By Sara Moore
As a self-proclaimed food aficionado and an ardent explorer of unique dining experiences, stumbling upon Eva Cafe was a stroke of pure luck. Nestled inside the cozy lobby of the Santa Fe Hotel, this small cafe-style restaurant instantly won me over with its warm and inviting atmosphere. With an extensive menu featuring delectable desserts, refreshing drinks, and tantalizing snack foods, Eva Cafe became my go-to spot for an indulgent culinary journey. Led by the talented Chef Erick Villavicencio, whose culinary expertise extends beyond the restaurant to his role as a teacher at a prestigious gastronomy school in Manta, this charming establishment promises an unforgettable dining experience. Join me as I delve into the extraordinary offerings of Eva Cafe.
The Enchanting Setting:
Stepping into Eva Cafe, I immediately sensed a welcoming and cozy ambiance that instantly put me at ease. The tastefully decorated interior, adorned with charming trinkets and soft lighting, exuded an inviting charm that beckoned me to stay. The attentive and friendly staff greeted me with warm smiles, ensuring that every guest felt like a cherished friend. The aromatic scent of freshly brewed coffee lingered in the air, hinting at the delightful treats that awaited me.
A Gastronomic Symphony:
Eva Cafe's menu, expertly crafted by Chef Erick, boasts an impressive array of mouthwatering dishes that cater to every palate. With a focus on coffee desserts and Sunday lunches, the options are both diverse and enticing. From delectable sandwiches on toasted bread to perfect empanadas, moist cakes, crispy dessert waffles adorned with vibrant strawberries, and indulgent ice cream drizzled with chocolate, Eva Cafe offers a symphony of flavors that will leave you craving more.
As I embarked on my culinary journey, I couldn't resist starting with one of Chef Erick's specialties: the Mocchachino coffee. Served in a delicate porcelain cup, the rich espresso blended harmoniously with the velvety milk, offering a balanced and aromatic delight that awakened my senses. It was the perfect accompaniment to the heavenly desserts that lay ahead.
My taste buds rejoiced as I savored a slice of Eva Cafe's signature Tres Leches Cake. This classic Ecuadorian dessert, prepared with love and precision, boasted a sponge cake soaked in a divine blend of evaporated milk, condensed milk, and cream. Each forkful revealed layers of moist goodness, complemented by a cloud of freshly whipped cream and a sprinkle of cinnamon. It was a true testament to Chef Erick's expertise and passion for creating culinary perfection.
Next on my gastronomic adventure were the savory empanadas, a staple of Latin American cuisine. The golden pastry encased a savory combination of tender chicken, onions, and aromatic spices. The first bite revealed a symphony of flavors, with the flaky crust providing a delightful contrast to the succulent filling. Paired with a tangy chimichurri sauce, these empanadas were a delicious homage to Ecuadorian culinary traditions.
To cleanse my palate, I indulged in a velvety Cappuccino coffee. The perfect marriage of smooth foam and robust espresso awakened my senses, and I marveled at Chef Erick's talent for crafting the finest coffee creations. The attention to detail and commitment to quality shone through with every sip.
No visit to Eva Cafe would be complete without savoring their tantalizing sandwiches on toasted bread. I opted for a classic combination of turkey, cheese, and fresh vegetables. The crunch of the perfectly toasted bread gave way to a medley of flavors that danced on my tongue. The ingredients were thoughtfully selected and expertly layered, resulting in a harmonious blend of flavor and texture.
As I approached the grand finale of my culinary expedition at Eva Cafe, I couldn't resist the allure of their famous crispy dessert waffles. Served with vibrant strawberries and a generous scoop of creamy ice cream, these heavenly delights were adorned with a decadent chocolate drizzle. The combination of the warm, crispy waffle, the refreshing fruit, and the indulgent sweetness of the ice cream created a symphony of textures and flavors that left me in awe.
Aside from its exquisite menu, Eva Cafe also stands out for its dedication to culinary education. Chef Erick Villavicencio, a seasoned chef and esteemed teacher at a prestigious gastronomy school in Manta, imparts his knowledge and passion to eager learners. Offering culinary classes specifically tailored to foreigners, Chef Erick shares his expertise and insights into the art of creating exceptional dishes. This unique opportunity allows visitors to not only savor the flavors of Eva Cafe but also delve deeper into the culinary world under the guidance of a true master.
Eva Cafe opens its doors to customers on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from 5 pm to 9 pm. Located at Avenida 23, between Calle 16 and 17, inside Hotel Santa Fe, it is conveniently situated in the heart of Manta, Ecuador. The cozy and friendly environment, coupled with the impeccable culinary creations of Chef Erick, makes Eva Cafe a must-visit destination for food lovers seeking an unforgettable dining experience.
In conclusion, Eva Cafe is a hidden gem in Manta, Ecuador, where gastronomic dreams come true. Under the guidance of Chef Erick Villavicencio, this small cafe-style restaurant has carved its place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike. With a menu featuring delectable desserts, refreshing drinks, and savory snacks, Eva Cafe offers a symphony of flavors that leave a lasting impression. The cozy and friendly atmosphere, coupled with Chef Erick's culinary expertise, creates a dining experience that is as unforgettable as it is delightful. Whether you're indulging in their moist cakes, savoring the perfect empanadas, or learning the art of cooking in Chef Erick's culinary classes, Eva Cafe is a haven of culinary delights that will leave you longing for more.