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Kaf's Café and Grill

Excerpt from Visitor's Guide to Soluvane, by Desh Calishet   If you find yourself wandering the middle tiers on a chilly night (or a chilly day; spirits know how cold it can get there), you can't go wrong stopping by Kaf's Café and Grill. It can be hard to spot due to being dug into the canyon wall, but just about anyone around can tell you where to find it. Look for the big red door and the giant slab of stone with what's probably an image of fire and a ribeye crudely carved into it. If it's hot as hells inside, you've found the right place.   They're open pretty much dawn to dusk and then also a while after dusk, so don't worry about trying to make their hours unless you're nocturnal. And they're usually pretty busy, so don't worry about trying to make their slow hours. If it's morning, they have all sorts of grillcakes and omelets, all cooked right in front of you. For lunch and dinner, some of the best fresh-grilled meats and veggies you can find in the city. The menu changes constantly based on whatever's available, so there's always something new to try. They also make every effort to be accommodating, so whether your species can't eat meat, can't eat grains, or can only eat lightly rotted mahogany (maybe not that one), Kaf's menu always has something for everyone. Just make sure to bring something for Zsi.
    Kaf's Café and Grill is a popular restaurant located on the eastern half of the fourth tier of Soluvane. Owned and operated by the fire goliath Kaf Hildan, the restaurant serves Charriken-style barbecue alongside some of Soluvane's own fresh juices and liquors. It's open daily from sunrise to four hours past sunset.  

Layout

The restaurant is built into one of Soluvane's many cliffsides, helping to insulate it from the frigid winds and near-constant snowfall. The only two exterior features are a homemade sign featuring a hand-carved image of a steak held over a flame, and a massive heavy red-painted door. The door itself is over 4 meters tall, easily large enough for even the café's few muzafil patrons to enter comfortably.   Similarly, the interior is a massive circular room with several tiers going down towards the center. Seats and tables are carved into the walls, fitted with nice cushions to cover the hard stone, and sitting at the center is a massive hearthfire. The fire burns constantly, keeping the building warm against the harsh, cold outside.   At the far end, opposite the entrance, is the kitchen. The front half consists of an entire line of grill stones, heated by the hearthfire before being laid flat for the cooks. The back half is separated from the main room by a thick wall and a swinging door, and holds most of the workers and stored food. Staff in the back chops, mixes, and seasons everything before bringing it to the front to be cooked on the heated stones, where patrons can see everything.  

Staff

The nights Kaf works are loud and joyful, the air filled with his laughs and shouts. The man is well-known for being a bit of a showman, moving the heavy grill stones bare-handed and dunking his hands in boiling-hot water to clean them. But he's also friendly, regularly striking up conversation with whoever's sitting around him and happily sharing cooking advice with anyone interested.   The other popular face around the cafe is that of resident fire spirit Zsi. A Charriken native like Kaf, she inhabits the central hearthfire, tending to the flames and keeping everything warm. Like most spirits, she's not very talkative, but happily dances in the fire to whatever music is playing that night and enjoys making light shows of her flickering form. Most regulars make sure to bring a bit of kindling as an offering, or scrape a bit of their meal into the ashes for her.   The rest of the staff may not be quite so fire-resistant as Kaf and Zsi, but they run a smooth business. The cooks are friendly and varied, each bringing a bit of their own flair to the café's menu. In the back, a small army of workers keeps things moving, with several dedicated cleaners whose sole job is making sure the food and restaurant meet Kaf's personal health standards. As part of working in Soluvane, each employee gets a share of the restaurant's profits, and Kaf himself works just as much as the others.

History

In 62 ES, Kaf arrived in Soluvane as part of a refugee group from the volcanic moon of Charrik. Eager to find a place for their family in their new home, he and his wife built Kaf and Solin's Hotstone Grill, named both for the owners and their unique cooking style. The restaurant was immediately beloved by their fellow refugees, who were happy for a taste of home, and quickly grew on the rest of the city. Some came for the spectacle of the chef lifting heavy burning-hot stones, some came for the cozy warmth to keep out Soluvane's frigid winds, and some came for the friendly atmosphere; but most found the food enjoyable enough to make regular visits.   In 65 ES, another group of Charriken refugees arrived, bringing with them Zsi. She had served as a protector spirit for their town, but separation from her tether and void travel had starved her. With the help of a local witch, the refugees and Kaf managed to anchor her to the hearthfire of the restaurant. She's since regained some of her strength, and accepts offerings from the staff and patrons in exchange for her firekeeping.   In 70 ES, the establishment was renamed to Kaf's Hotstone Grill, then later Kaf's Café and Grill after he and Solin separated. Those few weeks were one of the only times the restaurant was closed, and it's been open every day since.  

