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Cafe Salamera [Peruvian] + Pictures

Cafe Salamera [Peruvian] + Pictures
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  • Post #31 - September 26th, 2005, 9:00 am
    Post #31 - September 26th, 2005, 9:00 am Post #31 - September 26th, 2005, 9:00 am
    just a reminder to still call first, or have back-up plans ready - went saturday evening to grab some sandwiches and they were closed.

    we went up the street for Dona Lolis (mainly cause Mike G's question of what the blacked out taco offerings were was in my head - answer: suadero) and Monarca paletas.
  • Post #32 - October 1st, 2005, 1:47 pm
    Post #32 - October 1st, 2005, 1:47 pm Post #32 - October 1st, 2005, 1:47 pm
    Hi,

    Following everyone's advice, I phoned first before making plans to go to Cafe Salamera. The phone number has changed, which lead me to a phone conversation with the owner Nori.

    The basic issue is one of being under-capitalized. While it has been opened since May, it didn't quite catch on as quickly as she hoped. She is seeking a business partner who can bring capital, which if it happens then she is ready to resume business.

    I told her she was on a cusp of getting the publicity she needed to remain in business based on Chef Bowles' solid recommendation. I reminded her though we are a rather special interest website, it is also a site where the media goes to for sources and ideas. She is aware of LTHforum and has read the praise here. I recommended if her financing issues resolve themselves to please announce on this thread she will be reopening. She indicated at the very earliest, it may take a month.

    While her operation is struggling, I commented Islas las Marias nearby is struggling as well. She was aware the other locations are busy also. She indicated she visited a number of likely partners who when they learned her business was situated in Rogers Park were not interested. She is hopeful Rogers Park will have the turn around witnessed in other regions of the city.

    I certainly do hope she finds her partner, which will allow me to try those sandwiches everyone raved about.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #33 - October 2nd, 2005, 10:12 am
    Post #33 - October 2nd, 2005, 10:12 am Post #33 - October 2nd, 2005, 10:12 am
    This is really a disappointment, as we were hoping to go there for lunch today (and for less selfish reasons as well). I gather the "changed" number is actually Nori's home number.

    Cathy, were you lead to believe that Salamera is closed until further notice, or that they are simply continuing to keep erratic hours?
  • Post #34 - October 2nd, 2005, 10:39 am
    Post #34 - October 2nd, 2005, 10:39 am Post #34 - October 2nd, 2005, 10:39 am
    Cathy, were you lead to believe that Salamera is closed until further notice, or that they are simply continuing to keep erratic hours?


    They are closed until there is money. Money to buy food, pay the cook and rent. If no partner is found, then it is indeed the end of Salamera.

    I did give her my phone number advising if it doesn't succeed this time and she entertains opening someday in the future to advise.

    You're correct on where the changed number leads you.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #35 - October 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am
    Post #35 - October 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am Post #35 - October 2nd, 2005, 11:37 am
    They are closed until there is money. Money to buy food, pay the cook and rent. If no partner is found, then it is indeed the end of Salamera.


    :cry: And I didn't get a chance to go back and try the Jibarito. This would be a sad loss (I'm not giving up all hope yet).
  • Post #36 - October 2nd, 2005, 11:59 am
    Post #36 - October 2nd, 2005, 11:59 am Post #36 - October 2nd, 2005, 11:59 am
    Perhaps the owners of Salamera could be introduced to the folks at Accion, a Chicago base intermediary that delivers SBA microloans to under capitalized minority businesses for various purposes. I believe that the maximum loan amount id $35,000.

    That might provide them the needed capital to catch up rent and market themselves a bit to see if they may catch on.

    Accion focuses its lending to the hispanic community.

    Accion Chicago, Inc.
    3245 W. 26th
    Chicago, IL 60623
    President: F. Leroy Pacheco
    Microloan Contact: Jonathan Brereton
    E-mail: lpacheco@accionchicago.org
    Phone: 773-376-9004 Fax: 773-376-9048
    Service Area: Cook County (including parts of Chicago), Lake, McHenry, Dekalb, Kane, Dupage, Kendall, Grundy, Kankanee, Will, and Lasalle counties
    URL:
  • Post #37 - October 2nd, 2005, 12:15 pm
    Post #37 - October 2nd, 2005, 12:15 pm Post #37 - October 2nd, 2005, 12:15 pm
    Will,

    I was hoping someone might know of a program ... I will alert her to this now.

