Chicago >Food & Dining > Cafe 28
1800 W Irving Park Rd, Chicago, IL | Directions 6061341.954535 -87.674577
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Neighborhoods: North Center, North Side
Fantastic Cuban cuisine – My wife rarely orders seafood but got the halibut. It was amaaaaazing. I ordered the marinated skirt steak and was upset when I was done eating because there wasn't anymore left to eat. The food was wonderful, the service was excellent, and the atmosphere was perfect. I would recommend this to everyone I know.
Great food, great outdoor patio. – I really enjoyed Cafe 28. We went in the middle of the week so it was not busy at all. We sat outside, which was perfect for a summer night. The food was so good!!! Everything we ordered was good. The menu is small, but I couldn't decide what to get because everything looked so good. We shared a few different meals and they were delicious. The halibut was excellent. The spinach quesadillas were different, but possibly the best I have ever had. Our service was really good. I did not like one of the drinks I ordered and the server brought out another option without question. He was very attentive and we had such a good time. I would definitely recommend!!!
Excellent Food, Inconsistent Service – We've been to Cafe 28 twice now. Both times, the food was delicious). The first time we went, the service was great. The most recent time, though, we went on a busy Friday night and left less than impressed with the waitstaff. We were seated at the "extra" table that was placed in an area where there just happened to be room for one. This was fine by us, since we just wanted some dinner. However, the less-than-desirable table came with less-than desirable service. We didn't get the list of specials until our waiter came to take our order (and we sat there for about 15 minutes waiting to place our order). We were never offered more bread/butter either. And at one point, one of the servers came to take the extra chair from our table in the middle of our meal -- I was using its rungs to rest my foot on (I'll also mention that, shortly after being seated, one of the servers was leaning on the chair while talking to someone else -- while we were sitting there!).
The food was delicious though. The bread (not warmed, weirdly enough) and spicy-sweet butter were a great start to the meal, and if our waiter had stopped by for more than half a second, we might have asked for more. For the main course, I had the cuban pork, which was an explosion of flavors, a tangy sauce complemented everything very well; the fried yucca was delicious (Cuban hush puppies?). My husband had the scallop and lobster risotto, which was amazing. We opted to skip dessert, though the last time we were there we had the tres leches cake which was tasty (though it had coconut on it -- we're not huge fans).
All in all, we would probably go back for the great food, but not on a night so busy that the service suffers tremendously.
Cuban comfort – Cafe 28 is an amazing place. Flavor is infused into every dish, even the butter (believe me, you'll be asking for the recipe)! The ambience is relaxing, the food is hearty and excellent. Definitely great for a romantic evening, a large dinner party or fun with the kids!
Great food at a good price – I love Cafe 28. I've only ever gone in for dinner, and the menu is small, but everything I've ever had there has been delicious- even the staple roast porc dish is slightly unusual and very delicious. The portions are on the large side, the atmosphere is friendly, and the atmosphere is nice. The outdoor seating area is nice and they have some nice wines. The main cons are that it can get kind of noisy when it gets crowded, the tables are very close together, and you may very well have to wait a while on their busy nights (they don't take reservations for groups with less than 5 people). Despite that, it's still worth it- the entrees are mostly in the $10-$25 range and the food is great. Have a mojito in the bar while you're waiting for a table!
Fabulous! – I really enjoyed this restaurant. At first I opened the menu and thought "thats it, just two pages?" But, as I looked at every item on the menu, I got excited and could not choose what to order. The waitress suggested the Caipiroska for a drink, which we loved and got a little buzzed from just one. As we were waiting for the food, I could not get enough of their butter. It was like they whipped sugar and a tad of crushed red pepper in the butter. I ordered the Cuban Roast Pork, which was great. My friend ordered the Honey Jalapeno Pork Chops. We both tried each other's meals and loved them. I eventually found myself dipping my pork into her sauce. All and all, I was very pleased with my experience and would suggest it to anyone who loves all kinds of meat.
Good brunch, no wait. – I went here for brunch recently and had a pretty good experience. There was no wait to sit; in fact it looked like they were at less than 1/2 capacity. Service was attentive and friendly. I had the honey-glazed porkchop with eggs and it was great. Actually the eggs were overcooked (I wanted over easy, got over hard), but the porkchop was well worth the price on it's own, being not unlike the porkchop they have on their dinner menu, though substantially smaller (thank God!) I will definitely go back.
Family-owned restaurant dishes up comforting Cuban fare to a loyal Ravenswood crowd. – The Scene
This neighborhood restaurant keeps growing, having added another room to its cozy front bar and spacious, sunny middle dining area. It's a comfortable, cheerful place, with exposed-brick walls, handsome dark-wood accents and wide picture windows looking out onto Irving Park Road. A rhythmic soundtrack of Latin tunes is barely audible over the loud buzz of conversation.
A little Cuban, a little Mexican and a little Southwestern, cooks serve chicken, beef and seafood creations with Latin spice. Weekend mornings, Cafe 28 serves a hearty menu of egg dishes, pastries, fresh fruit and sandwiches. Southwestern eggs Benedict is a satisfying palate-stinger, while stuffed French toast is two large, thick slices of country bread split open, filled with bananas, cream cheese and brown sugar. At dinner, almond-crusted halibut is a big hit; also try grilled shrimp or chicken quesadillas, traditional ropa vieja, fajitas and duck breast with mole sauce and corn bread.
My Birthday Restaurant – I come here on my birthday every year for two reasons: my birthday is the 28th, and this is one of my very favorite places to eat in the city. Everything they serve is outstanding and beautifully presented. Some of my favorites are the coconut shrimp, the ropa vieja, the chicken or spinach floutas, and the specials are always great. Even the butter they serve with the table bread is memorable: a touch sweet and a kick of spicy. The only drawback is this restaurant is so popular, it can be mobbed to the point that you may not be seated for a long time. But go there on off-peak hours, and you'll be very pleased.
Bad service – We had to wait 2 hours after my friend's party reservation because the restaurant didn't hold tables for us. They said our whole party had to be there to be seated, but they let another party sit down in a special room with only some of their guests. The food was mediocre for the price. I wasn't impressed at all, and when a restaurant screws up someones reservation, I expect them to try and make up for it. They lost my business for good.
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