Driving around the Fullerton and Western intersection, one could easily pass Estrella Negra and give it nothing more than a fleeting glance. The small facade is easy to miss and not particularly noteworthy, save for an illuminated sign displaying a large, turquoise Mexican candy skull. But what the little Bucktown BYOB lacks in superficial appearance, it makes up for in atmospheric charm. Bright, vibrant Mexican-style paintings adorn nearly every corner of Estrella Negra's four walls while Afro-Cuban beats pulsate through the speakers, creating a fresh, welcoming vibe not often found in the so-called "hip" part of town.
And Estrella Negra's food is equally as fresh as its decor. Take, for example, their spin on the croissant sandwich. Not typically the most nutritious option on the menu, Estrella Negra's Gorrito Croissanwich ($6) is a lighter, slightly more healthy option than the typical egg-cheese-meat trifecta and a perfect compliment to the warming weather. It is loaded with house-made guacamole and goat cheese crumbles (remember, we said slightly healthier). Tomato chunks, spring greens, and cucumber slices garnish the top, and a buttery croissant encases it all. The end result is a refreshing, crisp way to start off the morning, so long as morning starts after 11 a.m, when the restaurant opens.