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Latin American Dream Come True: La QChara in Melrose is now open!

They just opened yesterday and I've already eaten three meals at La QChara, the Nuevo Latino Cafe, opened by Coffee, Tea and Me owners/operators Lorenzo and Emily Tenreiro. Early indications are that something truly special is going on here in Melrose.

The space, converted from the now defunct Peacuddy's Coffee House,on Franklin Street, just at the Melrose Highlands Commuter rail station is truly transformed with bright red walls, wooden spoons, chalkboard menus and mid-mod drop lights which set the whole tone for the cafe.

Lorenzo knows coffee and you will no doubt recognize a barista or two if you frequent Coffee, Tea or Me. He has brought the same stellar coffee options here to La QChare...but....if the coffe draws you in... the food will bring you back.

Latin American with a serious nod to Venezuelan cuisine, the menu is expansive. They are offering an array of Arepas with a wide selection of insanely good fillings like: Roast pork, or Oaxaca Cheese and Chorizo, or Carne Mechada (Venezuelan beef, )or the breakfast Arepa with scrambled eggs, house made salsa, cheese and chipotle sauce.

Also on the menu.. Cachapas. A homemade Venezuelan sweet corn pancake with a variety of fillings.

The breakfast menu is a bountiful blend of South, Central and North American favorites. I had the breakfast quesadilla yesterday and couldn't have been happier. They were served with crispy yucca fries topped with a cilantro sauce. Other breakfast plates include Empanadas, Pancakes with Arequipe (dulce de leche syrup) Tostadas Francesas( challa French toast with almonds, and panela caramel roasted bananas) and a personal favorite, Chilaquiles.

The Chilaquiles are tossed with your choice of green or red sauce, shredded chicken and two sunny side up eggs. The green sauce is tart and spicy, while the tortillas remain crisp and delicious

And there are Tortas, Tacos, Burritos, Tostones, Carne Asada and more...

Not to be missed are the freshly baked pastries produced by Emily Tenreiro!
If coconut peach muffins are out... you want one.

Please note: While the atmosphere is traditional carry out cafe, the food may take a little while to produce. It's only their second day being open so I always expect some glitches at the beginning, but with that said, the wait was no longer than what I would expect from a decent sit-down restaurant. As there is a large commuter traffic moving through the location, my suspicion is that Lorenzo and team may need to add some "grab and go" options for those catching the train.

Still, I can't say enough good things about La QChara. Melrose is awash in Italian sub and pizza shops, Roast Beef and Seafood spots, or Chinese carryouts. An addition like this, with this quality of food is long overdue and a VERY welcome change around here.

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  1. La Qchara
    506 Franklin Street
    Melrose, MA 02176
    781-662-5555

    6:30am - 6PM

    1. My buddy from PR who lives in Melrose is going to be psyched.

      1. this looks to be acoss the street from gray's appliances?
        if so, maybe it's my lucky year!

        1 Reply
        1. re: opinionatedchef

          Just a couple blocks away. Gray's is at Main and Franklin. La Qchara is at Franklin and Greenwood.

        2. Thanks for this. I was so excited when I heard he was planning to open this place. Can't wait to try it!

          1. This is prob completely irrelevant for others, but I am delighted by the NAME chosen for this place. In my ever expanding self-taught Spanish vocab., i have ALways blocked out the word for Spoon. But now...I think i've got it!!

            3 Replies
            1. re: opinionatedchef

              Gosh sorry but my buddy and I, both Spanish speakers were conferring on how much we disliked the name.

              1. re: StriperGuy

                well of COURSE, stripey! you never needed help remembering the word for spoon! it just implanted itself in your brain ,while it kept drifting out of mine!