Events

Most nights at the café are the standard dining affair, but that doesn't mean it's boring. Musicians are always welcome and frequently invited to perform live for the patrons, helping to give the place its warm atmosphere. Some nights even involve multiple performers vying for the crowd's attention.   That pales in comparison to the restaurant's biggest event, though. Every year on the anniversary of the restaurant's founding, Kaf hosts a competition. Any cook in the city wanting a chance to prove their skill is invited to do just that on the steaming grill stones. Participants are provided all the supplies and tools they need from Kaf's own stores, with the one goal that they make the best dishes they can for the gathered crowd. Appetizer, entrée, and side dishes, all made in enough quantity to feed the entire restaurant and all prepared in front of everyone. The winner is chosen by the crowd, gifted a fancy new steak knife, and invited back to help judge the next year's competition.
Founding Date
63 EoS
Alternative Names
Kaf's, The Hotstone Grill, "That place on 4th"
Type
Pub / Tavern / Restaurant

Menu

The menu of Kaf's Café and Grill includes a lot of the kinds of foods generally prepared on Kaf's homeworld of Charrik, limited currently by what's actually available in Soluvane. It changes regularly depending on what's in season, but usually includes:  
  • Fruit- or Cream-Topped Grillcakes

  • Stuffed Omelets

  • Fried Rice

  • Kaf's Vegetarian Special

  • Spicy Grilled Catch of the Day

  • Blackened Scrap Iron
 

Drinks

Though not a dedicated bar, Kaf's Café and Grill does offer a number of local beverages:  
  • Soluvien Cider

  • Blackberry Mead

  • Fruit Wine

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Comments

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9 Mar, 2022 08:50

Fantastic quote to open up the article [ Remember you can use the Qutoe button as well to create a quote ] and overall the article was decent!, Love that you included a menu as well!   Overall a decent article

12 Mar, 2022 13:27

Thanks for the compliment and the tip! I wasn't so sure about it, but I went ahead and put it in a quote. I like how it pops a bit more, so thanks again for the tip!

9 Mar, 2022 09:28

Ooooh, stuffed omelets!   The intro-quote really helps set the atmosphere and paints a picture of the area as well. I like how they build into the cliffside and got this massive fire. Just be careful with unruly drinks in the presence of such a fire. And the whole competition bit is frickin' awesome!


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
9 Mar, 2022 09:29

Unruly drUnks. -,-


Too low they build who build beneath the stars - Edward Young
12 Mar, 2022 13:30

Fortunately, the fire's close to most of the staff just in case someone gets a bit out of hand. There've been no major burns yet! And thank you!

11 Mar, 2022 12:39

I like the travel guide quote. Really helps the touristy feel of the bar.   --------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Feel free to check out my Tavern Challenge article if you want to see what I am up to! The Black Hare Tavern

12 Mar, 2022 13:31

Thanks! It's definitely a place worth visiting Soluvane for.

12 Mar, 2022 03:31

This was a nice read. I agree, the use of the quote bbc might be helpful for the intro bit. Nothing wrong otherwise, it's just a smidge hard to read due to the text color being close to the background color. Is the blackened scrap iron a name for an actual dish? Or is it literally metal they serve to folk who want it?

12 Mar, 2022 13:26

I didn't even realize how close the color of the text is to the background. Definitely want to fix that. How do you change it? I tried the text color change options and they didn't do anything.   The scrap iron is actually metal. Soluvane has a large dwarvish population with an appetite for iron, so catering to them is just good business.

18 Mar, 2022 09:19

I really enjoy the feeling of the restaurant, but I feel like you could amplify it even more to create a true feeling called "hygge". As you consider it being a warm and welcoming cafe with grillcakes, omelets and such, I really think this article would benefit from an "Ambience" headline. Some maps or others that have a strong contrast between a cold winterland and a cozy cottage would hit the spot too!   Just personal suggestions as I am a huge fan of hygge and the aesthetic related to it! I love the idea of having a warm little cafe in middle of an icy canyon!

Que the wardrums! Check out my bloodied river, running from the heart of the jungle:River Arteria!