Guadalajara Nieves y Cafe in Salinas
Before Thanksgiving I dropped in to investigate the “nieves” side of the name equation here. And what a great discovery!
Inside, a counter lined with stainless steel pots packed in ice on display behind glass. The owner explained that a limited number of nieves (fruit ices) are made each day in small batches, using only fresh fruit, water and sugar with no artificial ingredients. The texture’s very fine, akin to sorbet, but without use of egg whites. Tasting a sample of guyaba (guava), I was knocked out by the incredibly intense, pure flavor with just the right amount of sweetness to amp up the natural goodness. Artisanal is an overused and mostly mis-applied descriptor these days, but the quality of this handmade product earns the moniker.
This day though, I had my eye on the tejuino, a cornmeal drink served in a non-alcoholic version here. In Guadalajara style, the thick beverage is served on ice and topped with the refreshing housemade lemon ice. Brilliant. http://www.flickr.com/photos/melaniewong/10848089655/lightbox/
Besides nieves and tejuino, the café also offers diablitos, coffee drinks, and various snacks such as tostilocos. Guadalajara also has a stand at the Friday afternoon farmers market in Watsonville, as seen on this video.
Guadalajara Nieves y Cafe
632 Suite #B Williams Road
Salinas, CA. 93905
Daily 10am to 8pm