Living and working in Milan means that you are erratically on the look out for moments of peace and relief from the city hustle and bustle. They say that Milan’s beauty is hidden among its courtyards and lanes: Piazza Sant’Eustogio is one of these very gems, placed where Corso di Porta Ticinese and Via Santa Croce meet. And right next door to one of the city’s most ancient churches, smack dab in the center of the nightlife “movida”, is one of the first California Bakery, which has provided traditional American dishes and classic desserts over the past ten years.
You can come and sit at one of the tables outside overlooking the plaza every day of the year, or you can look for a spot inside, surrounded by the warmth of an atmosphere from across the pond.
Have an American coffee (made with its trappings), order a hamburger or one of the exquisite blueberry cheesecakes (or both) and you could stop to read and chat for hours. Which is what happened today, just as I have had a habit of doing for years now when I would like some time for myself. Because California Bakery offers, along with its tasty food, a way of living Milan that has no equals: the pleasure of stopping in the broadest sense of the term. And to give yourself some down time. To let the hour hands tick by without even looking at them, you know when you have to go: but you don’t have to keep checking the time.
And perhaps while your reading the Sunday paper or enjoying the latest Minimum Fax novel, you happen to see a friend you haven’t seen for ages, he sits with you, and you catch up on what’s been up with you and what you’re going to be up to next over a hot coffee. One of those little pleasures that only places like this can offer.
On the weekend brunch is a must here because they’ve been serving it since before it was trendy. On sunny days you can even buy a blanket and basket and have a picnic on the lawn across the way: a unique opportunity of its kind. As for everything else you’re spoiled for choice when it comes to homemade desserts, with spice or apples and accompanied by cream, all original recipes made in the USA.