Located in a Belvedere strip mall, Cafe Del Sol looks like a work in progress. A vinyl banner bearing its name barely covers the sign of the African restaurant that existed before it, while sombreros and a Mexican flag adorn bright orange walls inside. A corner fireplace has been converted into a shrine of sorts, with a painting of a praying Virgin Mary overlooking the tables from her perch.
It looks like the kind of restaurant you might stumble into on your spring break. And just eight months after opening, people are lining up outside the discreet northeast restaurant for a bite of home-cooked Mexican food.
The attention to details starts with homemade salsa — you’ll receive one of five different kinds, chosen to complement your entree — accompanied by a bowl of chips to stir your appetite. On Fridays and Saturdays, Cafe Del Sol makes a pot of ceviche, fresh seafood in a tangy tomato stew, served cool. Arriving in what looks like a sundae cup, this ceviche is not heavy on the lemon or lime and the tomato masks any of the fishiness that might scare you away.
If you show up mid-week, there are still many options from which to choose, from carnitas (shredded pork) to pollo tinga (chicken with a hint of spice). Best bet? Ask for La Taqueria, a taco platter with a variety of meat fillings, like pork with a hint of pineapple, to share and enjoy. (6502 132 Ave., 780-802-5393)