    Thank you!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #38 - October 25th, 2005, 10:30 am
    Post #38 - October 25th, 2005, 10:30 am Post #38 - October 25th, 2005, 10:30 am
    Hi,

    I received a phone call from the owner today, they have reopened.

    Now I can finally try their sandwiches!

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #39 - October 25th, 2005, 10:56 am
    Post #39 - October 25th, 2005, 10:56 am Post #39 - October 25th, 2005, 10:56 am
    Cathy,

    Do you know if Accion ended up helping them out? A close friend of mine (who works for Accion's NYC office and would feel right at home on LTH) may be coming to Chicago soon, and I'd love to take her to one of her organization's success stories.

    Tom
  • Post #40 - October 25th, 2005, 11:42 am
    Post #40 - October 25th, 2005, 11:42 am Post #40 - October 25th, 2005, 11:42 am
    Tom,

    I don't know. I wasn't home when she called, she left a message with a family member. I hope to get there Thursday for lunch and will inquire.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #41 - October 25th, 2005, 12:45 pm
    Post #41 - October 25th, 2005, 12:45 pm Post #41 - October 25th, 2005, 12:45 pm
    Thanks, Cathy - while I would be particularly thrilled to find out that Accion played a part, I'm just glad to hear that they're back in business. I have not made it up there yet (moving from Buena Park to the Near South Side has not been good for my food habits, given all the great things on the Far North Side), but it looks like a must-try.

    Tom
  • Post #42 - October 26th, 2005, 9:03 am
    Post #42 - October 26th, 2005, 9:03 am Post #42 - October 26th, 2005, 9:03 am
    I was pleasantly surprised to see Cafe Salamera open at 7PM last night. Unfortunately, there were only a couple customers eating there. I hope business picks up!
  • Post #43 - October 26th, 2005, 11:30 am
    Post #43 - October 26th, 2005, 11:30 am Post #43 - October 26th, 2005, 11:30 am
    Great news! We will go this weekend and I'll encourage my friends to go as well.

    -The GP
  • Post #44 - October 28th, 2005, 8:31 am
    Post #44 - October 28th, 2005, 8:31 am Post #44 - October 28th, 2005, 8:31 am
    That Guy on the L wrote:Cathy,

    Do you know if Accion ended up helping them out? A close friend of mine (who works for Accion's NYC office and would feel right at home on LTH) may be coming to Chicago soon, and I'd love to take her to one of her organization's success stories.

    Tom


    While I'm all for Accion's microlending policies, I'm not sure that salamera reopening can necessarily be considered a "success story" as of yet, from the little bit she told us of her financial situation, it will take a lot of business by LTH folks and others and some publicity to make a difference for her.

    I'm willing to do my part, I think I'll have lunch there today
  • Post #45 - October 29th, 2005, 4:53 pm
    Post #45 - October 29th, 2005, 4:53 pm Post #45 - October 29th, 2005, 4:53 pm
    So happy to have heard that Salamera is open again so today I returned to visit Norka and finally tried the jibarito -- yum! This is a very good sandwich although I must say that there are not enough napkins in the world to deal with the mess you make eating it. But it is very tasty. However, their fried pork sandwich with sweet potato and then topped with the green hot sauce is still the best sandwich I have ever tasted. I still worry about her chances of success since there were very few people there this afternoon and I'm guessing lunch time is her busy time. So all that I can say is go early and go often.

    Also, don't miss the empanadas which are outstanding. This time, they were served with a side of lime/olive oil marinated onions which were so nice and tangy. Desserts (flan and the purple corn "thing") are also excellent. And you won't get much friendlier service in town.
  • Post #46 - October 30th, 2005, 8:49 am
    Post #46 - October 30th, 2005, 8:49 am Post #46 - October 30th, 2005, 8:49 am
    Well, we did go for lunch on friday, and if anything, salamera is better than it was before their brief closing. Besides a number of new posters and phots Norka's mom had made up in peru for her, there were substantially more menu offerings, made possible by more help in the kitchen (From her cousin who has run a popular peruvian restaurant in caracas as well her uncle who has run a cevicheria in lima).

    My wife went with her traditional veggie sandwich, while I tried one of the newer items on the menu Aji de gallina. This is a dish of shredded chicken in a creamy simple tey very tasty sauce made from pecans and walnuts, served with rice, a couple nice large slices of potato and hard-boiled egg. I enjoyed it quite a bit, and based on this small exploration of the wider menu, and deifinitely looking forward to trying some of the other offerings her realtives are able to let her offer.

