365ink #396 November 24–December 8, 2021 - Page 31

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the menu is small , the point is that he wants you to take the reins and tell him what you want him to make .
“ The customers are the executive chef and I prepare it for them ,” Ryan explains . “ We have a lot of ingredients . What do you like ? I can make a sandwich , an omelette , a skillet and quiche , burrito or a soufflé . It ’ s a little bit complicated . It puts some of the onus on the customer to figure it out and know what they want . I ’ ll take the things you like and make something satisfying and creative that you will not find everywhere . There ’ s a lot of junk out there like MSG and pesticides . Everything ’ s natural here .
“ You ’ ll see that the ingredients in my food usually say organic on all labels , from the natural thick-cut bacon , to the greens . I do my own shopping for all of my food . I have extensive background as a chef working in a number of restaurants in the area . The space is limited here . The creativity is not .”
So let ’ s talk about our lunch . There were just a couple of specials listed on the menu when we visited , but he quickly dispelled us of those limitations
and asked what we wanted . In the end we shared a few wonderful gems .
Ryan whipped us up a warm croissant with melted cheese , bacon , tomato , and hot curried chicken that was savory and delicious . On top of that , we shared one of his signature specialties , a sweet potato-crusted quiche with zucchini , mushroom , onion , cheese and finished with sour cream and fresh avocado . It didn ’ t have any meat , but it was savory and dense and felt like the kind of bellyfilling dish that you ’ d expect to have meat .
I loved it , and finding that it was also naturally gluten free , I can ’ t wait to take one to my wife one day when she ’ s starving at work and needs me to save her . She ’ s going to be thrilled when I introduce her to this warm delight . I think it ’ ll prove to be even more welcome on a cold winter day .
While there , we also saw a super fresh- and tasty-looking curried chicken lettuce salad with tomatoes , red onion , and fresh avocado glide by , as well as a burrito that I think I ’ ll have to come back for . Ryan says his skillets are pretty damn good too . Try a Customlette ! Just tell him
which of his natural and organic ingredients you want in there , and sit back with your coffee as he makes it happen in the tiniest little kitchen space imaginable .
He might love coffee like life itself , but he ’ s no slouch with the omelette pan either .
“ I opened a great coffee shop that serves food ,” says Ryan , “ but it seems like I now have a great cafe that serves coffee . Oh well , that works too .”
We agree . •
Devour Cafe
1798 CENTRAL AVE , DUBUQUE , IA 563-564-5271 FACEBOOK . COM / DEVOURDUBUQUE Hours : Wed – Sun : 8 AM – 3 PM ; Mon – Tue : Closed
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DUBUQUE365 . COM Issue # 396 November 24 – December 8 , 2021 365INK MAGAZINE 31