Saturday, December 3, 2011

Homestead Cafe y Algo Mas

4826 Q Street
Omaha, NE 68117
(402) 738-9989
Open 7 days, 7am to 9pm
Homestead Cafe on Urbanspoon

Los volcanes!

Brush up on your high school Spanish, kids. It's in that ole brain somewhere. The online menu for the Homestead Cafe--or La Casa del Huarache, as it's also known--is only en espaƱol. Not to fear if you took French instead and don't know what huevos means. Our server provided us with an English menu, and was perfectly accommodating.

The warm orange walls were adorned with portraits of prominent Latino citizens, but the Mexican tunes you might expect to hear were nixed in favor of some good old classic rock radio. As George Harrison crooned on, I began to worry about the chips. Where were they? Don't we get them? They have chips, right? And salsa? Should I ask her? Will they ever come???!! They didn't come, in fact, as the Homestead Cafe apparently does not offer complimentary chips. Whether that is a deal breaker, I will let you decide for yourself.

I had to try a huarache, which is like a sope or gordita. It's made with fried masa (corn dough), but oblong in shape, resembling a sandal. Mine was filled with seasoned, orange pork, juicy pineapple slices, and plenty of cotija cheese. There was a thin layer of black beans spread inside, which reminded me of the Salvadoran pupusa, but the dough was firmer and chewier. On the side came a boldly sweet and smoky chipotle salsa, along with a fearlessly spicy salsa verde. Overall, for a dish named after footwear, the huarache was a distinctive and delicious combination of flavors and textures.

Los volcanes was an "eruption" of cactus in a crunchy tortilla bowl. You might ask yourself whether it's safe to ingest an eruption of cactus. It's actually just a lot like a marinated green chile, but more pungent, and with a tinge of vinegar. Paired with a healthy dose of carne asada, there was some familiarity in this interesting dish. I say go for it.

It's obvious this place is going for something a little nicer than your hole-in-the-wall taqueria. The two of us dined for just under $30, which is a LOT more than we're used to for this kind of food. (Did I mention they don't give you chips?) Those who are intimidated by the spectacle of South 24th might feel more comfortable at the Homestead Cafe, since it appears cleaner and more professional, and smells better than some of those places, for sure.

Huarache al pastor--
A selection of other meats available, as well as a cheese and bean version.

Beans and Rice:
"Nothing to write home about," but sure to please all palates.

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