CloverEats! noodles and shaved ice at Evanston’s “527”

For the last exec meeting of the year, China Care board members went out to “527,” a little Taiwanese fusion cafe that opened up next to Joy Yee’s Noodles.

Neon green walls.

The Experience:  527 is similar to Fraiche in its serving style – you order at the counter, and then sit down and wait for food to be delivered to your table.  The walls are brightly decorated with neon green and tangerine orange paint, with little hints of modern furnishings; the decor is definitely uplifting and energetic.  It wasn’t busy at all when we went – Sunday afternoon – but that was pleasant.  There’s a feeling of authenticity and  familiarity – small details like imported drinks or pastries made me smile.

Grass jelly!

Playing Go while waiting for food to come.

The Food: I read reviews on Yelp to decide what to order, and it seemed like people raved about the Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup (Niu Rou Mien), so I ordered that.  The soup was okay, and while the meat was very soft, the noodles were terribly limp.  I’m used to Niu Rou Mien from Katy’s Dumpling House, which are firm and thick, and bursting with flavor.  Thumbs down for 527 on this part.

Our table also got Popcorn Chicken, which was a little dry, but otherwise the pieces were fun to pop into one’s mouth and crunch down on.  The sweet fried buns were all right, just like little bits of fried dough with a sweet sauce.  527 has some interesting fusion items too – The Original Korean Taco and a Korean BBQ Beef Sandwich (Martin described it as an Asian Philly Cheesesteak).

Popcorn chicken!

Sweet buns.

Korean BBQ Beef Sandwich.

The Original Korean Taco

The best part of the food was definitely dessert – Brown Sugar Mango Shaved Ice!  One order was enough for our whole table to share.  The Sweet Potato Fries were also quite good!

A mountain of shaved ice goodness.

Sweet potato fries!

The Bill: I thought things were a little expensive, my initial order coming out at $15, and my dessert being $10.  There’s definitely a lot of food per order though, so the price is justified.  It was really convenient to have everyone order individually (we had a group of ten or so) and pay before sitting down; there was no annoying, hasslesome bill-splitting.  Yet we still had a nice, sit-down restaurant feel to the meal, so that was nice.

Sharing the shaved ice!

Overall: 527 had a great environment and setup for this particular event.  However, I’m not sure how much I like the entrees.  I’d stop by for Shaved Ice in the summer, maybe, but that’s about it.  Official website; YELP.

527 Cafe on Urbanspoon

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