Thursday night, Mr. Wonderful and I finally ventured out to Cafe Kacao.Cafe Kacao is the new creation of the Del Sid family, whose matriarch Veronica, and her recipes are of Cafe Antigua legend. The Del Cids had been dreaming of opening their own place as a family, and after 10 years of dreaming, we, the lucky folks of Oklahoma City are the beneficiaries.
Guatemalan cuisine is a simple fare of corn (masa), rice, beans and meat, mixed up with bold flavors of spices and chilis…and chocolate…which is why the Del Sid family decided to use the famed Guatemalan cocoa bean in their name and logo, mixing up the C with a K for a new rift.
We tasted chocolate in a few ways in our coffee, hot chocolate and even our plantains during our meal at Cafe Kacao. Chocolate is always a hit with me!
First off – the coffee.
Mr. Wonderful ordered a cup of coffee right away. The Cafe uses coffee from the Sierra de las Minas Biosphere Reserve in Guatemala, and has it shipped within 48 hours of being roasted. This coffee has light notes of apricot and oranges along with a finish of bittersweet chocolate. It’s not your ordinary cup-of-Joe.
Oklahoma City had turned bitter cold this evening, so I opted for a cup of their specialty Hot Chocolate.
If you’ve ever had Mexican hot chocolate, this is a similar taste. It’s more bittersweet, with undertones of cinnamon and chili’s. Even before I tasted it, the aroma alone was spicy and comforting. Very yummy!
We began our meal with an appetizer and ordered the Tostada Platter ($3.99).
The Tostada Platter had four crisp tostadas: two served with black beans, one with red salsa and one with homemade guacamole, all topped with parsley, sliced onion and dry cheese (perhaps Cotija?).
These were fun to bite into, had a nice crunch, and it was a nice start to our meal.
Luidgi then brought us out a complimentary, small bowl of rich soup (soups of the day will vary) that had potato and carrot chunks and slivers of beef in it. I really liked this and commented that I’d love this on a cold day anytime. The broth was really good.
Mr. W ordered the king-daddy plate – the Tipico Panchoy ($13.99). This was a huge platter full of thin-sliced, grilled (skirt) steak marinated in chimichurri sauce and it also had a good helping of Longaniza (Guatemalan sausage) fried plantains, grilled potato, black beans, grilled green onions, house salad and rice of the day,and their Russian potato salad. This dish came with three sauces, one a thin avocado sauce, a salsa, and, sigh..
A side of their traditional creamy chimichurri sauce.
This sauce changed my life that night. I am in love with it.
Everything on this plate was delicious. The steak and sausage, which we thought were one before we tasted them, were both seasoned nicely and I believe marinated in Chimichurri sauce and grilled to a smoky yumminess. The fried plantains were a treat as were the other grilled veggies. The potato salad was also nice – full of carrots and peas in a creamy sauce. The steak was skirt steak, I believe, and while the flavor was wonderful, we would have preferred it sliced across the grain, as skirt steak tends to be a little chewy otherwise.
I ordered the Frijolada ($8.99).
Now, I’m going to be honest with you. I loved this just as much, if not more than Mr. Wonderful’s enormous platter. While he had all that red meat going on his plate, I preferred the chicken and the combination of flavors here was fantastic.
This platter had grilled chicken (you can also opt for pork), served on a bed of a rice and whole black beans mix, and it was topped with diced tomatoes, fresh onions and cilantro. I would definately order this again.
I also had a side of guacamole, which was full of lime, onions and tomatoes and it was tasty as well.
At this point, we were very full, but we felt like we needed to experience a Guatemalan dessert and Luidgi recommended the Kacao Plantains ($4.75).
If you are a molé sauce fan, you would probably love this. Fried plantains are smothered in a chocolate molé sauce with hints of spicy undertones.
However, while I love molé sauce on a tamale, the next time I’d love to try the Plantains in Glory ($3.25)- Fried plantains cooked in a brown sugar, cinnamon and Kahlua sauce, and topped with sour cream. I think I would prefer them cooked this way better and the description alone makes me salivate!
We enjoyed our experience at Cafe Kacao, and while the bill topped out at close to $40 for the two of us, on a regular visit, we would probably scale back on the extras, as we ended up taking home good size portions of to-go-boxed food. The portions are very large and extras, while fun to eat, were really not needed.
But we were going for the experience of Guatemalan food…and we felt fulfilled in that after our meal. Very full filled.
Give this place a try try sometime/
And tell Luidgi we said hi.
3325 N. Classen
Oklahoma City, OK 73118
website and menu
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