Cafe Ynez is Spicing up Washington Ave West

What are we gonna do with the West side of Washington Ave? He’s like the fat kid in school running hurdles; you root for him, but he might not make it. With the entrance of Kermit’s Bakery, the race is looking less grim.  And as of late, the folks from Jet Wine bar and Rex 1516 are taking their crack at it, opening a Mexican cafe called Cafe Ynez in the area formerly occuped by Cafe L’Aube.

Soon after finding a booth we received chips, salsa, and a fresh juice mixer to healthy up our tequila. While we waited for our food, we were able to appreciate the deliberate diner-esque feel. It is a different ambiance from Cafe L’aube, slightly more welcoming, though L’Aube seemed better suited to be inside NexFab design studios.

The lunch menu is small, but I bet you can find something you will like. Fish tacos, for example, 2 for $10, were nice plump tilapia strips with a perfect complementary spicy, sweet pineapple salsa and  hit of smoothness from the crema, avocado, and cheese.

Cafe Ynez also houses a rotisserie for chicken. Whole chickens are available to eat in or take out. A thin and very herbaceous skin contained a  smallish  but meaty chicken. The spicy tomatillo sauce is nice, but not even necessary because of all that potent skin flavor.

A whole chicken and 3 sides is $15.  Guacamole was good, as it usually is (except when its bad and then the cook should be slapped). The corn was fine, but the truffle butter that came with it was brilliant. And the slaw/escabeche provided that acid we are all addicted to now. A pretty well rounded meal package.

Washingon Ave, I am rooting for you! With help from Kermit and Cafe Ynez, maybe you’ll get there.

Cafe Ynez, 2025 Washington Ave,  215 278-7579


Leave a Reply

You must log in or register to post a comment.