eating and drinking needs, thats a fact.

MarkChicago said...

@1:52pm Anon

Troll Writing Level: Hans Christian Andersen.

Anonymous said...

this place is partially owned by Triad Sushi, the owner told us the other day they are moving to Bucktown in 1 month.

Anonymous said...

that sucks i liked their food and service at night was great, Oh well South Coast i guess is the new place for me.

Anonymous said...

Dang I heard that was going to be a high end shoe boutique or no? Now its a cupcake store?

Anonymous said...

so triad is moving i guess. Not sure how many of you actually went there but my neighbor told me she was told by one of the girls there last week. its a good move though--- got a bigger location up north and its also nice because its a resturant space so a new resturant is in store for cullerton and indy!

Anonymous said...

I tried to like Triad, but every time I ate there I for food poisoning! South Coast is so,much tastier.

Trista said...

Stopped in on a whim a few weeks ago to grab a quick latte and havent been back. I thought the prices were done but the wait time and quality were not. We waited 15 minutes for two lattes and there were only two other customers in the place. It seemed as if there was some training going on. When we finally got our drinks they were burnt and were missing the vanilla syrup we requested but didn't complain as we just wanted to go about our day already .I will probably give it one more chance.

And to the person saying breakfast places don't do well in the Sloop has obviously never attempted brunch on a weekend at Yolk, Bongo Room, or Eleven.

Anonymous said...

Nice article on Karamela..

Anonymous said...

Julius Meinl Coffee!!