We arrived for an early dinner at 5 p.m. on a Tuesday, and there were already a few tables full with guests at Evo Cafe. When I entered the restaurant, I saw a long counter, and a member of the staff greeted us with menus and directed us to seat ourselves.
The dining room was small, with a line of windows facing Sixth Street and pink walls with minimal decor. The second of the two front-of-house staff promptly brought us water and took our appetizer order.
We started our dinner with pork dumplings ($6). They were served on a bed of cabbage with black vinegar for dipping. They were pan-fried with a crispy bottom and then steamed so the top was nice and soft. The flavor wasn’t overwhelming, and I enjoyed dipping them in the vinegar as my partner opted for soy sauce. The menu also listed many hot and cold appetizers like fried egg rolls and an eggplant dish which sounded delicious.
We then ordered the satay beef over rice ($8). A generously sized portion of satay beef was plated in a boat which included large pieces of sauteed onions and green bell peppers. There was plenty of sauce in the dish which was served over a bed of rice. The flavors were mild, yet they did not lack flavor. This dish would be perfect for anyone who is not into spicy food.
Next was the black mushroom chow mein ($9). I thought this was delicious. The black mushrooms carried the dish with their earthy and smoky taste, and the sauce that came with the noodles highlighted that. There were also sauteed cabbage and fresh scallions that gave the dish a nice finish. I will be going back to get this dish again.
Last but not least, we ordered the Chongqing dry chili chicken ($13). I was very excited to try this as I have had dry chili chicken at other restaurants and adore it. Evo’s version met the mark. It was packed with dry chilis and perfectly fired bites of chicken, topped with white sesame seeds and cilantro. The oil from the chilis absorbed into the white rice that it was served with. This is a great dish if you enjoy spicy food that still packs a lot of flavor without getting lost in the heat.
Also on the menu was a section labeled House Cuisine. It contained dishes I had never heard of such as toothpick beef and pork (each $17), scrambled egg with baby shrimp ($16), baked fish in Ma La spicy sauce ($26), as well as many other items I would be interested in trying.
Overall, we enjoyed our dinner at Evo Cafe. The front-of-house staff were very friendly, kind, and were prompt bringing our food. The restaurant was clean and well kept. Although we went for dinner, they offer a weekday lunch special from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. for $6 that looked like a great deal. There is no parking lot, but luckily the day we visited, finding parking on John Street (just around the corner) was a breeze.
711 S 6th St.
Su-F 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.