Friday, February 18, 2011

Another Seattle favorite: El Diablo Coffee in upper Queen Anne

El Diablo Coffee is a Cuban/Caribbean style cafe that serves traditional coffee drinks and sandwiches...and that is very reminiscent of cafes and coffee shops back in the good 'old Florida Keys. The same pastel coloring on everything, the same sort of whimsical folk art patterns, even the fact that it opens up onto a wooden deck/walkway that it shares with other businesses reminds me of the Keys. It's a place I often go to get away from things and relax, sort of a secret hideout. Decoration wise, the big inauthentic thing about it is that many of the images, including the Devil images, actually come from Mexican folk art and things like the Loteria game, that has lots of iconic images. The Virgin of Guadelupe, for example, isn't venerated in Cuba or in the Caribbean. But, Mexican folk art is great for me as well, and reminds me of another past place that was a love of my life: Austin Texas. In any case, the combination works well.

The coffee is good, the food is good.

Upper Queen Anne is a place that tourists in town should check out. Queen Anne itself is interesting enough, but up the hill you'll find a more laid back, less aggressively urban environment with small shops and residential streets that's sophisticated, and upscale, but that's still approachable and enjoyable as a regular person. This isn't Bellevue, just a nice little neighborhood.

On a side note, while it's not nice to celebrate a restaurant going out of business, in general, I have to say that I'm not sad to see that the Florida Keys themed restaurant in upper Queen Anne has closed down. Completely inauthentic.

If you are looking for Mexican folk art in Seattle, Milagros in Pike Place Market is the place to go. Totally authentic, good selection, nice products. Reasonably priced as well.

If you're looking for Mexican folk art in Austin, for that matter, or want to be able to order lots of it online, Tesoros Trading Company is the way to go.

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