If you travel along Belmont east of the freeway on a regular basis, you have probably passed Chill Cafe a number of times without evening realizing where it is. Located at 2949 W Belmont, the cafe signage reads “Salads-Sandwiches-Pastries”across the windows; however, inside you will find Central Asian fare. The owners are from Kazakhstan, and the food is traditional home-cooking from the region.
When we entered the cafe, we approached the counter and placed our order. The menu for the day is written on a board on the wall in Russian, but since everyone in our party was not familiar with the language, a very helpful waitress marked what choices were available on an English version of the menu.
We had four adults in our party, so we ordered 4 entrees. We were forewarned that we had over ordered, and the waitress was correct. I think you could easily share 2 or 3 meals between 4 people. We ordered Manti, a type of meat dumpling ($9), fried fish ($9), and chicken cutlets ($9). The meat dishes were served with sides of carrot salad, rice, and buckwheat. In addition, we sampled a few of the pastries including a sweet cheese pastry and a couple savory pies ($1-2 each). I would also recommend the Turkish sodas in the cooler ($1). They are less sweet than American ones and more like sweetened sparkling water. We tried pomegranate and cherry.
Depending on your palate, the food may seem, well…foreign, but it was very good. For me, the experience was reminiscent of my travels in the area. So if you are up for a culinary adventure for around $10, visit Chill Cafe.