A few years ago, I was fortunate enough to go to Spain, spending time in Madrid, Granada and Barcelona. We spent almost every morning sipping coffee in the cities’ plazas. In Spain, as in most of Europe, you won’t find the ubiquitous auto-drip coffee you find here in the U.S. If you order a coffee in Spain, you get an espresso in a tiny adorable mug. I have several pictures of myself looking like a father indulging his child in a tea party. This isn’t American coffee-on-the-go, this is the stuff you sip as you eat pastries and watch the city slowly wake up.

(The closest thing you’ll find to an American coffee is an Americano, which, in my experience, is made by adding hot water to espresso while glaring at the stupid American.)

I recently discovered Cuban coffee, which is served up locally at La Cocina Cubana food truck. While different than European coffee, the spirit is the same. This is dark, rich coffee. It’s meant for sipping as you read the morning paper, not for throwing into your cupholder on the way to work. Don’t be fooled by the diminutive size; this coffee kicks. I had a cup after lunch last week, and I was buzzing around the house late into the night. And it’s a steal at just $1.

So if you’re near the American Eagle Superstore and need a little “me time,” swing through the parking lot, order up a Cuban coffee and grab a copy of City Pulse. It’s no Barcelona, but it’ll do in a fix.

What’s your favorite dish/drink?

Do you have a go-to dish or drink at your favorite local restaurant? We want to know about it. Email your favorite dish/drink and a short explanation about why you love it to food@lansingcitypulse.com, and it may be featured in a future issue. If possible, please send a photo along with your description — a nice smartphone photo is fine. Cheers!

La Cocina Cubana
901 N. Larch St., Lansing (American Eagle Superstore parking lot)
11 a.m.-8:30 p.m. Monday- Saturday; 11 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Sunday
(517) 894-3079