James Beard Award-winning chef Abe Conlon and business partner Adrienne Lo of lauded restaurant Fat Rice are loosening their metaphorical belts to offer more fat fun at the Logan Square spot. The pair opened a counter service cafe in the bakery space, aptly named the Bakery and Cafe at Fat Rice, and brought on head chef Ashley Robinson (Japonais by Morimoto, Spiaggia, Spinning J Bakery) to lead its kitchen at 2951 W. Diversey Avenue, representatives wrote in a news release. Some considered it one of the best bakeries in the city, and its popular items will still be available in the new cafe.
Conlon wants to give more people access to the Fat Rice experience, he told Chicago magazine. He and Lo hope that expanded hours and online ordering for baked goods will satisfy those who can’t snag a reservation at the original restaurant.
Robinson added a large selection of composed savory dishes to the bakery’s pre-existing menu. These include the “mega maki,” an egg white frittata with sushi rice, pickled ginger, sweet egg threads, smoked shiitakes, and bonito; “zigi toast,” a sweet buttered bun for dipping in a soft-boiled egg, chili sambal, and soy sauce; and cashew-carrot sannas and chutney, a steamed Goan coconut rice cake topped with tamarind chutney made with seasonal fruit. Fans will still be able to order sweets like Portuguese egg tarts, Ceylon snickerdoodles, and Chinese-influenced Chicago-style hot dog buns (weekends only). A full menu is available below, but won’t be offered in its entirety until next week.
Management concocted a trailer of sorts for “this new and very tasty extension of the Fat Rice multi-verse.” Check it out below.
Daytime drink options such as sangria and mango mimosas spiked with Vermouth are also available. Imbibers can hop on the CBD trend with a “chill” (0.25 ml) or “supes chill” (0.50 ml) dosed coffee or tea drink, including Hong Kong milk tea and “p-nut butter” mocha. Customers can order cocktails at the counter. The cozy and bright space on West Diversey Avenue will remain unchanged, representatives confirmed.
Lo and Conlon first opened the Bakery at Fat Rice in 2016 next to the original restaurant and launched adjoining cocktail lounge the Ladies’ Room shortly after. The mothership restaurant quickly earned acclaim from critics after opening in 2012, and accumulated Michelin Bib Gourmand status from 2014 through 2020.
The Bakery & Cafe at Fat Rice, 2951 W. Diversey Avenue, Open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday; 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday.