Buenos Aires Cafe: the cafe part

It was between lunchtime and dinnertime. We just wanted some coffee. We drank some. And it was Good. How do I know? Just as I prefer my hamburgers without distractions to disguise their true nature, I prefer coffee black and without sugar. The espresso machine was down, we were told, before even asking, so it was coffee in big cups for us. Giant cups, in fact, and shaped to hold the heat. I like to see who produced the crockery and utensils on the tabletop. These cups and saucers were marked “Crate and Barrel” and were of a type of white porcelain. This was excellent coffee.

We saw handsome-looking sandwich plates going by. Someone at our table was very tempted by the pastafrola, which appeared to be a shallow tart filled with a jam or paste. The pastry was topped with a precise and beautiful hand-cut, hand-woven lattice; the filling, we were told, was made mostly from quince. Later, we learned that pastafrola is practically the national dessert of Argentina. Another temptation resisted was a small refined pastry trimmed with coconut. The eventual choice that came to our table was a chocolate layer cake or torte with a beatiful chocolate ganache coating. Extra forks were provided so that all at the table could share.

There’s something very comfortable about this place, and it is a friendly spot. A peek into the kitchen revealed it to be spotless and inhabited by two women in white working so quickly and professionally that they seemed to move in a blur. Two earlier visits by another Austin Metblogger were described in April 2007, complete with a photo of the bakery case. Fresh flowers can be glimpsed in that picture, and we enjoyed the profusion of giant yellow roses and golden sunflowers at the counter and on tabletops when we were there. The page for the Buenos Aires Cafe has a link to the menus for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. We’ll be back for coffee and a snack, and we’ll be back for more than that.

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