Saturday, May 21, 2022 May 21, 2022
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Food and Drink

Review: La Duni Latin Cafe

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Nutella milk chocolate cake. photography by Kevin Hunter Marple

When we think of La Duni, a migas-filled brunch, a chocolate-flecked cafe con leche, or a gut-busting slice of cuatro leches cake usually come to mind. Dinner? Not so much. But on a recent Saturday night, darn if the McKinney Avenue location (the original, open since 2001, by owners Espartaco and Dunia Borga) didn’t feel a little bit like a vacation. We were seated on the patio, where a balmy Mediterranean-style breeze cooled us, and chock-full-o-lime margarinhas (tequila, lime, sugar, ice) were dropped into our hands within minutes by our handsome olive-skinned server. Chips and fiery salsa kept said hands busy while we waited for the provoleta, a traditional Argentine starter of grilled provolone cheese shoved into flour tortillas that puts cheese-dip starters more frequently eaten in this town to shame. Onto the mains: our favorite of the night was the perfectly cooked pescado del dia (mahi mahi on our visit), but the carne asada arrachera, a strip steak ordered medium-rare, came out a little too rare, thank you very much. No matter. A fork piled with a bite of meat, a nip of caramelized plantain, and a dollop of mashed avocado—not to mention a sturdy Chilean Merlot—all but made up for the temperature difference. Oh, happy day, it was time for dessert. Just like on vacation, we ignored our bulging stomachs and the looming prospect of wearing a bathing suit and ordered a piece of Nutella milk chocolate cake. It was as delicious as we had hoped. And at the price of this getaway, we can afford to get away again and again.

Get contact information for La Duni.