CUCKOO’S CAFE | THE FIRST OF ITS KIND
If you have been in the Duluth area longer than a year, you will quickly know that we do not have a shortage of milk tea spots in the area. Just within 10 square miles of where I live, there are over fifteen cafes so normally, when I see a new one pop up, I am not really so impressed especially if they are mimicking the same structure and teas as the neighboring teahouse.
Due to the demographics of where I live, there is definitely a constantly growing demand for this type of cafe which explains the cookie-cutter approach that happens with new cafes – but it’s not really noteworthy enough for me unless the shop happens to offer something new and different.
Not Your Usual Cafe
That said, I used to drive by Cuckoos cafe for the first week or so that they opened and didn’t really think anything new about it until I finally went to visit. If you know the area, this used to be 7 Coffee in the past so space itself is a rather large space. That said, I figured if anything I could find a place to study at least.
When I got to Cuckoos, I realized this place had a pretty large menu consisting of drinks, snacks, and larger food options such as a Chicken Sandwich, crab cakes, chicken cutlets, and more. That immediately hit me in a good way that there was a place closer to me that not only had milk teas but also food options.
Talking to some of the management, I found out that this place had been open since September 14th. They wanted to open with a concept that was targeting not just the local Asian community but also the American community as well. This meant, that they wanted to bring a lot of snacks that people knew and were familiar with as well as introducing something new that most of the other cafes didn’t have such as the chicken sandwich.
They wanted the name to resemble something that resembles the sound of a chicken – hence the name “Cuckoos”. This is a brand new shop, although at first glance you would think it’s part of a franchise due to the amazing branding done by Terry, one of the managers.
Drinks, Snacks, Meals, and More at Cuckoos
The menu here is very large. I wish I had enough time to go into more items but by the time you’ve read it all, it would be hours so I will touch on the best of the best
Over Five Years of Milk Tea Experience
When it comes to the milk teas, the management has over five years of experience in the industry and definitely knows their milk teas but honestly, what gets me more than the hundreds of milk tea flavors, are the cocktails that are on their menu. Still, the top milk teas here would be the Winter Melon, Oolong, Jasmine, and Black Milk Tea. If you want something new – I would recommend the tea cocktails. These are a blend of teas with real jams and fruit juices (no powders).
Tea Cocktails | A Unique Take on Fruit Teas
The tea cocktails take on a totally different approach to your typical fruit tea and a lot more refreshing than the typical milk tea. The best-sellers are the Fruitarian (pineapple, passion fruit jam, grapefruit) and the Snapdragon (Strawberry Jam, Pineapple, and Orange). All of the tea cocktails have a green tea base and topped with juices and jams for flavor. The funny thing is whenever someone from our group tries these such as Daral the YAM or Jose, they all come back with the same response of (very refreshing).
Another unique drink I must talk about is Dalgona Coffee! Since I am a coffee lover, I came here one-day seeking caffeine and was told to try this drink. The coffee is whipped and comes on top of sweetened milk that can also be almond milk if you want to go dairy-free. Just be sure to mix it well or the coffee will be bit overbearing. But once it is mixed correctly, it is a perfect balance of strong coffee and sweet milk. Its now one of my favorite coffee drinks.
As far as the food items are concerned, I wanted to try a bit of everything but first was looking at items that I don’t see every day. I first tried the chicken sandwich and that was pretty awesome actually. I would say it’s a combination of a banh mi and an American chicken sandwich. The patty itself resembles your Taiwanese fried chicken and can be made medium or very spicy (if that’s your thing). It has a slaw that resembles the veggies you would find on a classic banh mi sandwich and a unique mayo I can’t figure out. One thing great about this is that it’s only 4.95, unlike other places that charge 9.95 for something similar.
If you really want death by chicken, I would recommend the chicken cutlet. This is a full chicken breast that’s been tenderized and fried before being sliced into strips. It’s a much heavier dish and can easily feed two people. One thing that’s really cool about any dish here is that you can choose to cook it with garlic and/or onions. I would recommend getting it with garlic.
There are other main entrees such as Taiwanese chicken (very common in this area) and a ton of snacks from dumplings, fries, calamari, spring rolls, and even pig intestines (yummy stuff!). The top 5 snacks sold here will include their fries, tofu puffs, fried okra, Taiwanese sausage, and Takoyaki. The fries are actually very good here, you’re not just getting a boring salted fry but these are seasoned very well to the point where you don’t need to drown them in ketchup.
I want to skip over to the Taiwanese sausage which is one of my favorite items here. If you’ve been to Taiwan, you know this is popular street food, and it’s not sold at any of the cafes I’ve been to thus far (could be wrong). You can get it spicy or regular. Spicy is my fav so far.
Altogether, this place has my respect. It’s one thing to be a cafe that does teas well and has adequate space for hanging out, studying, or getting work done. It’s another thing to also supply a menu that consists of both snacks and actual meal options. This allows someone to spend a whole day here getting work done while enjoying both food and drinks. That alone would set them apart from most cafes but the fact that they have stepped outside the box with a unique menu really puts them on my radar. Check them out when you can or come with us for our meetup event here.
3182 Steve Reynolds Blvd
Duluth, GA 30096