It is a fitting evening for an after work jaunt into the fringes of Toronto to enjoy an espresso and more importantly a queij nata.
Don’t fret, I didn’t know what a queij nata meant either, I just knew I liked them and in my Anglo-Saxon brain, call them “custard tarts”.
When I look up queij nata on Google, it tells me I am eating cheesecake custard. That makes me feel a little confused and I want to know if this is a correct Portuguese translation or if this particular bakery calls them such an odd name on purpose. Google seems to disagree. I am therefore convinced it’s some local dialect from some region in Portugal and I really want to ask but I am worried about the outcome.
See I arrived at the café desperately needing to use the facilities. I promptly ordered my espresso and queij nata using English and universal sign language.
“I’d like that,” point to the showcase and continue, “ummm,” tilt my head and move my voice up one octave, “custard tart and one,” while simultaneously holding up one finger, “espresso.”
The girl behind the counter replies something back I don’t completely understand however well enough that suggests we both agree.
Sigh of relief and I dart off to the rest room.
I lock the door behind me when I notice something is missing. They are fresh out of toilet paper.
I return to the counter, this time to order an item not listed on the menu or showcased in their front display.
Using my universal sign language (you decide what that looks like!), I order up toilet paper.
The first reaction I receive is utter shock and when I re-iterate my request she understands and asks me to wait while she retrieves my “order”.
And here is what you get when you order toilet paper at a Portuguese bakery….it didn’t fit in the holder – thankfully a previous customer left a pop can behind for a size reference!
I love this place, I’ll be back only next time I’ll brush up on some of the more unusual words I might need in a café.