Good Afternoon
Good Afternoon

Javier's Cafe review

Pancakes with blueberries at Javier’s Café in Smithtown.

Pancakes with blueberries at Javier’s Café in Smithtown. (Aug. 10, 2013) Credit: Jeremy Bales

On a temperate day in Smithtown, it's hard to imagine a lovelier setting for breakfast or lunch than the rear patio of Javier's Cafe. Here, umbrellas shield you from the harsh sun. And if the weather drives you indoors, the spare but tasteful interior can afford a view of chef-owner Edgar "Javier" Viera in the kitchen, turning out omelets and sandwiches at lightning speed.

Viera, who cooked at the nearby Maureen's Kitchen, offers many of the same dishes he made there. He has a large following. And, unquestionably, a way with eggs -- his omelets are lush and knowingly wrought. One, filled with lump crabmeat, tomato, fresh dill and covered with melted Swiss, pairs well with crusty brown home fries. Less successful are dull and doughy pancakes, which have that telltale "from a mix" flavor. Stuffed peach pecan French toast, topped with fresh sliced peaches and pecan pieces, is a bit more appealing.

One can argue that much of the lunch menu consists of glorified deli sandwiches. That, however, doesn't take into account how thinly the meat is sliced, how high it's piled, how ingeniously all the ingredients come together. Viera's sandwiches transcend themselves. The Javier's namesake sandwich, on grilled rye, combines Salsalito turkey, pepper jack cheese, coleslaw and Russian dressing to delectable effect, putting a lighter, spicier spin on the classic Reuben. The standard deli macaroni salad served alongside doesn't come up to it. Another standout is a Virginia ham, roasted tomato and mozzarella sandwich; it's scarfed down in no time. A respectable bacon cheeseburger, though, seems rather ordinary, as do the accompanying fries -- the previously frozen seasoned variety. A chicken salad platter, with coleslaw and potato salad, features shredded breast meat and a mayonnaise mixture that's very well seasoned. Good as it is, it might be even better were moister dark meat involved.

Commercially made red velvet and carrot cakes are offered occasionally. Save yourself for the moist, nutty -- and disconcertingly green -- pistachio muffins. They're made daily by the chef's wife, Argentina Viera and, though baked in the restaurant's kitchen, taste like home.

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