Kasper’s Café will surprise and please

Feb 10, 2014 | Business Growth

Kasper’s Café opened Jan. 3 on Prosperity Church Road. Window signs advertise burgers, catering and $6.99 lunch specials. But don’t judge this café by its neon. These burgers are Angus beef on fresh brioche. Reubens come with corned beef cooked in house. Dinners such as grilled salmon in lemon-butter sauce use recipes perfected by owner Michael Clotfelter, a classically trained chef and longtime caterer. “Everything is really good because it’s fresh and made from scratch,” he says.

Kasper's Cafe's signature Rajun Cajun Pasta, chicken served with slightly spicy sauce and andouille sausage.

Customers clearly appreciate the quality. “Great to have a nice local place with fresh food. Loved the crab cake!” reads a Facebook post. “Awesome service! Great food!” begins a Yelp review. “I ordered the pecan Belgian waffle and it’s probably the best I’ve had … will definitely visit again.” “Your fries are great!” a lunchtime customer told manager Ben Sweeney last week during our visit.

The menu at Kasper’s Café is fairly straightforward. Weekend brunches include the waffles and omelets. Lunches range from burgers and sandwiches to salads and pasta entrees. Most of the lunch items are available for dinner too, along with several dinner plates and grilled meats including baby back ribs (full or half rack) and Kasper’s hand-cut Rib Eye Steak.

But do check out the lunch and dinner specials – often posted and tweeted on the restaurant’s Facebook and Twitter pages. “Tonight the specials are sautéed chicken Florentine and grilled Atlanta salmon in butter sauce. Neither is on the menu,” Ben says.

 

You can taste the difference freshness makes

The focus on freshly prepared meals and high-quality ingredients really does set Kasper’s Café apart from any competition, Ben says: a different soup every day, made from scratch; salads prepared by hand; all meats and sauces cooked at the restaurant; fresh bread and rolls brought in from Plaza-Midwood’s Nova Bakery. The burgers are among customers’ favorites, he adds. “Top to bottom it’s a quality product. Everyone says, ‘I can’t believe how good it is!’”

Of course Michael sets that standard and chooses the recipes that his chef, Mike Reed, prepares at Kasper’s Cafe. A graduate of the Culinary Institute of America, Michael served as executive chef at top restaurants in Chicago, New York and Las Vegas for many years. More than half of the recipes used here come from his previous restaurants. “Tried and true,” Michael says, “so the menu is pretty well down.”

 

Kasper’s Catering: 2 decades of event service

Now if you do want to see an impressive menu – and get a much better sense of Michael’s mastery of food preparation – visit the website of Kasper’s Catering, Kasperscatering.com. Michael has operated a full-service catering company since the mid-1990s, first in Chicago and now in Charlotte Ben says Kasper’s started catering events even before the restaurant opened. He sums up the catering-service menu with one word: “Amazing.”

The appetizer list alone has 60 choices. The three-dozen “casual buffet” entrees include Chicago style Italian beef and Baked Boston Cod. Among the two-dozen-plus “standard buffet” choices are Bronzed Chilean Sea Bass With Stone-Ground Mustard Sauce, and Chicken Pomodoro With Tomato Basil Cream Sauce.

Ben has focused his attention on opening the restaurant for the last month but will soon start promoting Kasper’s Catering to the many nearby businesses. “I almost want to bring them samples because our food is so amazing,” Ben says. “I know that once we cater one time for someone, they will love it.”

 

Come and dine

Kasper’s Café is at 3130 Driwood Court, beside Prosperity Church Road.

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