Those were the days: years back when one could easily (and somewhat safely) spend a long weekend in Caracas, even if you happened to hold an American passport. In addition to ample Argentinean or Venezuelan beef, fresh seafood and casaba bread, by far the best taste experience was the coffee. The coffee “bar” itself was reminiscent of a newsstand but instead sold Dixie cup portions of perfectly combined strong coffee and warm milk. Costing only about 30 American cents per cup, it wasn’t necessary to be frugal and buy only one – better to order as many as you could safely carry back up to the hotel room, therefore saving yourself an inevitable trip or two more down the stairs, across the street and back.
Since currently it is difficult at best for Americans to spend time in Venezuela, why not try Spain? Admittedly, many if not most of the countries of continental Europe feature excellent cups of java (and yes, that was an intended omission of the British Isles) which is served in a variety of vessels, depending on which type of coffee you choose. But in order to have an idea of the above mentioned Venezuelan brew, try a Café Cortado in Spain. A Café Cortado literally means a “cut coffee”, as in a cappuccino with half of the milk and more of the flavor. Speaking from personal experience, though a cortado is served in any rest stop along the highways, there is one specific place where you will not be jostled by truck drivers if you happen to be a blond woman of short stature…
In Spain, approximately 80 miles north of Barcelona along the AP 7 (Auto Pista 7), you’ll find Figueres, the birthplace and resting place of Salvador Dali. It is also the site of the Salvador Dali Teatro y Museo – which is definitely worth a visit. And even more enjoyable and less surreal is the (note the spelling) Dalicatessen.
Located about 50 meters down the street from the museum, Dalicatessen certainly gets an “A+” for its super clever name. Priced at just over one Euro per cup, Dalicatessen scores way past the triple digits on its Café Cortado. Quite more satisfying than in a Dixie cup, the coffee is served in a small glass (ironically resembling the size and shape of said Dixie cup) by the friendliest barista/Café owner in Catalonia. Fluent in English, Marte is filled with that true Spanish passion usually found in their music and dancing – except his focus is on incredible coffee and warm conversations. Oh, Dalicatessen also has a lovely counter of fresh sandwiches, pastries and other Spanish yummies.
Dalicatessen is welcoming, the bathrooms clean. Whether you sit at the coffee bar, in a booth or outside admiring the façade of Salvador Dali’s baptismal church, you will undoubtedly enjoy the best Café Cortado that Spain has to offer. And when you go, tell Marte that Wendelyn sent you.
Dalicatessen (34) 922.214.171.124
Sant Pere 19
17600 Figueres www.dalicatessen.com
Spain email: [email protected]