By Jano Tantongco and Lizzie Wilcox
The Cause Café in Northport not only serves up a medley of delightful dishes, but also blends that with the spirit of advocacy for autism.
Stacey Wohl, of Northport, a single mother of two autistic teenagers, founded Our Coffee with a Cause in 2012 in response to the high unemployment rate of those with disabilities. Our Coffee with a Cause is a nonprofit that donates proceeds of each cup of coffee to charities for autism and other disabilities.
This business expanded into Cause Café in Northport, a unique restaurant that offers employment to teens and adults with disabilities. The French-themed café serves breakfast, lunch and dessert, and caters to various eating needs such as vegetarian, vegan and gluten free.
As a trained artist, Wohl’s designs include the tables, interior decorations and logo of the business. The interior is warm, with bright accents, and truly makes one feel at home in a French living room.
Cause Café offers a plethora of salads, including a kale salad comprised of quinoa, chickpeas and cranberries, which give the dish a sweet kick.
The arugula salad contrasted the kale salad, featuring red onions, red peppers and quinoa. The arugula itself offered a natural zing, which was complemented by its companions.
For those who like a sugar rush for breakfast, the Nutella waffles ($8.99) are a must. With Nutella in the batter and topped with powdered sugar, this fluffy treat doesn’t need syrup, although the café does offer real maple syrup. This dish is only a special, so make sure to get it when it’s there.
For a more classic breakfast item, the time-honored pancakes ($9.99) balanced fluffiness with just the right amount of light crunch on the outside. If the waffles offered Nutella baked right in, the pancakes come with a side of Nutella that one may spread for hazelnut harmony.
The chicken salad is a scrumptious side, blending together apricots, celery, dried cranberries and dashed with white pepper. With their chicken roasted in-house, the mix of flavors brings a hearty helping of both sweet and savory sensations.
The French staple, the Tomato and Zucchini Quiche ($10.99), brings together a warm, flaky crust, as well as the timeless coupling of ham and cheese. The tomato brings an exuberant tang, grounded by the zucchini.
While mainly oriented as a café, the establishment also serves up entrees like burgers and sandwiches. Many offerings can be paired with sides, à la carte style.
The café also has an assortment of teas and even does a high tea, which comes with scones, small sandwiches and, of course, tea in authentic teacups. Wohl said that this the venue is also an ideal place for birthday parties, and that she will lend out teacups to those who would like to have high tea in their homes.
The executive chef at the cafe is Christin Butcher, who trained as a sous chef in Savannah, Georgia under Chef Suzanne Massetti, of the Tuscan countryside in Italy. Butcher has also worked as a private catering chef in the Hamptons for celebrity clients including Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen.
Aiding Chef Butcher is Felicia Fernandez, assistant chef, worked for Disney World for five years as a cook. While there, she studied at Le Cordon Blue College of Culinary Arts in Orlando. She moved here just two weeks ago, but she’s already preparing treats and delights that will please any palate.
“I feel like everyone’s a visual person. I like the art of it, but I like to make sure there’s flavor,” she said.
The café also hosts open mics on Saturdays and periodical live music live music. Additionally, it offers take-out, catering and delivery options.
Looking ahead, Wohl said she hopes to turn the café into a franchise and have the next restaurant open in Brooklyn. Wohl aims to appeal to the cause conscious crowd, coupling her specialty in helping those with disabilities with a sense of Parisian decor, and of course, a tour of continental flavors to match.
Editor's note: The executive chef at Cause Cafe is Christin Butcher
Felicia Fernandez is an assistant chef at the cafe.
1014 Fort Salonga Road,
Ambiance: French Country
Cuisine: European Café and Lunch
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.