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Cafe Kem

2524 Nicollet Ave. S., #101 Minneapolis, MN 55404 | Uptown/ Eat Street | 612-208-0254

Location Description:

When the Truong family, owners of Jasmine Deli and Jasmine 26, opened Café Kem at 26th and Nicollet-their fourth restaurant, and their third one within as many blocks-they asserted their stature as a local Vietnamese restaurant dynasty. Café Kem is the most youthful of the three, a coffee shop/cafe that's equal parts hip and budget-minded. (The family also owns Jasmine Orchid, on the University of Minnesota campus, so they know something about pleasing the collegiate crowd.) Café Kem is open all day and seems designed to appeal to the young and cash-strapped: coffee drinks, bubble tea, frozen yogurt, salads, and sandwiches. Kem means "ice cream," in Vietnamese, though the frozen yogurt the cafe serves draws more from L.A.'s Pinkberry craze. Café Kem offers plain, tart yogurt as well as a host of Asian flavors-green tea, mango, passion fruit, and lychee, for starters-along with gelato. The sandwiches-bánh mì, tuna, panini, vegetarian-aren't made with artisan ingredients, but the portions are generous and the prices are cheap. The bánh mì is offered in just one variety, a classic cold-cut version that's not available at the Deli.

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