A lot of news about the 14th street corridor has come out this week, let’s take a look:

  • What we thought was going to be a wine bar/bakery on the corner of 14th and U will actually be Blackbird Warehouse – a coffee shop and performance space from the Hilton brothers. This excites me and I hope that it’s a coffee shop in line with Mid City Caffe and Peregrine Espresso.
  • Cafe Salsa closed this week. While I’m not surprised (they were a mediocre Mexican restaurant competing with some top spaces) I’m sad to see a place close.
  • It’s official, the old Seafood & Crab place will be a Chicago hotdog joint, and they will serve liquor. It will be called Chidogo – really? Hope they come up with a better name before they open.
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Quesadillas and pepitas rellenas

Quesadillas and pepitas rellenas

I’m always excited about a new edition to the neighborhood. Last night, I checked out Cafe Salsa, interested to see what the newcomer had to offer. Appetizers were $5 to $10, entrees $14 to $20 (a bit pricey for what they were offering, in my opinion). Now, I always want to be supportive of local businesses and am aware that Cafe Salsa opened recently, but I have to say, I left pretty unimpressed.

The space was nice, the margaritas were strong. Pluses in my book. However, I had a hard time seeing their food as much better than the offerings at Alero. My companion and I tried ordering 4 appetizers (only 3 came out, but with the portions so big we couldn’t have eaten more – and weren’t charged for the one that didn’t come out). We ended up having the ceviche, the quesadillas with beef, and the papitas rellenas. The ceviche suffered from a problem a lot of ceviche has – it was rubbery and over “cooked” – though obviously ceviche isn’t meant to be cooked. The beef in the quesadillas was extremely fatty, I found myself having to pull out the gristle from my mouth – and I’m a girl who doesn’t mind a little fat on a steak. Now, the papitas rellenas were good. The appetizer portions, as mentioned before, were big. We didn’t finish our food, some of it was because we weren’t huge fans and the other part was we were full.

Now, for something I don’t usually mention: the bathrooms. In the lady’s bathroom at least, the tiolet, was, um, interesting. The bowl of the tiolet was smaller than the part of the seat that men usually lift up when they use it. I can’t say I’ve ever seen anything like that. And I didn’t like it.

I’m not writing off the restaurant completely, it’s new and has room to grow. I’m just reporting my experience there last night.

A quick round-up of what’s been happening in the U street area the past few days. I promise a more substantial post later, just been a bit too busy to write one.