Encore Cafe

Encore Cafe is an Asian fusion restaurant on downtown Mass Street that I’ve walked past hundreds of times and finally experienced for myself this past week. Why was it my first time? I have to be honest, nothing about it ever caught my attention; the exterior is fairly simple and I hadn’t heard enough about it to peak my curiosity. However, after experiencing this restaurant I’m certain I’ll be back. The food and experience were excellent!

A fairly unsuspecting exterior, right?

Interior: spacious, comfortable, and well lit.

I headed to Encore Cafe this past Tuesday evening to grab a bite with my husband. Having no expectations, I was interested to see what our night would entail. Upon entering, I noticed a few things immediately. First, Encore Cafe is spacious – no bumping into your neighbor-table here. You have enough privacy and space to relax and focus on your company and your meal. Second, it is also quite comfortable – this might seem like an odd detail to mention, but the temperature inside was perfect. I’m usually a little cold (or worse, sometimes warm) when dining out. But Encore seemed to have the perfect temp while also keeping a a hint of coolness in the air (which adds to the cleanliness of the restaurant, don’t you agree?). Finally, there was pleasant music playing, but not blaring, during the evening hours. This avoids silence, while also maintaining an atmosphere to hold a conversation without yelling. I kid you not, these three aspects wooed me instantaneously. Perhaps this suggests one of these three has always been “off” during my visits to other restaurants? Hmmm….

Our table & impressive ambiance.

Appetizer: Egg Rolls!

Alright, down to business. Feeling good and comfortable, we were ready to eat. We started with a couple beers, and egg rolls as an appetizer. For the main entrĂ©e, I ordered General Tsao’s Chicken, and he went with Beef Chow Fun. On this particular Tuesday evening, the restaurant wasn’t busy, but there were probably six other parties out for dinner, too. That being said, I was impressed with the attention we received from the waitstaff, and our food was quick to arrive as well.

General Tsao's Chicken (looking quite XXL here).

And the Beef Chow Fun.

Well, in keeping with the evening’s theme of this-place-is-great!-Why-didn’t-I-try-it-sooner?, the food was awesomely satisfying. Also, as you can probably tell from the above photos, we had left overs(!) What’s more, these left overs were actually tasty when reheated the next day. I’m proud to say, I ate it all! All of it, I tell ya. (That doesn’t always happen with the leftovers, you know?) In the end, our total bill was $32 (add tip: $38). Not bad for a night out.

I should add, when living in New York, I lived in Chinatown for a couple of years. Living in this neighborhood meant I had access to a variety of Chinese restaurants. I’m a big fan of Chinese food, and my meal at Encore was easily as good as some of the meals I’d have out in Chinatown (specifically, Wo Hop – one of my faves). Granted, I’m partial to Americanized Chinese food, so keep that in mind. In any case, YUM! I look forward to trying other items on Encore’s menu, like the Sesame Chicken and Kung Po Chicken.

Find Encore Cafe at: 1007 Massachusetts St, Lawrence KS 66044. [785.856.3682]

2 Responses to “Encore Cafe”

  1. Meryl says:

    And surprisingly (maybe?) there isn’t a whole lot of Chinese food in Lawrence. We’ve mostly transitioned to just eating sushi or thai when that Pacific-Eastern-y food craving hits. But Encore is great for when it just has to be Chinese food.

  2. Megan says:

    Was this the restaurant with the 2 way mirror in the bathroom? I can’t wait to try the food!