    She was also kind enough to bring out 2 more hot sauces for us to try in addition to the green sauce that was available in the past. A very spicy red sauce based on rocoto chiles, as well a nice fruity orange sauce (similar to habanero and scotch bonnet sauces in taste but with much less heat) based on aji maria (?) chiles Norka says are available at La unica. Both were very good, I especially enjoyed the heat of the rocoto based sauce.

    I noticed that an earlier poster had surmised that lunch is her busy time, but based on conversation with Norka, lunch business seems to be a problem - I'm not sure the neighborhood really has that many businesses to provide regular lunchtime crowds, hopefully students/faculty from loyola will discover the place and soon, as I know the financial pressure that existed previously still exists.

    So I'll say it again if you want to try the place out - go soon.

    Oh, yeah, our bill for my entree, my wife's sandwich, 2 cafes con leche, the sauces, the gratis roasted corn, and a desert (leche asado) - 17 bucks.
  • Post #47 - October 30th, 2005, 2:58 pm
    Post #47 - October 30th, 2005, 2:58 pm Post #47 - October 30th, 2005, 2:58 pm
    I stopped by earlier this week and the food was awesome. WIl probably be in there later today to grab me a couple of sandwiches!

    ChefGEB
  • Post #48 - October 30th, 2005, 10:05 pm
    Post #48 - October 30th, 2005, 10:05 pm Post #48 - October 30th, 2005, 10:05 pm
    I drove by to try to catch an early dinner tonight and the place was packed! Looked like a private party--a grand reopening gala?
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #49 - October 31st, 2005, 8:39 am
    Post #49 - October 31st, 2005, 8:39 am Post #49 - October 31st, 2005, 8:39 am
    I called yesterday before a planned lunch, and they said they were indeed closed for a private event. Did you get a sandwich?
  • Post #50 - October 31st, 2005, 9:19 am
    Post #50 - October 31st, 2005, 9:19 am Post #50 - October 31st, 2005, 9:19 am
    Alas, the revelers appeared to be stacked three deep into the front window, glasses raised. I'd just been to Las Islas Marias, so I headed back toward home, to Larsa's. Later this week: Salamera!
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #51 - October 31st, 2005, 10:42 am
    Post #51 - October 31st, 2005, 10:42 am Post #51 - October 31st, 2005, 10:42 am
    Mrs. Kman and I made our maiden voyage to Cafe Salamera for a late lunch on Friday (about 3:45). We were the only table though during our lunch several people (who seemed to be regulars based upon the way they were greeted) did come in for take-out. Norka couldn't have been nicer.

    We started with an order of ceviche to share. This was great by itself but even better after we used a mix of the green hot sauce and the much hotter red sauce plus, of course, the crunchy cancha. We also had our first ever Inca Cola; I liked it (reminded me a bit of Green River but not as sweet) but Mrs. Kman was more ambivalent. No matter, more for me.

    There was some minor miscommunication as our order was originally taken by someone other than Norka - and the request for one pork sandwich and one veggie sandwich disappeared. When we mentioned that we'd also ordered the sandwiches everyone was apologizing profusely and insisting that the sandwiches be 'on the house'. It took us a while to convince them we really felt we should pay for everything (it wasn't like it was a long wait and we didn't have anywhere we had to be). We rather enjoyed sitting at the table and watching the true 'reality show" being played out on the other side of the large window along Clark St. Both sandwiches were great (I forgot to ask where they get their bread, anybody know?) and I'll be back to try the steak sandwich.
    Objects in mirror appear to be losing.
  • Post #52 - October 31st, 2005, 1:23 pm
    Post #52 - October 31st, 2005, 1:23 pm Post #52 - October 31st, 2005, 1:23 pm
    Mr. X and I stopped in Cafe Salamera for dinner Saturday night. It was our first return visit since it reopened. Once again, the food was quite good. X had the "jumping" special. (Forgive me for not remembering the name.) It consists of the steak mixture from the Salamera sandwich on top of french fries served with a side of rice. I ordered the pork sandwich, which was pork belly. I love the steak, be it on a sandwich or on a pile of fries. The pork sandwich had a lot of flavor, but I was not as enchanted with the fattiness of the meat.

    We also had ordered empanadas (one chicken, one meat). Norka brought our entrees and apologized profusely that the empanadas hadn't come out yet. Apparently they ran out and had to make some just for us. She also explained that her mother won't let her pre-prepare food -- everything has to be freshly made. We were not at all bothered by the delay and told her we appreciated the effort they made in their kitchen.

