Café Salsera quietly opened its doors last week, as employees scrambled to make last-minute adjustments. Plants were freshly mulched out front and new signs were hung. News that the restaurant was on its way came five months ago, as a construction crew set out to transform the dining room.
The space has been billed as a cafe and restaurant that potentially turns into a spot to dance in the evenings, but the speakers and dance lights lining the walls and tables that seem more suited for chatting than dining leave me wondering whether Cafe Salsera will end up filled with more dancers or diners.
I have two left feet, so I sat down to tear into a Cubano. The kitchen uses roast pork just like they should, along with ham, but then the sandwich diverges from expectations. A mustardy dressing laps the bread and Chihuahua cheese is grated but not melted. The sandwich is assembled from hot ingredients, but it isn't pressed and griddled.
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The yucca I requested on the side was perfectly moist and fluffy on the inside. Other lunch items include dueling tortas and a meatball sandwich that also comes in a vegetarian version featuring eggplant. Wings, empanadas and other snacks are available, too.
Don't forget that Café Salsera is also a cafe. They open at 7 a.m. Monday-Friday and offer a number of coffees and pastries. There's also a take-out window for those who want their java to go. The massive dining room with a wrap-around balcony has loads of potential, and it's exciting to think about how Café Salsera will take shape within the Deep Ellum neighborhood. Rumor has it the waitresses are taking dancing lessons. This place is ripe for a party.
Café Salsera, 2610 Elm St., cafesalsera.com