Eagle Rock: Coming in the wake of places like Oinkster and Swork, Eagle Rock can add to its growing reputation as a food destination with Andrew Lujan’s Cacao Mexicatessen. A "mexicatessen" is just as it sounds: a concept combining the convenience of an Italian Deli with traditional fare from Mexico. Cacao will feature a made-to-order menu with items like mole and chile relleno plates, plus familiar quick service items like tortas and burritos. But the unique part: the store will also be well stocked with hard-to-find Mexican imports (Mexican chocolate, of course, and even some rare and self-labeled salsas). In addition, a side counter will put together orders by the pound for family dinners (think a dozen fresh tortillas and a big ol’ tub of guacamole).
The goal of Cacao is to elevate the cuisine from the stereotypical tacos and nachos with a menu more indigenous to Lujan's own upbringing. After being in the mortgage business for over 12 years, he decided to go in a completely new direction, so he converted the restaurant space from an old office space – his old office space, in fact (More fun facts: the restaurant sits adjacent to Eufloria, a floral shop owned by his parents). When we visited, the store was undergoing its last rounds of inspections, and the current plan is that Cacao Mexicatessen should be open for business in early June.