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Sunday breakfast at Café del Museo: A touch of class on the Rio Tomebamba

Last Sunday, Jackie and I went for brunch at Café del Museo with a friend to celebrate his broken leg. Yes, the café is disabled accessible, up a long ramp from 3 de Noviembre.

Café del Museo, located in the back of the Remigio Crespo Museum, is accessed easily by taking the Esclinata Jana de Oro — the one beside Hotel Crespo — staircase down from Calle Larga to 3 de Noviembre, and turning left. A couple of doors down, just past Mayu, is the gate to the café, which will be visible up the hill along a ramp winding up through some large trees. You can also get to the cafe through the museum from Calle Larga, taking the elevator or stairs down to the restaurant.

Breakfast on the terrace

The back approach to the café is impressive, as is the café itself. There is an abundance of outdoor seating under numerous large umbrellas, and the shade of the big trees. The morning we were there was a bit chilly, but the outside seating is warmed by patio heaters and individual gas heaters. In addition, the waiter brought out lap blankets for each of us, a welcome and very classy touch. We decided to eat outside, and were comfortable throughout our visit.

“Classy” is a good description without being snooty. The décor is modern and very clean. The service is impeccable and attentive without being intrusive. Our waiter spoke English. There was no TV blaring in the corner.

The Eggs Benedict with country fries

The interior of the café features a wall of black and white photos, additional seating and a well-stocked bar at one end. Despite my nefarious reputation, we did not imbibe adult beverages (it was, after all, before noon), but I note that the menu lists seven different beers and the usual array of cocktails and high-end liquors (Grey Goose, Johnny Walker, Bombay Sapphire, Jose Cuervo). And, if you arrive late in the morning and turn your breakfast into a brunch, you can order mimosas and Bloody Marys.

The waiter initially brought out a bread basket of tasty croissant-ish rolls. Feeling non-adventurous, I ordered the Americano breakfast ($6.99, including coffee, and the IVA and 10 percent tip), and was completely satisfied. I like my eggs over medium, and they arrived . . . over medium, something that doesn’t happen all that often in Cuenca, or anywhere else, for that matter. Included was a bowl of fresh, ripe fruit, very refreshing. And, best of all, bacon. Thick, crunchy, salty, non-fatty bacon. My mouth waters just thinking about it. In case you didn’t know, I love bacon, one of the few luxuries I miss from the U.S., and this was the real thing. Completely off my diet, but worth every bite, and I’d do it again, doc.

Cafe del Museo offers indoor seating too.

They have specials every day, and on this day, the special was Eggs Benedict, Jackie’s favorite, so she ordered that. It came with fried potatoes (home fries, ranch fries, whatever) and Jackie reported that it was excellent.

The bill for Jackie and me was $14 for two breakfasts with café con leche, with IVA and the servicio. This may be somewhat higher than most places in Cuenca, but not outrageously so. The quality of the setting, service and food was worth it.

Café del Museo was voted as having the best 4th of July lunch by Cuenca High Life. They also accommodate parties, large and small, and accept major credit cards.
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Café del Museo, 3 de Noviembre behind the Remigio Crespo Museum; Hours: Tuesday and Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Thursday to Sunday, 10 a.m. to 11 p.m., bar stays open to 2 a.m. Closed Monday; Major credit cards accepted; Notes: Disabled accessible; Pet-friendly. Family oriented; Reviewers comment: Recommended.