Room for Community

Why South Side coffee shops offer more than the usual fare

Kusanya Cafe (Amy Qin)

It’s a quiet afternoon at Kusanya Cafe on 69th and Halsted, with a few people chatting over hot mugs of coffee or working on their laptops. The exposed brick walls give the space a stripped-down feel, but with colorful paintings and large windows that let in lots of natural light, the room feels warm and homey. Though the atmosphere and decor are mildly reminiscent of a café one might see in Uptown or Lincoln Park that serves infused lattes for five dollars, a quick glance at the menu hints that Kusanya isn’t a North Side transplant. A grilled mozzarella sandwich named Mozz Def and a ham panini named Ham Master Jay—plays on the names of rappers Mos Def and Jam Master Jay—indicate that Kusanya’s roots are firmly planted here in Englewood.

Education | Food

Scraps to Sustenance

How sustainability organizations help CPS students reduce food waste

Courtney Kendrick

When Illinois House Bill 5530 was passed in July 2016 and became a Public Act, many educators and cafeteria workers were unaware that excess cafeteria food could legally be donated to food pantries and homeless shelters.

Food | Holiday Issue 2017 | Radio

Holiday Recipe: Wintry Chocolate Cake

This chocolate cake recipe nearly has the consistency of a brownie—there’s dense, chocolatey goodness in each bite. I find it particularly great as the base for a winter pinecone decoration because the cake is so flat. Also, without those pinecones, this cake is a squat little thing, so the pinecone decorations and the cake are like in a symbiotic relationship.