Ever had lunch in a laundry room? I don’t mean shoving a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in your mouth as you pull jeans out of the dryer and throw them on just before you fly out the door. I mean a really tasty, satisfying gourmet meal that pleases your palate while you sit back and watch the spin cycle do its job. Well Rob and Kristen Cassi are doing just that- cooking that is. I know, I know, but hear me out. The two have opened up a delightful eatery, Persimmon Cafe, in the front of College Laundry on the corner of Smith St. and Calhoun St. I’ll think you’ll find their menu delightfully surprising.
They are serving, without a doubt, the best food I have ever had while doing laundry. Their menu ranges from handcrafted sandwiches to grilled cheese to salads to soups- all homemade onsite in their tiny kitchen. They also offer refreshing beverages like vanilla lemonade and basil limeade, made fresh every day. They have breakfast too! Persimmon Cafe is the perfect place to stop by on your way to class or work and grab breakfast. They serve local Charleston Coffee Roasters coffee and simple breakfast fare to get your day started on the right foot. And in an effort to serve the freshest ingredients the season has to offer, the menu changes daily.
Each with a culinary background, Rob and Kristen are doing big things in the restaurant scene. The power couple also gave birth to their first baby girl not even a month ago! Rob and Kristen are literally doing it all and to top it off, they are incredibly nice and welcoming. Rob said they already have regulars, which is truly saying something given how saturated the community is with incredible eateries. When creating their restaurant, they certainly did some out-of-the-box thinking, both in the location and menu. They wanted a casual, walk-up lunch spot that would give them the chance to form one-on-one relationships with their customers all while serving them delicious food. Simultaneously, they wanted to change your preconceived notions of a typical walk-up cafe. At Persimmon Cafe you will not find typical chicken fingers and french fries with a side of ranch. Instead, you’ll find things like the Adult Grilled Cheese made with smoked Gouda, prosciutto, sliced apple and cheddar all melted to a golden perfection on local bread baked at Brown’s Court Bakery. Persimmon Cafe even has a happy hour. A soup happy hour, to be exact and its already very popular. With temperatures on the rise, Rob says he plans to add refreshing summer soups to the menu, like gazpacho, to keep the happy hour going. Additionally, they have recently added made-before-your-eyes custard to the menu. Both are sure to keep you cool during the hot months ahead.
The Cassi’s want you to trust their menu as it is. Even though he may be serving simpler food now, Rob is a classically trained chef and has worked in many respected restaurants. For the laymen: he knows his stuff. Trust their creations and give them a try, even if you don’t recognize a particular ingredient. Chances are it’s going to be a slam dunk. In other words, shake up your lunch routine and venture to dine in a place slightly out of the ordinary. There may be someone folding their laundry nearby, but hey, Rob and Kristen will be behind the counter smiling, with some mellow music in the background, making your week’s worth of laundry a little more manageable.