Masterworks café reopens as Homer’s
The Masterworks Museum eatery in the Botanical Gardens in Paget has a revamped look and a new name — its old one.
Homer’s Café opened on Monday, again, after 18 months as the Salty Lime.
Salty Lime chef Jorge Lucero Navarro took over the running of Homer’s Café, after Salty Lime owner Teresa Humphrey left the island recently.
“Ms Humphrey wanted to keep the Salty Lime brand, so we went back to Homer’s Café,” said museum curator Elise Outerbridge. “Homer’s had kind of a niche following.”
Some things will carry over from the Salty Lime, such as the place’s Mexican flavour.
“Eighty per cent of what’s on the menu was there from before, but I have added a few things,” Mr Lucero Navarro said.
Most of the changes are of a practical nature.
Previously, everything was made fresh to order at the café. You can still get fresh food, but now there are a variety of pre-made sandwiches in the fridge if you’re in a hurry, as well as a wide range of pastries.
“We are a café for Masterworks and we want to cater to every single person that wants to have a small meal,” Mr Lucero Navarro said. “We have three different salads, fruit, yoghurt bowl, healthy sides and rice and beans that is also in the bowls and tacos. We also have sandwiches and a couple of toasts such as avocado toast and smoked salmon toast. We also have a couple of specials and pizza.”
The smoked salmon toast is a particular favourite of his.
“The combination with salmon and goat cheese is very good,” Mr Lucero Navarro said.
Mr Lucero Navarro said the cooking space at Homer’s is tight, so the food area has been reworked to be more efficient. The fridge has been expanded, for example.
“People keep asking for soda, because not everyone wants something fresh,” he said. “Unfortunately, in Bermuda, fresh means expensive.”
So if you just want a coffee and a pastry, or a soda and a snack, or a mojito with some chips and freshly made guacamole, Homer’s Café has you covered on all counts.
Mr Lucero Navarro said a large portion of their customer base are mothers and small children. With that in mind, all the attractive cacti on the tables are plastic.
“We had real cacti but they weren’t growing well,” Mr Lucero Navarro said. “They needed more light. Also some of the children were pricking themselves on the cacti, so we got plastic.”
Growing up on Mexico’s Pacific coast, Mr Lucero Navarro’s father was a fisherman who ran a fish market.
“Since I have had memory I have worked with him,” Mr Lucero Navarro said. “Starting at ten I was cutting fish and making ceviche.”
He graduated from culinary school in Mexico when he was 21 and came to Bermuda a few years ago to work at the Beluga Bar in the Washington Mall as a sushi chef.
Mexican food and sushi are Mr Lucero Navarro’s dual culinary passions.
“I like sushi because the techniques that Japanese people have are very precise,” he said. “Things have to be done the way they have to be done. When you are talking about Mexican food, it is very open as long as you get the flavours right.”
He started cooking for the Salty Lime at Masterworks 1½ years ago, and said he loves the hours, 9am to 4pm, Monday to Saturday.
“The hours working here are amazing,” he said. “I personally as a chef never experienced that because I always worked all day with a small break.”
He had so much free time he started taking art classes at Masterworks and found he loves painting portraits.
But he said even when he’s cooking there is an artistic side to him.
“I like cooking so much and I try to make everything, even a simple sandwich, look pretty.”
Homer’s Café had a soft launch on Monday. They will be holding a launch party for the café on Saturday from 10 to 4pm. The grand opening will include free mojitos for the adults, art activities for the children and admission to the museum.
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