When Cassie Fishkin was diagnosed with Celiac disease she had just moved to Manhattan. This was before the gluten-free movement really picked up, and she soon learned just how hard it was to dine out and not end up sick. Consequently, Fishkin started staying home and developing recipes that were both gluten free and delicious. This practice was nothing new to her as it was a family rule growing up that they only went out to eat if the restaurant made it “better than we do.”
At the same time, the young attorney was starting to question her career choice. The stress, long hours, and work, which she found unrewarding, was not what Fishkin had envisioned when she chose to practice law.
She began thinking back to a fanciful promise she made to her best friend when she was just 15. “I am going to open a restaurant one day,” she said. “It’s going to be called The Spot and we’re going to serve breakfast all day and really great, fresh food.”
Fast forward 13 years, and Fishkin made that promise a reality—on two fronts.
First, she bought into the Millburn location of Tinga, in 2015, as a partner. Since Mexican cuisine is based primarily on corn it was a perfect fit for her dietary restrictions. Two years and many tough lessons later, Fishkin bought out her partner and began making changes to the menu and décor. In August of 2017, she renamed the restaurant Casita.
If that wasn’t enough to keep this young restaurateur busy, in 2015 she also purchased and rebranded Mac Attack in Montclair to her teenage dream eatery, The Spot: a homey, casual space you might think of as a boutique diner. Fishkin did all of the renovations and decorating herself. She sourced the furniture and equipment from all over the country. Demolition uncovered brick walls and beautiful tin ceilings. And the black and white checkered floor left over by Mac Attack was a definite keeper.
The menu at the Spot features American comfort food that’s healthy and indulgent. Indulgent indeed—the menu includes seven different mac and cheese options. And the burgers resemble skyscrapers.
And no, I didn’t forget that I also said it’s healthy. “We guarantee no antibiotics, hormones or GMOs, ever,” says Fishkin, who celebrated her 30th birthday over the summer. “Just about everything is made in-house, including the salad dressings, sauces, and dips. You know you’re not getting preservatives and other additives.” The Spot offers quinoa wraps, salads, soups, chili and a number of vegetable sides. Everything on the menu includes a gluten-free option—mac and cheese, sandwiches, burgers, and more.
The Spot and Casita both now offer “Features” menus, which extend their offerings for the dinner crowd and change every other month.
At Casita, Fishkin subscribes to the same policies of healthy ingredients, house-made salsas, guacamole, and dips as she does for The Spot. The Mexican restaurant offers an all gluten-free menu—except for the burrito tortillas.
Both restaurants offer dine-in, takeout, and delivery options, as well as private hosting and catering services for business and personal events.
Stop by the Spot for some classic American comfort food or make it a fiesta with friends and family at Casita.
Kid-Friendly Atmosphere, Times Two
Both restaurants offer changing tables in the restrooms, and crayons, paper, and mini board games at the tables. “The kids will be happy and mom and dad will be able to find something on the menu that they actually enjoy,” Fishkin says. And enjoy they will!
Tip: Check each restaurant’s website and Yelp for special offers before you go!
The Spot,104 Walnut Street, Montclair, NJ
Casita, 321 Millburn Ave, Millburn, NJ