First Slice CafeAddress: 4401 N. Ravenswood Ave
Lillstreet Art Center was in the middle of redesigning its exhibit space when I stopped at First Slice Café for a quick lunch, but the hustle and bustle did not seem to dissuade others. But it would probably take a lot to keep people from the pie case.
Normally a quick treat or leisurely meal at First Slice comes with a side of arts and crafts since the small dining area with room for about 30 people shares the same space with Lillstreet’s store. But I ended up lingering over lunch while watching the adept crew reconfigure the lower level.
First Slice serves breakfast, lunch and early dinner every day of the week, and diners can choose between freshly made sandwiches ($7-$8), quiche ($3-$4) and salads ($3-$9)…or some people go straight for the pie ($3.50 per slice). If you’re lucky, you get to eat off of some of the projects made in the local kiln.
I ordered a sandwich with goat cheese, poached pears and roasted vegetables. I received a sandwich with goat cheese (as promised), but also sautéed spinach, mushrooms and onions (and no pears). It would have been nice to know they were out of pears. Service can be indifferent at times.
The café’s slogan is “guilty pleasure with a side of good deed,” so go ahead and try as many pies as you want. Classically trained chef and owner, Mary Ellen Diaz, is committed to fighting hunger. To that end, First Slice also offers a shareholder food subscription program of weekly restaurant-quality meals (from which proceeds are used to provide high-quality meals for people in need) as well as encourages patrons to volunteer at its community-supported kitchen.