Yesterday’s fantasy food draft sent me into a reverie about café con leche, specifically when I first fell in love with café con leche, which was at Jalisco, a restaurant near where I used to live in Ft. Lauderdale a million years ago. It was a little place, and kind of run down, and I was usually one of the only people in there. (I was working retail at the time, though, so I came and went at odd hours.) But it had the best tacos dorados. It may have had other good food, too, but quite honestly that was the only thing I ever ate. I always got it with a cup of café con leche con azucar, with sugar. One of my jobs at the time was at Starbucks, and the rumor was you could get make a semblance of café con leche con azucar if you put sugar directly into the portofilter, but I was always too nervous about breaking the machine to do it. So I only got my café con leche there.
After I moved away, I searched for it everywhere else I lived. I’ve found it in Chicago, and I enjoyed drinking it out of a little paper cup outside a Cuban cafe on Sixth Avenue in New York (that made me feel very cosmopolitan), but the very best, at least in my mind, is still at Jalisco. In my mind, it’s always lunchtime there and I either have the day off or I get to work the late shift, but either way, it’s a quiet pocket of time in the middle of the rest of my life of running around slogging coffee or stacking books or dealing with the many dramas of my friends. The coffee is always hot and sweet. I still miss it.
What’s your favorite homesick food?