There is nothing quite as civilized as sitting down for a fine coffee and a tasty nibble from the baking oven. It elevates one’s mood above the barrage of an uncivil world’s affairs, which have the audacity to surface even in Vallarta.
Hanging out at a cafe is ground-zero of “cafe-society”. There would have been no Jean Paul Sartre, no Simone de Beauvoir, no Gertrude Stein, no James Joyce, as we know them, had it not been for the conviviality and the inspiration of Parisian sidewalk cafes, which very quickly spawned similar establishments in all the refined corners of the earth.
Vallarta, with its particularly amenable climate and its carefree intellectuality was fertile ground for the idea, and indeed the entirety of its downtown has become an extended cafe with countless sidewalk tables. And whatever the declared specialty of each individual outlet, be it Italian cuisine or sports-bar, one finds a decent cup in all of them. All it takes is a good machine and dark-roast of fine Mexican coffee.
If all I wanted was good coffee, there would be nothing to write about. But, we’re talking “civilized” here, and in that context having coffee without a munchie is incomplete. In Paris, you’d get a croissant or a brioche. On this side of the Atlantic we do very well with muffins and scones and airy cinnamon swirls; and that is why I’m a regular at Dee’s, down by the beach (two doors up from the pier).
Dee and her tirelessly cheerful staff do construct powerful, rich-flavor espresso/cappuccino from a high voltage Italian machine, but where they excel, that with which they regale, is their array of home-made, pure-butter baked-goods. The blueberry-bran muffin with its plentiful fruit and ideal texture, moist yet firm, is by itself more than enough reason to visit.
Just for the record, the cafe also serves healthy sandwiches and fluffy egg dishes. I intend to have something new from the menu every time I go, but once on the ordering counter, face to face with those beauties, I give in. My only deviation being the divine, generously flavored cinnamon swirl, especially if fresh out of the oven.
I settle down on one of the beach-facing tables in front. There are no cars, this being a walking-street. It is blissful.
DEE’S COFFEE COMPANY
Calle Francisca Rodriguez 111
Zona Romantica, Puerto Vallarta