Saturday, January 26, 2008

Owners = Son & Mom
Cafe Dada, Chicago, Illinois

Their small but interesting and very tasty menu.

In 17th century England, coffeehouses minted
metal or gilded leather tokens for patrons to
use because the government's coin
supply was so small.

The first photo was taken in July 2003, a couple
of months after we had closed our coffeehouse.

My Dad came out and treated us to a weekend in Chicago.
You can only imagine how sad we were feeling after
closing our store and a dream that did come
true for us.

Another friend had moved to Chicago years prior,
and we decided since we were in the area, we'd
look him up. Unfortunately, they were out of town.
(Re: Nov 17th post)

As we turned the corner and driving a short way
we saw the Cafe Dada, and that was all we needed
to stop and check out the coffee.

Skeptical as I am, I asked for a double shot of espresso,
and need I tell you we stayed quite awhile, chatted
with this young man and his mom, over more than
a few more double espressos.

He mentioned they used Esse Coffee from Italy.
Until then, had never heard nor tried it.
It was smooth with no after taste,
always a good sign for an enjoyable experience.

Sadly, it appears a few years ago, they either closed
or sold to another person.

The mother made us a very interesting dish
and we came away all having a very good time.


Squirrel said...

The menu is perfecto--something for any mood.
savory or sweet--

What a nice memory you have of these people and the Cafe DaDa which is a great name.

It is sad when a coffee shop goes away, I watch the various little shops in my town and hope they are going well, not just the coffee houses, but the chocolaterie, and the old fashioned drug store that still sells good perfumes and is family run---and some of the little "dive" cafes. You want them to stay and not be replaced by Chains.

WiFi may keep some of these places alive, just having people sitting inside the cafe brings more people inside who might just keep walking.

Bob Dylan said...

I don't want to sound like an old man here, but I do miss the old coffee house days, where people recited poetry and got into political shouting matches, and sang in dark corners, and in the daytime, you could go and sit by a good reading lamp and enjoy a book--

The youth seem to want Sugary Flavored Drinks now with whipped cream. This will pass away, I think, sooner than we expect. At least these places try to provide decent music (you walk by and hear Billie Holiday and the kids know who she is)

Why do Americans love same same chains?

H said...

The big chains, though convenient, have taken the personality out of the whole "let's go for coffee" experience. At least for me. But I still drink the stuff since I'm hooked.

I make a point never to order a drink with a name that consists of more than one word. So I can get a "coffee" an "americano" or an "espresso" but no double-hot-half-sweet-giant-non-fat-whipped-thingy.

Cathy said...

there must be something wrong with my browser -- this is the second time i've not been able to see the images, such a drag. don't know what to do.
love the post.

Unknown said...

I’ll have the “European style” Strudel, please.

Anonymous said...

Wouldn't Cafe' DaDa serve anti-coffee?

Coffee Messiah said...

squirrel:Chains are a definite "no-no" and the death of any city. Sadly, even with our experience, at least in these parts, the smaller towns simply won't stop going to the chains, rather than the mom & pops. Strangely though, they bemoan their loss......weird, maybe it's the funky water here? ; (

bd:I never worry sounding like an old man, those old haunts, especially when I grew up in SF, are sorely missed. I'm so glad to have been young enough to see and have those experiences. I'm a little sad that others behind us, think the venues of today are so cool. Like you say, something is better than nothing, I guess. Thanks for popping by!

h: NO arguments from me! ; )

cathy: Hope you can see them now. Blogger likes to eat my pics, so I can go back and do it all over again. ; (

ssn: It was a wonderful experience and his mom was a very excellent cook and hostess. Hope you're doing well.

hR9: Luckily for us, they had the "real deal!" I was just sorry Picasso wasn't home. That would have been a fantastic day and complete. Especially if we met at the Cafe Dada! ; )

Bobby D. said...


You wondered about tonka beans--they are oblong lumpy pods from trees from the tropics or sub tropics,(Venezuela springs to mind but they are found in other places too) The skin smells like a combination of vanilla, almonds, and allspice. they are soaked in rum and sort of fermented, and used as a cheap vanilla substitute (the US doesn't allow that though)
They may be slightly toxic, but people use them in cooking and baking anyway.
After fermentation they develop a "cologne' like scent, or the scent of incense. They are good to use in perfumery because they smell good and are a fixer and a binder, and help stabilize the perfume.

They also make incense from them.

I thought you might be interested since they are a bean (though nowhere as beautiful as a coffee bean) and they are used in making incense.

People also make jewelry out of them--

I wonder if anyone has ever made coffee bean jewelry???

Catana said...

Chains exist because they sell cheap and deliver fast. Not sure why it is seemingly ignored that cheap breaks easily and fast gives one indigestion

Coffee Messiah said...

dcb: Thanks, what interesting information and helps to understand an industry I know next to nothing about.

And yes, people have made bracelets/earrings with the beans. Although, as you might know, after they sit out in the elements for awhile, the smell gets quite rancid! ; (

catana: Guess that's why the "pop, pop, fizz, fizz" industry does so well! ; (

Thanks for stopping by!