Deep Ellum draws crowds for punk and metal shows with a side of late-night pizza and doughnuts, but a new arrival to the neighborhood is straying from the pack: Cafe Salsera specializes in Latin-Caribbean cuisine and yes, salsa dancing.
The restaurant serves breakfast, lunch, and dinner, with potential menu standouts including mofongo dumplings — a deep-fried twist on the classic Puerto Rican plantain dish — roast chicken cooked over an open flame, and an alluring-sounding "churros sundae" that involves Nutella fudge sauce.
A walk-up window hawking coffee and pastries opens bright and early every weekday starting at 7 a.m. (10 a.m. on weekends), serving everything from plain ol' drip coffee to cortados and the house specialty Cafe Salsera (think cafe au lait). Empanadas come in both sweet and savory varieties, including an unusual coconut-bacon flavor; there's also plenty of other beverage options from Topo Chico to passionfruit smoothies. A covered patio area would be a nice place to sip a latte in the early morning before it gets ridiculously hot.
In honor of the grand opening, Cafe Salsera is serving half-price cocktails through Thursday, which means $4 cucumber margaritas and hibiscus mojitos. Those who just want to salsa the night away will have to wait till Saturday, when the festivities start at 10 p.m. with no cover.