TASTE TEST: Artsy Frida's Cafe has artful take on Mexican food

The Guacamaya is a new addition to the menu at Frida's Cafe in Hessville.

Frida's Cafe in Hammond's Hessville neighborhood is a tribute to the acclaimed Mexican painter Frida Kahlo, and it makes a dramatic impression when you walk in.

Vibrant colors are splashed across the extravagantly decorated interior. Replica Frida paintings line the walls. Day of the Dead skulls adorn the colorful chairs and festive gift shop. Mexican folk art is everywhere in the coffee shop, which has a substantial food menu.

The food is as artful as the cafe is artsy.

Frida's Cafe, inside the White Ripple Gallery at 6725 Kennedy Ave., offers off-the-beaten path Mexican cuisine such as Molletes, Quesaritas, and the Guajolota torta from Mexico City. The presentation is always immaculate — hot chocolate for instance comes in a folksy ceramic mug on a plate with a sugar cookie for dipping.

A new addition is the Guacamaya, a traditional torta from the Guanajuato region of Mexico.

Crunchy pork skin, chewy pickled pork rinds and fresh slices of lush avocado are stuffed into grilled bolillo bread. It's topped with pico de gallo and drizzled with sour cream. There's a far more interesting mix of textures than you'd find in an average sandwich, all the ingredients are top-notch and it's plated elegantly.

 
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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.