We like the idea of the convergence of Cafe Racer and the Clicquot Club building in Seward. Cafe Racer is one of those hardworking little food trucks that has been around for a couple of years, but you may not have heard of it -- owners Luis and Christine Patino create Colombian home-cooking favorites that Louis learned, where else, but in his grandmama's kitchen. He was a paralegal who got a wild hair to follow his heart, where else, but into the kitchen.
The Clicquot Club building has always been a coveted space for little restaurants that could (and sometimes couldn't). It's in a desirable neighborhood and cute as a button. It's formerly been the ill-fated Cake Eater Bakery, and then the Donut Cooperative. Here's to hoping the Patinos will have a more permanent stay.
The soft opening was last weekend and they're open for business now (but are still waiting on beer and wine license), igniting this last blast of wintry air with warming pulled meats flavored with heady spices like coriander and achiote. Side dishes include Sazon rice, pomme frites, sweet plantains, and a carrot soufflé that Patino has become quite known for.
Another big treat for around these parts is Colombian street dogs: all beef (or soy) dogs piled with pico verde, pink sauce, cilantro aioli, sweet peppers, queso fresco, and the piece de resistance: crumbled potato chips.
What's pink sauce? Race on over and find out for yourself.
Send your story tips to Hot Dish.