PILSEN — Pilsen's breakfast scene is well known for such dishes as huevos con carne and chilaquiles, but one new restaurant is betting there is room for such American standards as pancakes and homemade turkey sausage.
The new eatery Bistro 18, at 1640 W. 18th St., was conceived by chef/owner Rafael Bautista, who saw a lack of American-style breakfast items in the neighborhood.
She said while many people come to Pilsen for Mexican food, folks living in the neighborhood often will leave to get a good waffle.
“You come here to get your Mexican breakfast,” Bautista’s wife Jessy Sanchez said. “But then being in the community, they leave and go other places to get the other stuff.”
Still, it won’t be just American grub in the morning. Bautista, who’s originally from Mexico City, will also serve breakfast and lunch items with a Latin flair, like eggs with a traditional pipian pumpkin seed mole sauce and a fish entree made with avocado leaves.
Bautista 43, and Sanchez have lived in Bridgeport for over 20 years. For the past 10 years, Bautista worked as a cook at the Sheraton Towers Hotel downtown where he frequently whipped up meals for sports teams, celebrities and even President Barack Obama.
What he found is, fame aside, everybody loves a good burger.
“These rich people, in the end, they like to eat burgers,” Bautista said smiling.
To that end, Bistro 18 will definitely have burgers on its menu.
Bautista said he hopes to have the front half of the restaurant, which seats about 50, open by mid-December. Work is still being completed on the back half, where Bautista plans to seat another 100. He also plans to keep prices low, with most entrees falling under $10.
“I enjoy what I do. I got lucky, I get paid for work,” Bautista said.