Where I'll miss . . . for food and drink

Whether through familiarity or charm, places can endear themselves to you.  Sometimes specific instances link us to a place, but often it is only chance elements that make a place dear.  Even ugly sights can become endearing through their constancy.  As I think of the limited remaining time I have here, I think of a few particular places for a bite or a sip that that have a certain level of charm over me. 

Dobrá Čajovna
This is one of the few places that I would seek out simply for the food here.  The environment is pan-Asian.  Japanese, Turkish, and Chinese symbols are layered upon each other without inhibition.  Their menu is nearly an inch thick and features teas of every type imaginable.  A handful of pages feature food items, including pita-based and couscous-based dishes.  The tea house is a warm environment with glass lanterns, oil lamps in teapots, bamboo wall coverings, cushioned chairs or simply cushions around low tables.  I feel comfortable staying there for hours, partially because the waiters don’t come to your table unless you ring your little bell.

Most places here can serve up a decent cappuccino.  At La Petite, however, David serves it up with a miniature chocolate ball dipped in dark chocolate powder.  The owner, David, is Belgian and knows most of his customers by name, language, and nationality.  His daily soups are heavenly and his salads creatively combined.  His most dangerous dessert is a chocolate “cake.”  In reality it is like a chocolate brownie crust containing a melty chocolate interior.  His food and menus are beautiful to look at, and he regularly has themed events like a luau night.  The real regulars like to make it out to LaPeCo Fridays for his meatballs.

This is a local cukrarna or sweet shop.  They are famous for their cakes.  Anytime I think of them, I have a strong urge to immediately go there and try yet another one of their cakes—no matter what elements I would have to cut through to go there or what bus I would have to catch.  When you enter, you encounter a glass display case full of cakes, topped with chocolate powders, chocolate curls, whipped cream, or fresh fruit.  Not only do I have the desire to order everything in the case, but their espresso drinks are the perfect complement to the confections.  Conveniently, there is one location near the foreign police, making it a good way to calm one’s nerves after an hour or many more of visa hassles (unfortunately I discovered the proximity after having settled my visa issues).

These shops typically feature dried fruit and things like honey-covered peanuts, caramelized cashews, or dark chocolate-coated almonds.  The varieties are diverse.  Other coatings include yogurt, milk chocolate, and carob.  Moreover, you can find coated raisins, strawberries, walnuts, and more.  There is one of these shops near my home bus stop.  It takes a lot of fortitude to pass without entering.  As I write this, I am painfully aware that I won’t arrive home before it closes.


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