We were wandering around Istria about a month ago (in April) doing some filming and visiting places we had never been. It was one of those lazy trips, where we really didn’t expect much. Spring was still eluding us, it was still too chilly to sit outside at restaurants and still too early for tourists.
We were waiting for our cousin from Opatija to meet us and decided to stop at the first open cafe we found. So we pulled into a Cafe Bar in Loborika, a village of about 800 people, less than 10 km outside Pula on Route 66 (yep, really, like Route 66 of Americana repute).
From the outside nothing differentiates Cafe Bar & Pizzeria Vesna from other roadside cafes. It has a terrace close to the large parking lot, no view and is not in a special location. It appears to be a typical cafe-bar like those seen in every village, where local residents gather regularly, chat about local matters, complain about the weather, play cards & wait for something to happen. To liven things up someone may break into song from time to time and eventually the others join in the familiar ballads.
We sat outside (with sweaters wrapped around us, faces to the sun). Our cousin found us easily, the coffee was very good and the owners very friendly. I sauntered inside and BINGO – found an impressive selection of local cheeses, olive oils, home cured prsut (Croatian prosciutto), truffles & other Istrian delicacies – nicely presented and packaged to take home. Much of their selection was from their own farms and the owners were happy to let us do some tasting.
We bought a kilo of goat cheese, truffle cheese, white truffles and a sampling of Istrian olive oils. The treats made a nice compliment for our annual neighborhood Bond, James Bond martini cocktail party in Duboka Bay.
This is one thing we love about Istria – you never know what you might find, but it is sure to be delicious. An ordinary day turned into a special experience.