SPILTAN – THEN THERE’S MORE
Written and Illustrated by A. B. Dance
There is a silly joke in the U.S. which I have never understood. It asks, “Why did the chicken cross the road?” The answer, to get to the other side. Hmm…really, how observant of the viewers giving the answer.
Just the other day while at SkafferiEtt the General Store in the middle of Bromarv, I stood outside up and across from Coffee-Bar Spiltan with my wife Harriet. In our brief travels we heard the villagers praise the establishment.
We crossed the road like the joke said to get to the other side. As we approached the Coffee-Bar Spiltan, we noticed right of the entrance, a large patio filled with customers laughing, eating, and sharing a bit of the spirits from the gods. The food on the tables seem to never end because of the portions served. On one plate we saw a hamburger stacked so high you would need mountain climbing gear to scale it. The pizzas are large accompanied by generous drinks, now there’s another reason for the chicken to cross the road.
Walking in we were greeted by Vera Laitinen, a petite young lady with a large smile companied by open arms welcoming us. She escorted us to a table handing us the menu.
As Harriet read the offerings in her first language Swedish, then translated them to English, I turned my eyes occasionally to the café surroundings. The interior matched the petite owner by its size, with a small counter placed at the rear of the shop were orders were taken. On a lit overhead display panel behind the counter further offerings were there to delight your palette. Listed were a great selection of burgers, snacks, salads, and pizzas.
Directly to the right through a narrow hallway in the back is the kitchen. There merging smells mixed float toward your nose and tongue. If the fragrances could speak, I am sure they would asked, “Mumm, like that fragrance? Wait when you place one of the burgers on your tongue, your soul will come alive from the intense flavors.”
Continuing my overview of the café, still gazing right, is a long table with six seats near a huge window letting in the sun. Filling five of the six seats are local elderly gentlemen.
In time, we learned they are the Spiltan Gang who gather weekly to share their thoughts and reminisce about the present and past times gone bye. Later, one gentleman proudly announced, “We sit here and lie to each other.”
Well, if that isn’t a straight honest statement, just hearing the confession whether it was a joke or not, is worth crossing the road to the café to hear.
The place felt homespun and welcoming with a feeling of warmth. I looked left toward two other tables exposed to the sun filtering in pass the front door. A small family sat smiling enjoying their food that came.
We ordered, Harriet having a Rilax Hamburger and I the Crispy Chicken Sandwich which we heard so much about. A young man came in carrying his infant son. The owner offered the father a menu immediately with the father ordering right away. The little boy turned to stare at us as I made a small sketch of him while Harriet and I learned the inquisitive little guy’s name was Sam.
Our orders came. We both stared at the two mountains of food sitting on our plates held up by another smaller hill of fries covered in Cheddar cheese and a cup of extra sauce on the side. We looked at each other wondering if we had big enough stomachs to finish it all, plus a tall soda each.
As I bit into my chicken burger, my tongue grew more and more excited with all the mixed flavors; A perfectly fried chicken fillet covered in Spiltan secret sauce, two wide pieces of fresh bacon, tomato, red onions, Jalapenos, bean sprouts, and Cheddar cheese between a fresh toasted burger bun.
After, Harriet and I waddled out of Spiltan’s like two stuffed birds we could hardly wave goodbye to all the friendly people we met.
We know now why the chicken crossed the road, to eat at Spiltan’s and share it all with great people.
– A.B. Dance