Opened more than eight years ago, Cafe Negro is a snappy, immaculate little cafe for breakfast aficionados. It offers more breakfast dining satisfaction per square meter than many of our larger establishments: the dishes are all made right there, the service and presentations are spot-on, the menu’s a showcase of just about any breakfast you can dream up – all at food court prices. The breakfasts are famous, as are the big, hearty home-made muffins, which are a breakfast in themselves, and the lush, magazine-cover pies, cakes and pastries – all deserving the cascade of praise they receive.
Each day has a different pancake or crepe breakfast feature, from banana to cottage cheese – all moist and plump, even those made of oat flour with their chunks of apple and raisin bits (featured on Thursdays). Also, there’s a bounty of standards: omelets, cereals, frittatas, quesadillas and stuffed burritos. And I must mention the waffles, Belgian with an array of sauces and an exotic polenta waffle dish. And they will gladly customize for you. Take a minute now and dream up the perfect breakfast. Cafe Negro will have it. The venue also prides itself on its coffee, and deservedly so. The coffee is fresh-roasted, ground right there every day and bottomless. Rounds out a perfect breakfast and a cheery morning wake-up.
I had the blueberry buttermilk pancakes (a Wednesday feature) for the first time. These are not just ordinary blueberry pancakes, often your forkful is more blueberries than pancake. So bib up so you don’t get squirted blue. Eggs were small but adequate alongside the fruit-cup and done as you please, mine up, and cooked through but still juicy.
My companion had the vegetarian burrito, full plate-sized and satisfyingly tender, stuffed with veggies and cheese with a pallet of spicy sauces. This breakfast can last until dinner, because the rest of the plate is loaded with pan-fried potatoes. Eggs, pancakes, waffles, fruit bowls, bagels, hash browns, salads can also be ordered separately.
On the mountain-side of the Carretera, at the corner where the road runs up to Lakeside Little Theatre, Cafe Negro is currently open until 2 p.m. But next week they plan to restore their lunch (brunch) menu and remain open until four, serving beer and wine.
Tom Rojas manages the place, a friendly young man with an easy charm with customers, although you have to stop him for a chat, since he keeps himself pretty busy, between the restaurant and the kitchen and his gracious customer vigilance.
Oh, and if you happen to be thinking, well, my dream breakfast is off the edge: Turkey Sloppy Joes. Well, think Cafe Negro. Saturdays and Sundays: Turkey Sloppy Joes. Yeah, for breakfast.