The slogan at Nuevo Café is three simple words: ‘Food – Art – Life.’
All restaurants have pictures up on the wall and their function is to do one of two things: remind the diner of the type of cuisine they are eating or to cover a crack in the wall. Nuevo Café, however, has very simply, very effectively, combined dining and the celebration and importance of local art into an experience that has generated a very loyal following.
“Without art,” explains owner Teri Nelson-Zepeda, “life is not worth living. [Nuevo Café] displays art on the walls, of course, but food is art too. Maybe not on a high emotion level, but it is an art form. Food and art are life. We try to combine all three.”
Located one half-block off of the Six Points intersection, Nelson-Zepeda has created an institution in a very short time. “Since we’ve moved here 11 years ago, we have never had a slow day,” she says. The dining area is eclectically decorated with attention to every nook and cranny. Every inch of wall space is covered with art from area artists.
Open weekdays, lunch is a mad rush with a packed house enjoying the freshly made, no-nonsense food. The simple menu consists of a daily special, 11 sandwiches, a handful of salads, 2 soup selections and homemade desserts. One offering is homemade pimento cheese. Who else makes that? Sandwiches are served with homemade pickles and potato chips. The little things that showcase hard work and make you smile.
The star of the show, the item that has ‘em coming back, is their Roasted Poblano Pepper Soup and it easily makes our 40 Things to Eat in Corpus Christi list. It is one of Corpus Christi’s few universal culinary rock stars. Made fresh daily, the spice level varies depending on that day’s batch of peppers. On one occasion the waitress reported that it was at the “nuclear level.” It is served with seasoned toast points.
“The Poblano Soup is easily our most popular dish, said Nelson-Zepeda. ”People have come back for it again and again since the moment we put it on the menu which means that we strive to stay consistent and find excellent, quality ingredients.”
The daily special may be a sandwich or a stand-alone entrée. During several visits to the restaurant, the daily special ranged from a Cranberry Pecan Chicken Salad on Croissant to their 517 BLT.
The art displayed throughout the restaurant comes entirely from local artists and is for sale.
Almost immediately, Nuevo Café became a Six Points institution. If you consider yourself an art lover or care to be introduced to local artists while enjoying a great lunch or breakfast, it’s a must visit experience.