    The chicken empananda came out and we enjoyed the peppery chicken with raisins and egg filling. A short time later, Norka's mother came out with a tamale, apologizing that they still did not have the meat empandas prepared. She apparently hand grinds the corn for the tamale. Although I was approaching the over-stuffed point, I managed to scarf down my half of the tamale.

    We did manage to find room for dessert. Norka makes these delicious cookies -- a shortbread-like sandwich cookie filled with caramel and sprinkled with powdered sugar. That, along with a sip of X's cafe con leche and I was in heaven!

    I continue to tell all of my friends to go there.
  • Post #53 - October 31st, 2005, 2:21 pm
    Post #53 - October 31st, 2005, 2:21 pm Post #53 - October 31st, 2005, 2:21 pm
    The cookie is an alfajor. El mercado has many varieties from around South America if you are interested. Made to order tamales (the singular is tamal) sound too good to be true. Is the corn fresh or dry?

    I had understood that Andean tamales are (generally) called humitas, with the difference being between the Inca and the Aztec words for the food. But it seems that a substantive difference exists within Andean gastronomy. See the excerpt below from the Peruano site, Yachay.

    Thanks.

    "La diferencia entre humitas y tamales radica en que las humitas son elaboradas sobre la base de maíz tierno molido y envuelto en hojas de maíz, mientras que la masa de los tamales se elabora con grano duro remojado, envuelta en hojas de plátano para cocinar."
  • Post #54 - November 1st, 2005, 9:31 am
    Post #54 - November 1st, 2005, 9:31 am Post #54 - November 1st, 2005, 9:31 am
    The GP wrote: Once again, the food was quite good. X had the "jumping" special. (Forgive me for not remembering the name.) It consists of the steak mixture from the Salamera sandwich on top of french fries served with a side of rice.


    I think that's the lomo saltado, Norka told me last time we were there that it's her favorite peruvian dish

    Hey,
    Jeff B, for those of who don't speak spanish, care to translate the quote?
  • Post #55 - November 1st, 2005, 1:28 pm
    Post #55 - November 1st, 2005, 1:28 pm Post #55 - November 1st, 2005, 1:28 pm
    For those of you who have been here, is it BYOB?

    Thanks-
    Katy
  • Post #56 - November 2nd, 2005, 5:12 pm
    Post #56 - November 2nd, 2005, 5:12 pm Post #56 - November 2nd, 2005, 5:12 pm
    can't say I've ever brought alcohol in, but they don't sell liquore, and I doubt Norka would prohibit you bringing your own alcohol in
  • Post #57 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:51 pm
    Post #57 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:51 pm Post #57 - November 3rd, 2005, 9:51 pm
    I enjoyed every aspect of my first visit to Salamera today. The jibarito was lightly crispy with top quality ingredients, carefully prepared. Norka, the owner, was extraordinarily friendly, and introduced me to the regulars. I mentioned reading about the place on LTH, and she said how touched she had been by all the interest and help she had received from Chef GEB and others. After one visit, I practically feel like a regular, and that is how the best hosts make you feel: like an old friend returning after a long time away. As I left, I ran into two LTH friends, and it felt, somehow, just right.
    Man : I can't understand how a poet like you can eat that stuff.
    T. S. Eliot: Ah, but you're not a poet.
  • Post #58 - November 6th, 2005, 12:24 am
    Post #58 - November 6th, 2005, 12:24 am Post #58 - November 6th, 2005, 12:24 am
    Are the hours posted earlier in this thread still correct?

    I'll in in the area for a show tomorrow, and I'll defiantly stop in if they are open.

    Sun till 8:30?
    He was constantly reminded of how startlingly different a place the world was when viewed from a point only three feet to the left.

    Deepdish Pizza = Casserole
  • Post #59 - November 6th, 2005, 9:51 am
    Post #59 - November 6th, 2005, 9:51 am Post #59 - November 6th, 2005, 9:51 am
    Hi,

    I would phone to double check just to avoid disappointment.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #60 - November 6th, 2005, 11:02 am
    Post #60 - November 6th, 2005, 11:02 am Post #60 - November 6th, 2005, 11:02 am
    I drove by Friday night after eating at Candlelite. They were open at around 7:30 P.M. with nary a soul inside. This is a big shame. There was another Peruvian place I spotted a few blocks south that was also open and had a pretty good number of customers inside. I was in a hurry to get to a friend's house and didn't have time to even slow down and investigate the name of the place, but it looks like Norka has some competition close by.
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven

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