Noemi’s Cafe and Catering: Brings Classic Chilean Cuisine to SLC
Midvale’s Noemi’s Cafe and Catering captures the warmth and approachability of Chilean cuisine in their transition from popular food truck to brick-and-mortar business. The space has a clean and casual energy with decor that pays homage to the food’s country of origin. Latin music videos play from a screen behind the walk-up order counter while bountiful platters of dessert display cases whet the appetite. Noemi’s staff have a kind, gentle energy. Everyone seems to help in all facets of the restaurant, from cooking and food running to working the register.
I talked my father into joining me for lunch on a Saturday. There was a steady stream of diverse customers, some first timers like us and others who seem to have previously followed the food truck. As an appetizer, we decided on Pastel de Choclo ($13.00), which is only available on weekends. This is Chile’s national dish and quintessential Latin comfort food—a sweet corn pie with ground beef, chicken, boiled egg and basil. Noemi’s uses both cornmeal and full kernels in their filling, creating a layered, textural experience. We got different ratios of proteins to corn in each bite, so the palate never got bored.
Noemi’s Cafe and Catering delivers an appetizing introduction to Chilean cuisine.
Due to Chile’s position along the Pacific, they have an extensive seafood tradition that I felt compelled to explore. For my main, I went with the Fried Fish ($12.99) served with rice and a classic Chilean salad of sliced tomatoes, chopped onion and cilantro. The portions—two lightly battered filets seasoned with salt and pepper—were ample. Acidity from the tomato salad offered a pleasant break for the tastebuds in between bites of crisp, fryer-kissed pescatarian perfection. Despite a seemingly simple approach, Noemi’s showed their capacity for technical culinary skill. If this is what dipping my toes into the ocean of Chilean seafood is like, I’m ready to dive right in.
My dad went in a more terrestrial direction for his main dish with the Lomo Saltado ($18.99). The soy sauce and aji amarillo—yellow chili pepper—marinated beef stir fried with red onions and parsley atop french fries is actually a dish by way of Peru’s long-standing, Chinese-influenced “chifa” cuisine. As a nod to the nation of influence, a tiny Peruvian flag garnished the food. The combo of salt and spice brought the beef to life and will appease those who prefer a more medium-well sear. The fries were a surprisingly successful partner to the meat, catching extra flavor that would have otherwise trickled down unnoticed on the plate. Based on the time it took orders to arrive at the table, you can tell each dish is made to order and given affectionate attention to detail.
Due to Chile’s position along the Pacific, they have an extensive seafood tradition that I felt compelled to explore.
On our way out, we swung back to the counter and ordered desserts to bring home and share with my mom, who has the biggest sweet tooth of the family. After much debate, we landed on cream-filled, horn-shaped puff pastry Cachitos ($3.75) and a dulce du leche–laden, shaved coconut–garnished cookie sandwich called Alfajores ($3.00). Both pastries “hit the spot,” as my dad would say, but the Alfajores were a clear winner. Toothsome caramel decadence balanced the snap of a homemade cookie made for an addicting finish to a fulfilling meal.
Noemi’s Cafe and Catering delivers a friendly atmosphere coupled with cleanly produced dishes that provide an appetizing introduction to Chilean cuisine newbies or a homecoming for those craving familiar flavor. Stay up to date on their delicious offerings @noemiscafeandcatering on Instagram and make reservations or inquire about catering through their website, noemiscafe.com.