New Leaf Cafe – By Howie

Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day. Period, full stop, buck stops there, you get the idea. Though I don’t garner the opportunity to savor a good breakfast often, it warms my heart, body, and soul when I gain said opportunity. Our previous restaurant on the list had to be pushed back due to unforeseen circumstances, but
it made for a wonderful brunch in the end. My esteemed colleague and I set sail for a early-afternoon adventure of the taste buds, and if you couldn’t tell by my praise, it was a fine voyage indeed!

New Leaf Café is a restaurant located in one of the three buildings belonging to Outlook Inn, one of the premier places to stay for a visit on the island. They have gone through several Iterations and have since settled to doing Brunch and Dinner. However, due to the times we live in, Brunch is the only meal they could serve this season, but we, as food connoisseurs, were not deterred from this fact, boldly striding into the calming atmosphere of New Leaf Café with our heads high, and our appetites… uh… also high? We were hungry, okay?

While my esteemed colleague opted for one of his favorites, the Confit Duck Leg & Waffle (in general, not just from New Leaf. Read Simon’s Review here), it was my turn to be led by the server’s recommendation and suffer the possible wrath and consequences of the choice laid out before me. I will admit, as well, that when he favored the Pork Chile Verde, my heart slightly sank due to the ingredients (more on that later), but a stroke of luck appeared before me: he also offered the Belgian Waffle (or so I thought; turns out I’d misheard him, but I got to eat both, so no
complaints here.)! anyway, with fruity Apple Juice in hand, I resigned myself to a full stomach, with the belief that if I didn’t enjoy one dish, I most certainly would enjoy the other.

It turns out, dear reader, that my fears and worries were unfounded, for what I was brought far exceeded my expectations. The Belgian Waffle was excellent, matching the blackberry compote with the buttermilk syrup beautifully (though I was gently chastised by my esteemed colleague on the fact that it was not mandatory to use all of the syrup, but that’s how a waffle should be eaten, in my humble opinion), and its crispy exterior made for a lovely crunch with enough softness on the inside to counterbalance said crunch. Add the butter and whipped cream, and you have a delightful dish on your hands.

Now, for the grand reveal: while I enjoy the gorgeous delicacy that is eggs, I am most accustomed to scrambled eggs, befitting my background as middle-class, and my simple belief in the teachings of Less is More. Runny eggs, especially, have never really appealed to me all that much, not for lack of trying. Honestly, it’s more likely that I need to have more styles of egg dishes to properly form a true opinion on them, but for the sake of being as upfront as possible, I will reiterate; I prefer my eggs scrambled, and usually no other way. All that nonsense being said, the Pork Chile Verde would not have been as good without the fried eggs cooked with it. Now, not to say that the dish waws inedible without the eggs, far from it. The pork was cooked in tomatillo salsa, which when mixed with the avocado, brought a wonderful aroma and taste, while the cotija cheese and cilantro gave an interesting flavor, but was also subdued enough that it did not overpower the other flavors. The elevation that the fried eggs brought, however, easily took it from a great dish to a most excellent one, with its texture mixed in being an absolute highlight of the meal. Side note: the corn tortillas given were warm and lovely with the meal, though I’m not sure it truly required them, but a great edition, nonetheless.

With good service rounding out our meal, I can safely say that New Leaf Café is a fantastic way to start your day off. A wonderfully mellow atmosphere, fantastic food, and attentive (though not overly pushy) wait staff easily elevates this restaurant to a must-visit on the island for any tourist or local. Please do not miss out on this lovely establishment, you absolutely will not regret it!

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