As things settle into a “new normal,” more establishments open, set rules for how they’ll handle reservations, seating, mask use, and a whole host of other safety protocols for customers and staff to keep everyone safe; it’s time to start reporting on who is open, how they are handling the rules being placed on them, and how guests are responding to getting out during the time of COVID-19.

That being said, I literally took a few steps over the Rhode Island line recently into Pawcatuck, CT on the advice of a friend, to grab a late brunch one Sunday morning at Mia’s Café. They list their Sunday hours as ending at 2-ish and I arrived around 1:15 pm with no reservation but was seated with only a minute wait. As I looked around it was obvious that the seating inside was properly socially-distanced, with every other tabled blocked off from being used.

The waitress appeared quickly, and I had a glass of water and orange juice shortly after she dropped off my menu. Unfortunately, I ordered the Eggs Benedict but she came back a minute later and told me they were out of Hollandaise sauce, so I went with my second choice of the “SEAN-a-Rita,” wrap. Not only was it a delicious blend of eggs, bacon, black beans, and cheddar, it was the perfect size, it wasn’t like some breakfast burritos that leave you in a food coma. It also left plenty of room for the home fries.

I was so impressed with the home fries, I even inquired by email and heard back from Mia herself. They were so big, cut into large potato blocks really, yet not a hint that they were done in a fry-o-lator or left in the corner of an oily griddle at all. My question was if they maybe used an air fryer, but Mia assured me they cut 200-300 lbs. of potatoes every weekend, blanch, season and then “Finish them off on a flat top griddle.” No matter what they’re doing, I hope they never stop, I’d give them an award for their home fries.

My only minor complaint, and it is minor, was that the hot sauce offered came in the form of plastic packets. It was serviceable as hot sauce, and I understand that in times like these places are trying to save anyplace they can; but customers are always more partial to a condiment in a bottle.

Overall, I would give Mia’s Café top marks for their food, their service and the way they’re handling the new world of dining out in these times. And I’ll definitely be waking up early one day soon to get a chance at those Eggs Benny! You can find Mia’s Café at 1 W. Broad St. Pawcatuck, Conn.; 06379 phone: (860) 599-3840; email: ; website