But before that happens, you’ll enter Berrista, a new coffee-and-sandwich adventure from chef Homaro Cantu with a few strange and wonderful surprises up its sleeve, open as of today in Irving Park. (Here’s the slideshow and here’s the menu.)
On the one hand, it’s a friendly coffee shop. Looks like someone’s front porch in the neighborhood. Quaint.
On the other, Sir Cantu and chef Azeez Yusuf are involved. So things can get... not ordinary. To wit:
—Basil and mint grow vertically on the walls.
—Your carbonated beverage will be lavender-flavored.
—They don’t use sugar. Therefore, your waffle-and-fried-chicken sandwich gets a hint of maple syrup made with reduced pineapple juice and maple extract. You won’t miss sugar.
—You’ll be offered a “pill.” Or a little vial of liquid with a cork. Or a tiny berry. It’s okay. Eat it, Alice.
—Those are various forms of the miracle berry, which you know as the thing that makes sour foods sweet and generally messes with your taste buds.
—The grapes are fully carbonated. Bite them. See, fizzy.
—A machine called the Donut Robot is an automated, self-contained donut assembly line.
We can only pray it goes full Skynet on us.