From the orange juice machine from Spain to the espresso machine from Italy and the Art Deco style you just know this café is something special. Arandas Café quietly opened just over a week ago behind El Tapatio, Mexican Restaurant.
There is reason for that the proximity to El Tapatio, Arandas Café’s Owner Carolina Aranda is the daughter of El Tapatio’s longtime proprietors. Celia and Victor Aranda have been the owners of El Tapatio for the past 43 years and Carolina has been handling the catering part of the business for the past 22 years.
Carolina grew up in the restaurant, learning to clean tables and helping in the restaurant in many ways until finally working at El Tapatio at 15 years old. Even after finishing her studies and getting her accounting degree, Carolina returned to the family business overseeing the full service catering.
Carolina also credits her mom with the early success of Arandas Café. “She’s the backbone of everything. She still works everyday and comes and goes,” she said.
Carolina and her husband Jesus Ramirez had been planning on opening the café in March 2019, but when COVID happened they decided to put the brakes on the project until more recently. “When everything happened we were so unsure. We’re blessed to be able to do it now,” she said.
Ramirez did all the remodeling to the already existing building which Carolina used as her office for the El Tapatio catering. Carolina credits her 15-year-old daughter with some of the design which is Art Deco, featuring black tiles with white designs, marble tabletops on the indoor tables, black and white coloring throughout, with touches of gold and green from live plants. In a way it feels like stepping back in time when everything was more elegant. But it is a 2021 café. On a recent visit a number of customers were ordering food in their exercise gear.
The menu at Arandas Café is the same menu available through El Tapatio catering and Carolina thought “why not offer it to all the locals,” hence the opening of the eatery. The café offers breakfast and lunch with plans to be open for dinner in the future.
Although Carolina knows the restaurant business inside and out, it was a different story with coffee. Carolina and her niece Jackie trained as baristas and were certified, and she credits Café Virtuoso, the café’s coffee roasters with helping them know their coffees. Arandas Café offers a variety of cold and hot coffee drinks which can be enjoyed anytime of day with a tempting dessert like a slice of carrot cake, chocolate cake, a scone or croissant.
If you feel like enjoying the indoor vibe there are a few tables and a comfy Art Deco grey velvet corner couch, but if you love the outdoor feel there are a lot of tables and chairs to chose from in the patio which is lined with tall flower boxes filled with plants.
Whether you head to Arandas Café for breakfast or lunch you’ll definitely find something you like. The brunch menu features many dishes from Greek Yogurt Parfait and Açai to pancakes choices like wheat and strawberry chocolate chip. There are also three varieties of French toast, waffles, eggs, and omelettes. Specialties include Eggs Benedict on focaccia and Spinach and Bacon Scrambler and toast. In the Toast and Sandwiches side of the menu, diners can chose from Smoked Salmon Toast, Feta Avocado toast and Bacon and Cheddar Croissant.
Come hungry for lunch because you’ll be tempted by sandwiches like the Prime French Dip, Flatbread pizzas and Wagyu Cheeseburger and French fries. Those who want a lighter dish can chose from three types of salads and can add a protein. For the pasta lovers there are two choices with Fusilli Creamy Pesto and Mac N’ Cheese with applewood smoked bacon.
Carolina is looking forward to meeting more of her customers. “I’m very happy and I look forward to the local community to come and support us,” she said.
It was Sue Hoyt’s second time at Arandas and she was looking forward to her second meal there with a friend. “It’s beautiful. I love the design…There is a lot of versatility on the menu with vegetarian and vegan options,” she explained. Hoyt also likes the fact that the café opens early and plans to eat there at least once a week to support it.
Café Arandas, 667 Silver Strand Boulevard. Hours : 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Call 619-500-5042.