Caffe Pascucci: Bastard Caffe

“A decaf latte with skim milk,” an outraged North Beach barista snorted just 10 years ago. “Whaddaya think this is, a pharmacy?” He only had espresso and milk at his caffe. How far espresso drinks have come.

I got excited when I heard that Caffe Pascucci was opening this week near the ballpark, the Italian company’s first caffe in the US. The coffee menu (PDF) is huge. My excitement was extinguished when I read it, but unfortunately, this won’t be their last location.

In Italia, you never see a menu in a traditional caffe. You can ask the barista for an espresso, macchiato, cappuccino or latte.

You can order your espresso ristretto or lungo, a shorter pull for a denser espresso shot or a longer pull to dilute it a bit. Maybe you can get a caffe correcto, a “corrected” espresso with a shot of Fernet Branca or other liquor.

Pascucci is spreading its version of Starbucks around the world. They should have spared us. Thank God I can still get an authentic doppio espresso macchiato here in North Beach, and chain stores are not allowed.

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