From the folks behind Revelator Coffee comes Paloma, a charming Bywater cafe serving Latin- and Caribbean-inspired fare in a gorgeous setting. There are subway tiles behind the bar, shelves lined with Topo Chico and Coca-Cola bottles, a glass case stocked with picturesque pastries, beautiful ceramic dishware, and a welcoming bar. The all-day cafe invites patrons to sit and stay a while to work over coffee, meet friends for snacks and cocktails, or have a full-on meal.
We arrive for Sunday brunch to a full dining room and one empty table. Score. We start with Revelator coffees, which are delicious and worthy of the hype. If you need cream or whole milk or sugar, there’s a help-yourself corner of coffee accoutrements. Next, morning cocktails. The frozen Paloma slushie has fresh grapefruit and lime with blanco tequila and a dash of grapefruit soda. It’s refreshing and not too sweet. The bloody Mary has a lingering chipotle spice and two olives. Happy Alone is a thirst-quenching mix of rye, amaro di angostura, ginger, lime, and grapefruit.
Next, the food. The portions are huge and we definitely over-ordered, but it doesn’t matter. Everything is so good. The colorful tostadas are served with a deeply flavorful pulled pork, creamy avocado crema, refried beans, and sunny eggs. It’s a harmonizing mix of textures, colors, and flavors, with the gold, crispy tostada as a worthy centerpiece.
The tres leches French toast is accompanied by creamy dulce de leche, fried chicken, and crystalized pecans that are a salty revelation atop each bite. The dark chicken thigh meat is juicy and crispy against the soft, almost soggy French toast.
Breakfast tacos arrive with salsa verde, more of that avocado crema, scrambled eggs, and a mix of seasoned sweet and red potatoes. The sweet potatoes are an especially interesting touch, and are so good they make me wonder how I’ve never had tacos with them before.
We also get an incredibly moist biscuit with a soft, spicy chorizo patty, cheddar cheese, and egg. Its crunchy outer crust and soft center make it taste like it’s griddled in butter. Probably lots of it. We also get the chia pudding, served with crunchy, cinnamon-y puffed rice and caramelized bananas: another triumph of textures.
Finally, a salted chocolate chip cookie to go, which is about an inch thick with a crumbly, cake-like texture and huge quarter-sized pieces of chocolate. We’re definitely coming back to try anything we missed (though that’s not much).