CoffeeBeer >> Double Shot Buzz >> Previous Coffee Columns >> Deli Quattro
It was a cold and foggy autumn morning when I ventured into unexplored territory in search of a new coffee experience. The fog was more of a consommé than a pea soup, yet I still ventured cautiously, on the alert for wayward croutons, the eerily distant howls of hounds causing the hairs on my neck to tremble. A friend of a friend who works in rehab had recommended a deli surrounded by the city's courts and main police station. I trudged by the Cathedral, its steeple thrusted staunchly through the fog, and then Castle Market, where the food traders were busy touting portable lunches to hungry office workers. After stealing myself past the giant brick mural of a steelworker, I found myself on Snig Hill named, some think, for the old Saxon word for eel but more likely named for the brake used to prevent carts from running away on steep hills. The word is also a version of snick or snicket, which means a narrow passageway or ginnel, which this dual carriageway didn't particularly suggest.
With my scarf fastened securely around my neck I opened a door and found myself stepping out of a badly written noir novel and into Deli Quattro. This pleasantly cosy cafe has clean white walls, simple geometric art on the walls, tables and chairs in black and white and silver, and there is more seating downstairs. The menu is typical for a deli cafe: traditional sandwiches, paninis, jacket potatoes, salads, and cakes, and Cafe Brönte biscuits are advertised.
My single macchiato was very smooth and pleasant. It seemed a tiny bit on the weak side and could have had a bit more oomph!, but the barista misunderstood my order of a "double", so perhaps two shots would have turned out stronger. But at an impressive £1.00 for this pretty little drink, served in an espresso-sized cylindrical white cup, I could easily afford another shot somewhere else this afternoon if I felt the need for it.
Peering into the murky crema and then out from my window seat at the foggy morning, I felt again as if I were in a mystery. I could see Peel House and the probation office directly opposite, with the Magistrates Court just beyond. Had there been a murder this morning? Perhaps a new Ripper of some sort? Perhaps the tragic result of a passionate moor tale spun by one of the Brönte sisters? Or was I merely dreaming, perhaps having fallen into a light misty slumber as a result of my caffeine need? Was I writing about Deli Quattro or about life, intrigue, and the vagaries of our peccadillos?
"Tuna mayo salad!" shouted the lady behind the counter, rousing me to the fact that it was close to lunchtime and a group of suited solicitor types had just entered. My thoughts suddenly veered to wondering where the reference to the number four comes from in the name of the cafe. (I still haven't a clue.)
As I finished my tubularly classy little macchiato, I contemplated my walk to work from here, comforted in the knowledge that, should I be attacked by any werewolves or strangers, the police department was close by.
Speaking of fantasy realities reminds me of an e-mail exchange from last spring with a workmate in Sheffield about my recent visit to California: