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BULLETDining Archive
Featured Dining LocationFor more information, call 928-634-2733 or visit www.flatironcafejerome.com.

© Paul Markow

Click image to view larger in separate window.
Small Wonder
Located in a building that dates back to 1913, the Flatiron Café is one of the most popular hangouts in Jerome. It's almost always packed. Of course, there are only three tables, plus a few seats at the bar.

By Kathy Ritchie

JEROME Vladimir Costa stands at the front door of 15.quince Grill & Cantina. He takes names and adds them to an already very long waiting list. It's around 8 p.m. "Robinson," he finally shouts. "I've got two seats at the bar, is that OK?" It's perfect. Less than six hours later, Costa is at it again. This time he's standing in the tiny kitchen of the Flatiron Café, making breakfast.

Costa has his hands full. And as the owner of both 15.quince and his recently acquired Flatiron Café, he isn't afraid to get those hands dirty. On this particular morning, the café is buzzing. It's a full house, which isn't especially surprising, considering the place is a landmark — the building was built in 1913 — and seating is limited. There are only three tables, plus a few seats at the bar, which adds to the charm.

Despite the cramped quarters, the place still retains much of its original look. Pressed-tin tiles line the ceiling, and rustic wood planks from another era cover the floor. Even the kitchen has been left mostly untouched. There are no fancy stoves or refrigerators. Costa, like his predecessor, is keeping it simple. "Right now, the only things it has are a toaster oven and a panini grill," he says. And it's that philosophy of simplicity that keeps customers coming back for more.

The food — which Costa describes as "American, French and Italian" — is fresh and made to order, and best of all, there are just enough offerings on the menu to satisfy even Goldilocks. Before peeking at the menu, order a cappuccino. The coffee is strong, and there's a perfect amount of foam. Once you're ready to get down to business, Costa suggests trying "The Gulch." The Flatiron's famous smoked-salmon quesadilla has been on the menu for the past 20 years and is a favorite with locals and visitors. "The Geezer," a breakfast burro filled with scrambled eggs, nopalitos and Mexican cheeses, will keep you full for hours.

If you have room, or you're looking for something to-go, try one of Costa's fresh beverages. His latest concoctions include watermelon water with habañero and lime, and cantaloupe and basil water.

Costa wants to keep the place cozy, and he's not interested in serving grumps: "If you've got a bad attitude, don't bother coming in," he warns. "Because it's such a small place, I want the vibe to be peaceful and happy and joyful. I want to give people a moment of rest when they're in Jerome."

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