Daniella Fishman, Staff Writer |
I woke up this past Sunday with a hankering for some brunch, and what better place to go on a Sunday afternoon than the Autumn Cafe? I made it to the establishment an hour before closing and was pleasantly surprised at how packed it was! It spoke volumes of the love that Oneonta locals have for the restaurant. I was seated immediately and was taken care of by my waiter. He brought me water and a coffee before I took my seat. The Sunday Brunch Menu was small, but had something for everyone! Multiple vegan and vegetarian options were available, which I don’t see often at restaurants in Oneonta. After skimming the menu for some time, I was conflicted between the ‘Huevos Rancheros’ and the ‘Scrambled Tofu.’ Eventually, I opted for the ‘Huevos Rancheros.’
While I waited for my meal to arrive, I took in the scenic design of the interior. No matter the time of day, or season, Autumn Cafe maintains a rustic environment that I could only describe as ‘homey.’ Neutral colors and warm lighting throughout give the restaurant the perfect ‘Oneonta Vibe,’ if you will. The ceilings and mantle pieces look like something straight out of the chocolate mansion scene from Tim Burton’s ‘Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.’ Wooden flooring combined with wooden tables and chairs further embody the ‘homey, rustic’ feel of it all.
After a short break, my waiter brought over what I could only describe as a goliath of a meal. This thing was HUGE!! I cut the food in half and sat back to fully enjoy the goodness in front of me: sunny-side-up eggs covered in chipotle mayo, salsa, tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and cheese, all resting atop a crunchy tortilla. The multi-layered ‘Huevos Rancheros’ sat before me like the final boss of a video game. There was no way I could finish all the food in front of me, but I was super eager to try. My first impression of the meal was how perfectly the softness of the eggs and cheese paired with the crunchiness of the tortilla. Personally, I’m a sucker for texture, and this was the food texture combination of my dreams. Then, it hit me… the spice. I’ll admit, I take spice like a baby, but fortunately, this wasn’t too spicy for me at all! If anything, I believe the spice enhanced the flavor of the dish and complemented the cheese. Potatoes were incorporated inside the dish as well as slices of thick home fries, which I considered a saving-grace for the spice. The meal was super filling, but in the most satisfying way. I only managed to finish half of the meal. However, it was absolutely delicious, and I am very excited to eat the rest for lunch tomorrow!
I had the pleasure of interviewing the new owner, Wayne Carrington, who was very invested in the Autumn Cafe. From our conversation, I could tell he had aspirations of a multi-facilitated restaurant, serving vegans, vegetarians, and meat-eaters alike. I asked Mr. Carrington about what items he feels don’t get enough love from his menu: The Ox Tail and the Tuna Bowls are the unofficial hidden gems (The Tuna Poke is delicious, trust me). His favorite is the ‘Duck Dish.’ Mr. Carrington also informed me that there will be a brand new brunch menu coming next month, with new ‘bowl’ items! He described the restaurant as focusing on delivering the highest quality food possible. They work closely with Anson Mills in South Carolina for the best personally milled grain, what Carrington referred to as ‘ancient grain.’ The Autumn Cafe is striving to maintain the right balance between vegan, vegetarian and meat dishes to their menu. Something is available for everyone at the Autumn Cafe, which is what I believe makes this restaurant one of the better ones in local Oneonta, simply because they cater to literally everyone.
Mr. Carrington has agreed to implement a coupon within this Issue of The State Times, where readers get 10% off of their order if you bring a clipping of Dine with Dani! Go try The Autumn Cafe and tell us what you think!