Monday, June 12, 2017

Lotus Cafe & Banh Mi

-Grubbing in Chicago
Fresh Vietnamese on Maxwell Street

Lotus Cafe is one of those places you kind of have to live or work near to know about it. I say this because it sits on a street that isn't really driven unless you work or live right near there. That street is Maxwell st, one of the city's most iconic streets. Long gone are the days of old as the area did a 180 a decade or so ago. Lotus was one of the new spots to open around the time the development was done. I remember a Hungry Hound segment tipping me off and have enjoyed few visits since then.

Locals Favorite around UIC 

Lotus has a fairly basic Vietnamese Menu with items like Banh Mi, Pho, and Noodle and Rice bowls. When it comes to the Banh Mi sandwiches they have one in particular that really should get more love from the city's big instagram food scene. The Sunny-Side beef is made with sautéed rib-eye steak topped with a sunny-side egg, caramelized onions and crispy sweet potato fries as well as the usual banh mi toppings. It might not be traditional but it is delicious. I'm craving one right now.

 Sunny-Side Up Banh Mi at Lotus Cafe

Because the sandwich is so good I haven't been able to order past that with the exception of their shrimp spring rolls. These are the item that Dolinsky had featured in his piece on the place and they too caught my eye. It's not like I've done some tour scouring the city for the best spring rolls but these were the best I can remember for the sole fact of how fresh they were. Steamed shrimp, lettuce, pickled daikon, fried shallots and thin vermicelli noodles are wrapped inside Vietnamese rice paper, and come serve with a refreshing pineapple peanut sauce. The reason I put this post up today is fresh spring rolls are the perfect food to enjoy on a hot and humid day. Stay cool out there Chicago.

Shrimp Spring Rolls at Lotus Cafe 

Lotus Cafe & Banh Mi
719 W Maxwell St
Chicago, IL 60607
(312) 733-7595


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