As we sit down over EÔTÉ cold brew at Cafe Kacao, Luidgi Del Cid rubs his eyes. He’s just returned from a quick vacation and he’s short on sleep. I mention the date, January 24th, and he realizes it’s the restaurant’s sixth anniversary. He recalls his nervousness the morning they opened, secretly hoping not many would show up, while his mother, Alba, was poised and ready for action. She beamed with pride, her kitchen in perfect order. Cafe Kacao is her dream. For years, she ran kitchens to provide for her family, saving up to buy used restaurant equipment and storing it in their tiny apartment where it served as a physical reminder of what she was working towards.
Reminiscing about the first days and months that followed the opening of their cozy Latin American restaurant, Luidgi laughs. For years, there was no time for vacationing or rest. They began by serving lunch and dinner and soon moved to breakfast and lunch only. Luidgi is no longer nervous about the crowds that come. People expect to wait at Cafe Kacao and they do so happily, knowing that the food will be well worth it.
The atmosphere is bustling with orders of huevos rancheros coming up hot and a steady stream of espresso brewing for horchata lattes. The air is redolent with the rich, earthy smells of chorizo, serrano peppers, and fried plantains. On the menu are quintessential Guatemalan breakfasts for you to try, like the Desayuno Chapin, a hearty plate of eggs, refried beans, and plantains. Or, you can tackle the Tikal Breakfast, also featuring eggs and plantains but including carne asada and Guatemalan sausage to boot. Luidgi tells me that breakfast isn’t a glamorous affair in Guatemala; it serves to provide energy for long, labor-filled days. Cafe Kacao specializes in this sustenance, and it shows.
The success earned by delivering a quality product to eager patrons has made way for growth and improvements at Cafe Kacao. Soon, they’ll be open for dinner, so preparations are underway for a full service bar and patio. Luidgi’s uncle will move to OKC to take on the dinner shift. It’s always been a family effort at Kacao, with Luidgi, his brother Alex, and Alba working shoulder to shoulder. Tirelessly, the Del Cids have endeavored to bring to life Alba’s dream of owning a restaurant that invites others to gather around the table, preparing for and unwinding from the day, together. Join them!
> Cafe Kacao, 3325 N Classen Blvd, OKC