I have been a big fan of Cafe A Bistro since the beginning and now also of its little sister, Cafe A Market, which opened up last year.
Ashton Mullikin, the highly likable chef and proprietor of both cafes opened this smaller cafe/coffee shop partially due to the popularity of many of his homemade products at Cafe A Bistro. Many customers pop into Cafe A Market to order sandwiches, coffee or sweets “to go”, but they also have a quaint, bright area with a handful of tables to sit and enjoy the food. The area of Magdalena has recently had an emergence of an abundance of new high-rise apartments in the last year or so. I would guess that this may make Cafe A Market a convenient and popular place to stop and pick up a great sandwich and much more.
Practically all of Cafe A Market’s items are homemade on their premises; their Pullman bread, bagels, English muffins, artisanal meats, and yogurt…just to name a few. You can also purchase all you need to recreate a Cafe A burger since Cafe A Market sells homemade asado de tira (short rib) hamburger patties (6 for S/. 63), as well as homemade pickles, caramelized onions, cheddar cheese, secret sauce, and brioche hamburger buns. All are homemade and prepared on their premises. Quality of ingredients and freshness are guaranteed. The price is also very reasonable considering the excellence of the products.
During our afternoon visit, we sampled a plentitude of food at Cafe A Market.
We tasted all five of their sandwiches (grilled cheese, mixto, roast beef, ham & cheese, and turkey). Not a bad one in the whole bunch. All of the sandwiches were generous in size and used Pullman integral bread, except for the grilled cheese which used the Pullman white bread. All of the sandwiches were absolutely delicious, but a couple stood out.
Cafe A Market’s version of Grilled Cheese was prepared with a generous amount of cheddar cheese, tomato confit (slow-roasted tomatoes) and caramelized onions. We all agreed the caramelized onions elevated this version. This was absolute comfort food for me.
I go out of my way for decent roast beef and their version did not disappoint. This roast beef sandwich was 100 grams of roast beef stacked high along with Gouda cheese, pickles and a bit of mayo and their homemade mustard on the Pullman bread. If you are a roast beef connoisseur, you will definitely enjoy this sandwich.
All the meats used in the sandwiches at Cafe A Market are artisanal and prepared on the premises and cost between 15 to 18 soles.
Make sure you have your sandwich heated on their grill press if you decide to eat there. If you take the sandwiches for “carry out”, I highly suggest you heat them up fully at home in a sandwich press or a heated pan. The heat brings out the flavor and texture of all the sandwiches. Eating them cold or room temperature is not recommended. The sandwiches were perfect with the blood orange San Pellegrino traditional Italian sparkling soda.
We sampled many of their sweet treats (5 to be exact). It would be difficult to pick one favorite of the group. All three of the layer cakes were amazing.
I was dying to try the Red Velvet Cake, mostly because it’s hard to find a decent version that I truly find worthy of eating and this one did not disappoint…..moist, flavorful and the fluffy cream cheese frosting was perfect.
The Tarta de Chocolate con Chocolate was a success. The combination of 70% Cacaosuyo chocolate with buttercream frosting was smooth and we appreciated the texture being soft and not overly wet like so many chocolate cakes we find in Lima.
The most unique and popular cake at our table was their Choco Mani (S/. 12 per portion and S/. 80 for an entire cake), a wonderful combination of vanilla sponge cake with layers filled with homemade peanut butter mousse and crushed peanut brittle…delicious and decadent! Not to be missed. All three of the cakes mentioned above are 12 soles per slice and 80 soles per entire cake. Honorable mentions to the cinnamon roll and pecan streusel coffee cake.
Bagels and Biscuits
We also were happy to oblige in sampling their plump, fresh homemade bagels. Cafe A Market sells one kind and I would compare it to an “everything” bagel (black and white sesame seeds, onion powder, and various other spices) that is popular in the U.S. This bagel was toasted and served with their homemade mascarpone cheese which was a pleasant departure from the typical cream cheese.
You don’t find too many biscuits in Peru and Cafe A Market’s version had a texture similar to a scone and was served with homemade butter and jam. A nice change of pace.
Recently Cafe A Market decided to do a Pop-Up during the month of March and they have extended it into April so we were able to sample a couple of their popular burgers. The burgers at the Bistro location have always been extremely popular and are now enjoying that same popularity at the Market location. Cafe A Bistro was being renovated and it seemed like an ideal time to do a Pop-Up and serve a few different dishes at Cafe A Market.
The first burger we sampled was the Country Boy (S/. 30), a coarsely ground short rib (excellent meat with the perfect touch of fat) beef patty along with cheddar cheese, lettuce, pickles, and tartar all served on their delicious fluffy and yolky homemade brioche buns. I enjoy the coarser grind and texture of their burgers. There is a reason that the burgers at Cafe A consistent rank at the top in Lima.
My personal favorite was the Mr. Pickles Burger (S/. 30), once again the coarsely-ground beef short rib patty accompanied by cheddar cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickles, and mayonnaise. What made this burger extra special for me was that they used a well toasted homemade English muffin instead of a regular hamburger bun. I enjoyed the different texture and dimension the English muffin added to this burger. I have been a fan of their burgers for quite awhile, but this one may be my new favorite.
Before I departed home, I bought a loaf of their Pullman bread, a package of bagels, 3 packages of the English muffins (2 for me and 1 the request of a neighbor) and a container of their homemade Greek yogurt. I had guests visiting and I wanted to spoil them, especially when I make Eggs Benedict and use the English Muffins.
Cafe A Market offers valet parking 7 days per week. Monday thru Friday from 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m. and on the weekends from 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Av. Del Ejercito 375A, Magdalena
Hours: Open every day, 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Weekend Valet parking: 8:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Weekday Valet parking: 11:00 a.m.-11:00 p.m.
Sandwiches: S/. 15-18
Burgers: S/. 30-36
Chicken Sandwich: S/. 27
Salads: S/. 15
PapaAsh fries: S/. 22
English muffin (toasted with marmalade): S/. 8
Pullman toast (with butter): S/. 8
Bagel (toasted with mascarpone cheese): S/. 8
Biscuit (served with butter & jam): S/. 8
Cornbread: S/. 6
Ham & Cheese Roll: S/. 8
Cinnamon Roll: S/. 8
Apple Roll: S/. 8
Red Velvet Cake/Tarta de Chocolate/Choco Mani Cake: all S/. 12 per slice or S/. 80 for full cake
Granola with yogurt: S/. 13
Coffee: S/. 6-10
Non-alcoholic beverages: S/. 5-12
Beer: S/. 8-10
Michelada: S/. 14
Pancitos: S/. 10 (pkg. of 12)
Pullman bread (loaf): S/. 12
Bagels: S/. 8 (pkg. of 4)
English Muffins: S/. 8 (pkg. of 4)
Hamburger patties (6): S/. 63
Brioche hamburger buns (9): S/. 13.5
Secret Sauce: S/. 17
Caramelized Onions: S/. 17
Pickles: S/. 15
Cheddar cheese (10 slice pkg.): S/. 10
By Weight (per 100 grams):
Ham, S/. 8
Turkey, S/. 8
Roast Beef, S/. 8
Coppa di testa, S/. 11