Set up and site
Hare and the Turtle sits on a bland suburban corner next to an electrician and a laundromat. But word of this cool new coffee and sandwich spot - which was opened by a couple of Auckland muso's (associated with indie-psych band Ghost Wave) six months back - has got around.
It's busy when we get there a little before noon (the weekend before there were queues out the door) . First impressions - it's small - four inside tables and a leaner - and a big communal table outside.
But it's got a great vibe and a cabinet full of their signature house made cinnamon buns ($5) and other sweet treats. But I'd come for the sandwiches, which had started to show up on those "best in Auckland" lists alongside proven faves on offer at Mt Wellington's Pastrami on Rye and Fed deli.
Sustenance and swill
Quality not quantity is the name of the game here. There's just eight sandwiches to choose from. I ordered the Daisy - their most popular sandwich - beef cheeks cooked for 20 hours with juniper, onion and butter, melted edam, mustard and a pickle between bread from Ponsonby's Bread and Butter bakery. Served hot it's a delicious, satisfying steal at $12 – absolutely up there with the city's best.
Others on offer include the Baloney ($12) - an Italian styled steamed salami paired with provolone, dijon and mayo - inside a house made bun and an open faced salmon on rye with cream cheese, dill, lemon, onion and capers ($16). There's also pancakes, coleslaw, fries, eggs, side salads and all day breakfasts.
Coffee is Supreme, chai from Shott in Wellington.
American-style comfort food done with class
Service and other stuff
We'd also ordered some of their home-made muesli ($10) a dish which seems to have wandered in from another kind of café altogether - almonds, oats, freeze dried berries, quinoa puffs, fresh apple sticks and yoghurt sprinkled with black sesame seeds and pomegranate – light, fresh and an absolute winner. It was so good my lunch date asked if she good buy some to take away. No problem.
Service was excellent; engaging in the way you often see in owner-operated spots - (co-owner Aletheia was delighted when informed of our love of the muesli which she said had taken weeks to get just right).
And while those cinnamon buns were pretty good - a couple next to us couldn't wait and started on theirs before their mains - it's the sandwiches I'll be driving back across town for.
American-style comfort food done with class. If you ever needed a reason to visit New Windsor this is it.
Price for two – $35.50
4 1/2 stars
1/63 New Windsor Road