Thursday February 14, 2008
Late dinner at Canela Cafe yesterday, primarily because it was the only thing open at 10:30 pm on a weekday; and a very pleasant surprise. Great crusty sandwiches, yummy tapas, and just about the perfect atmosphere. You know places like Lime — chain restaurants where they take the Starbucks aesthetic and attempt to apply it to a homey restaurant setting? Well, Canela is no chain, and it splits the difference between that a genuine comforting/dive type mood.
The only real problem was that out of a list of about 10 beers only 4 were in stock (the restaurant also turned to be out of ketchup?!). This was for the best, though because the star of the evening was the Sangria — a humongous 15-glass (orange glazed ceramic) pitcher full of sweet delicious redness plus tall glasses with fruit and a small pail of ice. Yes, technically this is not how you do Sangria but trust me it works.
The food was all neo-rustic, with fresh quality ingredients. Came out fast, too, which is always nice. And the service was great. Oh: Cholula hot sauce right there on the table, which is not something you see every day. And the menu turned out to be a real treat — the entire first page is charming preamble and background explanation on the various foods. It’s obviously lovingly typed by the owner, and obviously subject to frequent revision, because the online PDF version is quite different, and ends with a 24-point note: “Please excuse me with Spanglish menu.” (The prices have substantially risen since the online version, but what can you do?)
Oh, and did I mention the live music? When we arrived a Gibson SG and amp were set up outside, and shortly arrived a dude, back to us, who proceeded to noodle casually for awhile and finally sang a few songs in a hushed mumbly voice. It was perfect near-empty-restaurant music, and I didn’t realize until later that it was none other then Jesse Jackson. There you are then — a perfect meal.
Update: An unfortunate habit of closing before the regularly scheduled 11:30 pm kind of sours me on the place.comments powered by Disqus