Homemade Italian cuisine keeps traditional values at The Purple Garlic Italian Cafe

An Italian classic, the Fettuccine Alfredo ($10) is a homemade specialty at The Purple Garlic. (Jarrett Whitener/Community Impact Newspaper)
An Italian classic, the Fettuccine Alfredo ($10) is a homemade specialty at The Purple Garlic. (Jarrett Whitener/Community Impact Newspaper)

An Italian classic, the Fettuccine Alfredo ($10) is a homemade specialty at The Purple Garlic. (Jarrett Whitener/Community Impact Newspaper)

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General Manager Elisa Valdes-Salsedo (Left) and owner Nick Bolleter (Right) aim to make the restaurant a family environment. (Jarrett Whitener/Community Impact Newspaper)
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The VDR Proprietary Red Blend Monterey CA ($12 glass/ $36 bottle) is a signature wine offered at The Purple Garlic. (Jarrett Whitener)
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Many regulars come to The Purple Garlic for their famed Calamari ($13). (Jarrett Whitener/Community Impact Newspaper)
Before moving to its location at 1017 Austin Highway, San Antonio, 11 years ago, Cerroni’s Purple Garlic began in Hollywood Park in 1996, and in 2019, an extension of Cerroni’s, The Purple Garlic Italian Cafe, returned to Hollywood Park.

The owner of the new location, Nick Bolleter, said he has kept the same values as the original restaurant, making every meal from scratch and creating a welcoming environment for both customers and staff.

"We are a family-oriented restaurant, and we want to make the people feel at home,” Bolleter said. “People say work should be fun, and that is what we try to do here because happy employees make really good food. It has shown, and we want that quality every time our customers come in.”

Bolleter said General Manager Elisa Valdes-Salsedo has been a crucial member of the team since she joined in March. With 27 years in the industry, Valdes-Salsedo said she takes pride in the food served at the restaurant and the committed base of regular customers.

"What I love the most about this place is the fresh, quality food,” Valdes-Salsedo said. “It is also one of the cleanest restaurants I have ever seen in all those years. It makes me feel good to work for a place where everyone gets along, and we get to meet great customers every day.”


Customer favorites at the restaurant have been the eggplant parmesan, pasta formaggi, lasagna, calamari and other signature Italian dishes. The cafe also offers a selection of signature wines available by the glass or bottle.

According to Valdes-Salsedo, the family environment is the most crucial part of the restaurant as staff builds relationships with customers.

“We have people that come in twice a week, and if we don’t see them, then we kind of worry about them,” Valdes-Salsedo said. “We try to learn our regulars on a first-name basis because we really want to drive home that family environment. I want people to feel the love walking into the restaurant.”

The Purple Garlic Italian Cafe

15909 San Pedro Ave., Ste. 115, Hollywood Park

210-467-5140

www.purplegarliccafe.com

Hours: Tue.-Sat. 11 a.m.-9 p.m., closed Sun.-Mon.
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