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New Kid on the Rockland Block: Home Kitchen Cafe really rocks!

Long time foodie, great cook and chef/owner James Hatch followed his instincts when he opened the Home Kitchen Café, and I am reporting in that they are excellent. This place offers everything I look for in a breakfast joint except perhaps home squeezed OJ…even the option to default to lunch a bit early. The hours are 6 am to 3 pm, with Sunday brunch closing at 2pm.

The Café, located in Rockland at Main St. and Cottage, and across from Atlantic Challenge, feels fresh, from the paint to the menu choices. My biggest challenge was settling on an item to order, they all honestly looked so appealing. I had heard about the huevos rancheros as a signature dish so I went with that. My companion chose a super stuffed breakfast sandwich with sausage, cheese, egg and more. We were not disappointed. We loved the coffee too, Rock City, always a good indicator at breakfast. Espresso and capuccino are available too.

Quite a while back when the Pine Cone Café in Waldoboro was still in its early days, circa 1988, I hired James to cook at my restaurant. He taught me how to make the best Hollandaise sauce…ever. It still garners compliments to this day and his divine Hollandaise graces the half dozen eggs Benedict creations they serve here. Home fries are extra and worth it.

I hear that the pecan sticky buns, a labor of love created daily by James’ Dad Fred are amazing. They were sold out when we arrived, so get there early. Fred hails from the Cupboard Café in New Harbor, so that’s got to be the best thing cooking down in New Harbor.

Otherwise on the breakfast menu, interesting omelettes and frittatas abound. Six different breakfast sandwiches make me think I should begin every morning here. Then there is homemade granola, and pancakes too! Oatmeal brulé with a crunchy sugar crust may not keep me on the fast track for weight loss, but it sure sounds great.

Moving to lunch…the sandwich board is laden with originals, like the last bohemian, a veggie delight, and favorites like tuna, steak and cheese, Italian, a club…and the specials run the gamut from fish tacos or spicy tofu to a pan-fried fish sandwich to upscale mac and cheese. Great chowder and homemade soup, of course! In the mood for a burger? Try a terrapin burger. Hey, wait. Is that turtle? Wow! Lamb, turkey, and beef burgers are available too.The salad offerings show some originality, like a Thai Cobb or the Mediterranean.

Homemade desserts? You guessed it! Made by Mom and Dad down in New Harbor.

I found everything here to be thoughtfully prepared and presented, following the Home Kitchen’s philosophy: Flavor is our friend and your enjoyment is our reward. Feel like take out? Call them at 596. 2449 for anything on the menu…to go.

Head on down and tell your friends about the best news in ages, The Home Kitchen Café. Ev Donnelly might even wait on you.

Laura Cabot is a French trained chef with a long career as a chef/restaurant owner and is currently president of Laura Cabot Catering in Waldoboro.

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