Ask anybody in Milpitas where you can get a good sandwich, and many will reply with three words: Sea Link Cafe.
Located on Main Street, this cozy gem of a spot has been open for the last three years, and boasts a unique menu of sandwiches, salads, drinks, and other items.
Owner Marielena Enriquez is a Master Chef, specializing in the art of high Mexican cuisine. It was 18 years ago when she moved from Mexico to Milpitas, and instantly felt right at home…
“I love Milpitas very much. That’s why I decided to open out here. I live here,” said Enriquez. “And I wanted something good for Milpitas, something very delicious.”
Prior to opening her Milpitas location, she had opened her first Sea Link Cafe out in Redwood City, back in 2011. That cafe is still open and thriving.
But since Enriquez’s home (and heart) is in Milpitas, that’s where she is all week. As a single mother, she balances running her cafe with raising her two girls, ages three and eight.
This past Wednesday, Sea Link tried out something new: For one day only, Enriquez opened up during nighttime hours.
The reason? She was unveiling items from a new dinner menu…which will soon be presented in its entirety, at which point Enirquez will start opening the cafe from 4pm-8pm.
To make the night special, Enriquez invited a very lucky group of people to try out her new menu: the firefighters and staff from the Milpitas Fire Department, which, being right down the street from Sea Link, has always sent a steady stream of customers.
“We’re neighbors,” said Enriquez. “These guys are really my best customers. They come almost every day. So I wanted to do something for them.”
Currently, the Sea Link Cafe is open from 10am-2pm, with no dinner options.
“We will have five kinds of tacos, we’ll have chicken, we’ll have chile relleno,” said Enriquez. “And we’ll be open from 4pm-8pm as well. I’ll still sell my coffees at night, but not the sandwiches. The sandwiches will still be during the day.”
One of the items she prepared was a very special chicken dish; the recipe was given to her by her mother, before she passed away. Enriquez felt very proud to cook it, and is eager to bring it to her customers.
After finishing up his meal, Firefighter Courtney Anderson had a lot of positive things to say about the new dinner items: “Everything was excellent. It was fresh and delicious. We come here for lunch all the time. We work 10 days a month, so I’m here maybe 5 times a month.”
Leif Juliussen, a truck engineer and paramedic with the Milpitas Fire Department, also pays frequent visits. When asked why Sea Link’s such a good place to dine, he answered, “It’s the creative tastes…It’s the flavors, the sauces, the seasonings, and all that. It’s not standard food.”
That night, as Enriquez tended to her guests, making sure that everyone had enough to eat and that all were satisfied with their dishes, she stopped every now and again to simply chat with people.
Her voice carries a kind of energy, a passion that sneaks up on you. Then again, it isn’t so surprising: It’s the very same passion that shows up in all her dishes.
And it’s what separates Sea Link Cafe from all the rest.
To stay up-to-date on when Sea Link Cafe will start offering the new dinner menu, go here. And to get in on what everyone’s been raving about, go here:
Sea Link Cafe
187 S. Main Street
Milpitas, CA 95035