As I made my way to Barnie's Coffee and Kitchen on Park Avenue, I couldn't help but dread the idea of walking around in the hot weather. The summer heat has found it's way to the heart of Orlando, and it's basking in all of it's glory. Luckily I was immediately welcomed by glasses of chilled mimosas upon my arrival.
Scott Uguccioni, senior Vice President of Sales, ironically deemed it as the "healthiest mimosa bar". The four drinks that Barnie's had for us were the Watermelon Mint, Georgia Peach, Tart Cherry, and a Classic Florida Orange. I decided to try the Watermelon Mint (a natural refresher) which stuck true to it's purpose and offered refreshment with a hint of mint after each sip.
I didn't get to try the Energy Bowl ($7.50) but it seemed like a great option for those looking for a light meal! The bowl was made up of Açai, almond milk, banana, greek yogurt, and vanilla granola.
One of the first dishes I tried was their Coffee Braised Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12.50) which is offered during their lunch menu. The BBQ pulled pork sandwich was served in a deconstructed style, with apple-fennel slaw and Bread & Butter pickles on the side. Chef Camilo Velasco explained that the dissected plate was meant to bring a summers take on a dish that's usually considered "heavy". I found myself reaching for the slaw most of the time as it consisted of one of my favorite ingredients, dill. The house-made pickles also added a refreshing, sweet, tartness to the dish.
The next dish I tried was their Shakshuka ($10.00) which consisted of tomato ragu, poached Lake Meadows Farm egg, thyme, feta, and buttered toast. Shakshuka, an Israeli dish that I loved in New York, has a surprising popularity amongst food-lovers these days. The egg was cooked to perfection (sous-vide's my guess) and was the highlight of the dish.
Salmon and Bagel made with Ducktrap Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, Lemon, and Dill ($11.00).
The Ultimate dish that I believe Barnie's has to offer would have to be their Lamb Meatballs ($9.00). On paper these babies are seemingly harmless. Chef Camilo has simply paired them with tomato, goat cheese, and a salsa verde. However, a bite is all you need to reveal the lamb's true succulent nature. It can be difficult to find lamb that will please my palate, which seems to detect the slightest hint of gamey-ness, but the meatballs consist of a variety of lamb that are locally sourced by the restaurant. If I had to recommend one dish, this would be it!
Last but not least were Blue Bird Bake Shop's beautiful sweets! Jeff Lambert and Joel Pfrogner, the owners of Blue Bird, revealed to us their new partnership with Barnie's and couldn't hide their excitement of bringing their sweets to the Park Avenue lane. The Classic English Scone, Orange Cranberry Scone, and Blueberry Muffin were sitting on the counter just waiting to be devoured. Grab one (or three) of the sweets, have one of the talented baristas craft you a cup of joe, and enjoy!
Photos and post by Kristine Young.