There's a new-ish Cuban restaurant in town, and although folks are raving about their dinner menu and late-night take-out, they do a pretty delightful breakfast. When I was a college student in Boulder, CO we had a lovely little Cuban breakfast spot open up next to one of my favorite bookstores. I'd go and get a Cafe Cubano and a flaky guava pastry and catch up on the paper or some last minute reading for my afternoon class. So walking into two-month old Cana early on a random Wednesday morning brought back some nice memories.
Cana is the kind of neighborhood spot that I think people from all over the East Bay will drive to. They have a small but sweet outdoor patio that, while right on Lakeside, has an enclosed comfortable feel and there are a few tables inside the small restaurant which are generally free earlier in the morning hours (not so at night). I've always loved Cuban coffees, so to have a spot that does them with Blue Bottle beans within walking distance of my apartment is a happy find, indeed. On Cana's menu, you'll notice the usual suspects: Cafe Con Leche, Cafe Cubano and the Cortadito. The Cafe Con Leche is a slightly sweetened Cuban coffee -- people often use sweetened condensed milk but at Cana they prefer to use sugar instead as it makes for a smoother consistency. The Cubano is more for the purist: deep, dark Blue Bottle espresso slightly sweetened with sugar. Then the Cortadito adds on to that a little milk and foam. They also do a "pour-over" slow drip as well as typical espresso drinks (americanos and lattes).
Once you've decided on coffee, it's time to think about breakfast. Luckily, they open early at 7 a.m. and because of that, have developed quite a commuter following. In fact, so much so that they've created a "Commuter Special: For $3, you get a slice of housemade bread (banana, lemon or pumpkin) and a Cafe Con Leche. But I think the real reason to stroll in during the morning hours is for the Cuban Toast (best $2 I've spent in a long, long time) and the Soft Scrambled Egg and Ham Empanada.
Cuban toast at Cana