A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

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A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

A Student Publication of Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, CA

SACMedia

Spilling the tea and drinking it too at Chismosa Cafe

Spilling the tea and drinking it too, at Chismosa Cafe
Outside+look+of+Chismosa+Cafe.
Grace Ureta
Outside look of Chismosa Cafe.

In downtown Covina, across the street from city hall, there sits a cafe that had just opened at the beginning of 2023. The smell of cafe de olla and chilaquiles made my stomach growl and my mouth water. It’s here at Chismosa Cafe that culture, community and good eats come together and create a recipe for the idyllic Sunday brunch.
The picturesque brick building is cheery, promising sweet treats and freshly brewed coffee. Walking in, I see that promise is kept. The colorful walls and simple furniture invite me in with a warm smile.
I went to Chismosa Cafe during their busiest time of the week, Sunday brunch. After checking in at the entrance, my sister and I were seated. It was crowded, but not overwhelmingly so. Clearly, people were enjoying themselves as the buzzing of chisme never stopped and the smiles never disappeared.
A waitress came to take our drink order. I chose the cafe de olla with oat milk (oat milk had no extra charge), a traditional Mexican coffee beverage. My sister ordered a vanilla cold brew and a Mexican Coke for her meal. It wasn’t long before our coffee was served.
The cafe de olla was just the right amount of sweet; the notes of cinnamon and panela were bursting subtly on my taste buds. Although the drink was great, it was on the smaller side for $6.50. My sister enjoyed her vanilla cold brew but noted that there was nothing special about it and that it tasted homemade.
Unfortunately, the waitress forgot to bring her coke. However, she did offer it to us free of charge while we paid the bill and apologized for her mistake.
After ordering, I took a moment to look around the restaurant. The walls were colored pink and white, with one having a geometric pattern and another containing a mural of the musician Selena, a Mexican-American icon. It was spacious, with tables, and chairs and the classic diner counter set up.
Plenty of natural light beamed through the front window where a neon sign of the cafe hung. I liked the playlist coming through the speakers. It included some cult classics and current hits.

 

The interior of Chismosa Cafe packed with customers. (Grace Ureta)

 

There were a few servers at the counter brewing coffees and filling orders. Some were whirring about, going from table to table, delivering food, beverages and bills. The servers seemed used to the crowd as they did their jobs with skill and passion.
Allen Aceves, owner and chef at Chismosa Cafe, founded the eatery hoping to create a place where people could enjoy each other’s company and connect to their culture. Making food was one way that Aceves connected to his Mexican-American roots. He wanted the menu to feel homemade and familiar.
Without the help of the women in his life, he says, he would probably still be in the catering business. With his mother handling the coffee side of the cafe and his sisters helping with daily operations, this Mexican-American family-owned brunch spot is thriving.
After waiting for a little while, as expected with a full house, our food was finally served. My churro butter waffle was presented with churro butter atop a large, uncut waffle, sprinkled with powdered sugar. The waitress brought me some syrup and I knew it was time to dig in.

 

The churro butter waffle, lathered in syrup. (Grace Ureta)

 

After I drizzled some syrup and slathered it in churro butter, I took my first bite. Immediately, I noticed the waffle’s sweetness and fluffiness. It was soft without getting soggy from the toppings.
The syrup and churro butter took me back to my own Mexican-American childhood when getting churros was a sporadic indulgence. The size was perfect: one large waffle with just enough butter and syrup to satisfy my cravings and hunger.
I then tried the green chilaquiles that my sister ordered. They were definitely flavorful with a hint of spice. Also, a good size. It came presented in a bowl including onions, tomatoes, cilantro and a drizzle of sour cream for toppings. Every bite was savory and reminiscent of mornings in my house when my older brother made chilaquiles in red sauce for the family.

 

These are the green chilaquiles, flavorful and filled with spice. (Grace Ureta)

 

Both dishes had that distinct Latinx taste. The waffle is saccharine and doughy, with enough cinnamon to earn its name, the churro butter waffle. The chilaquiles were oozing piquancy, a staple of Mexican breakfast.

My experience at Chismosa Cafe was mostly enjoyable. Besides the menu being on the pricier side and the large crowd keeping our waitress from checking up on us, it was a fun and delicious time. I enjoyed my waffle and coffee.
I would definitely return to try other things. I recommend it to anyone looking for an Instagram-worthy cafe, as its aesthetics are pleasing and fun.
Overall, it’s a quaint, playful brunch spot with good food and vibes. While I was there, I felt connected to my culture as a Mexican-American. I also felt free to gossip and indulge, just as brunch at Chismosa Cafe is meant to be.

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About the Contributor
Grace Ureta, Staff Reporter
Grace Ureta is a Staff Reporter.

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