Most of you probably know Za’s as the place with the huge salads and crack-dusted garlic bread.* While I will admit that their garlic bread is the siren call that draws me in, something much sweeter gets me to stay. My fellow Chambana residents, the time has come for me to introduce you to the wonders of Mia Za’s tiramisu.

*This statement is unconfirmed, but how else do they make that bread so damn good?

Let me paint a picture for you, friends. You walk into Za’s wondering what to order. You feel your stomach growling as you look at the vast menu of pizza, salads, pasta and personalized favorites. Just before you faint from famine and stress, you see a small beam of light in the glass case by the register.


Photo by Tori Baier

“Is it just a reflection from the lights?” you think.
No. It’s a tiny halo hovering about the full plate of tiramisu nestled within.
“Why would I order some weird cake at Za’s when I could order 12 sides of garlic bread?” you also think.

First of all, enough with the garlic bread! Branch out a little. Secondly, you don’t know what you’re missing. This “weird cake” is served to you in one massive square that everyone claims they can’t eat alone, but then secretly threatens anyone who comes within 10 feet of them. It combines layers of delicate, perfectly spongey lady fingers, sweetened mascarpone cheese, chocolate, coffee and rum. Yes, you read that correctly. This cake has rum in it. It’s an excuse to “eat” alcohol. After your first bite, you are a total goner. The cake now owns you, and you know what? You are absolutely okay with it. Your mind goes blank as you continue to dip your fork into the sweet cream-filled, chocolate-dusted masterpiece resting on your plate. A single tear rolls down your cheek. Wicked’s “For Good” starts playing in your head. You are changed for the better, my friend. Thanks to this cake. Do yourself a favor and go get a piece right now.

Location: 629 E. Green St. Champaign, IL 61820