Wandering outside the Bubble

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The Mint: Asian Fusion Cafe

Claire Holman, Contributing Writer

Delicious and deceptively healthy, The Mint: Asian Fusion Cafe is an all-time favorite for anyone who loves Asian food.

Once you cross the threshold, you enter a very modern realm. The lime-colored walls enclose a single room divided by a waist-high island. Pods, rather than chairs, surround each table. Even at 2 p.m., the place is packed, but we still managed to get seats in mere minutes. I am tempted to try something new every time I go, but can’t bring myself to deviate from my favorites: the summer rolls and the pad thai.

The six summer rolls, each containing crisp lettuce leaves, rice noodles, and a wisp of mint, arrived on a bed of shaved carrots and bean sprouts. The sticky, clear wrappings of the summer rolls held the contents together while the rich, warm peanut sauce bathed the rolls in a burst of flavor.

“Pad thai?” I heard. Steam rose above the dish, sending the sweet, slightly spicy, peanut flavor up my nose. The dish was dusted with crushed peanuts, lathered in a homemade tamarind sauce and sprinkled with fresh parsley. The rice noodles surrounding the chunks of chicken and tofu, tantalized anyone who set eyes on the dish. When my teeth sank into the tofu, the sauce leaked out, making me want more with each bite.

The only consolation in stopping was that part of the dish could easily be saved for tomorrow’s lunch. With that in mind, it seemed that my $8.95 Pad Thai only cost $4.50 for that afternoon’s meal. The $4.95 summer rolls brought my total for that day to under $10 for a meal from heaven. What a deal!

If you ever want some delicious Asian food, you won’t need to travel far; The Mint is located in Highland Park on 4246 Oak Lawn Ave., which is relatively close to campus. Simply drive on over and get a delicious meal!

Warning: If you are allergic to peanuts, you will have a severe allergic reaction. Then again, it just might be worth it.

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