When I’m travelling for an extended period of time, I’m likely to try and capture a piece of home, via food or drink. It makes sense that many of us have eaten at a McDonald’s all over the world. I’ve visited the golden arches in more cities than I’d like to admit. Part of it is the novelty aspect (Tokyo has a shrimp burger). It’s definitely not about quality. Mostly, McD’s represents a sense of the familiar, a potent reminder of where we came from. It’s about our childhoods, our birthplace, our homes. Powerful stuff.
But this post isn’t about McDonald’s (they certainly don’t need any more press). It’s about the addictive lattes at deVille Luxury Coffee and Pastries.When I was in the UK, I searched far and wide for a comparable latte. In the UK, lattes are served in tall clear glasses—also known as the proper way—but usually they were so weak I would have to resort to having a cappuccino to get my caffeine fix. I know what you’re thinking, ooh, tough life princess. Hey, we all have our priorities. I choose to literally consume most of my tiny disposable income, so it is a big letdown to spend $5 on terrible espresso. In London, I searched from the West End to Soho to Hackney. While this dedication yielded some good finds, none of them were deVille.
It starts with the beans
deVille brews beans from Intelligentsia, a Chicago-based boutique roaster. Its Black Cat Espresso is made on a Synesso Cyncra espresso machine known for its preciseness and stable performance. I love deVille’s small lattes, which they claim to be the “best latte ever” (their large lattes aren’t strong enough). A small latte is $3.75—beat that Pound Sterling! It’s creamy, thick, strong and rich, with hazelnut overtones. We went there recently after lunch at Charcut, and my friends found it “too rich” after our hefty meal. This was disappointing to me, but I’m placated with the knowledge that I’ve turned deVille’s lattes into other friends’ new addictions.
deVille also has a “life-changing tuna sandwich ($8.00)”. Sheesh, this place is high-confidence. The tuna sandwich has dill pickles, banana peppers and aged cheddar. Didn’t come close to changing my life, but it’s better than your average tuna sammy, and for $8 it should be.
Their chef-prepared salads, sandwiches and daily soups are made from local ingredients and high-quality. It’s reasonably priced for the downtown worker but a bit steep for this freelance writer. I suppose “luxury” is in the name for a reason. I should also mention there’s wine, beer and charcuterie (happy hour’s 4 to 7 pm on weekdays), decadent pastries sourced from CRMR’s bakery Pavino, and free wifi for paying customers.
Be aware of early closing times
With locations in Fashion Central and Art Central, your downtown core is covered. Both locations close way too early at 7 pm on weekdays, and even earlier on weekends. I don’t care if downtown Calgary turns into a ghost-town after 5 pm; I’ve had to divert many a coffee date due to this early closing time.
Anyway, enough ranting. Try deVille’s small latte if you haven’t yet. This is a strong endorsement on my part, so I hope you like it as much as I do.
deVille Luxury Coffee and Pastries
Art Central (#200 – 100 7 Ave. SW, Calgary, AB), 403.452.7777;
Fashion Central #807 1 St. SW, 403.263.0884
Weekdays 7 am to 7 pm; Saturday 10 am to 5pm/6pm; Sunday 10 am to 4 pm
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