From the beginning of my visit to Black Widow Cafe, I sensed a disconnect between what the establishment imagines itself to be and what it actually is. Everything about the interior says casual corner deli. The building is quaint and sunny, with several small tables lined up in rows, cafeteria style. I’m vegan, so when I heard that they had a crunchy vegan tofu dish, I was pleased and thought I would try it. I was dismayed, however, to find that the dish cost a whopping $14. Maybe I’m cheap, but I don’t like to pay that much for lunch. And when I do, I expect the cost to include exceptional ambiance and service—which was not the case at Black Widow.
So I instead decided to opt for the John’s Veg Head sandwich ($8). My dining companion ordered the stuffed peppers ($12), which came with her choice of meat. She ordered the ground beef, so she was surprised when she found out that the meat in her peppers was not ground beef, but steak, which made them difficult to eat. When we asked the server about this, he replied that they “sometimes use the steak tips instead of ground beef on Mondays.”
My dish was somewhat disappointing, as well, as about 60 percent of my plate was taken up with a huge mound of french fries, which dwarfed my sandwich. The roasted-tomato compote gave my sandwich a delicious flavor, and I would have preferred a larger sandwich and far fewer fries.
To be fair, they didn’t charge us for the stuffed peppers, which made our combined meals very inexpensive—about as inexpensive as I would expect to pay at a place like the Black Widow Cafe.
BLACK WIDOW CAFE
837 E. 2100 South