Café con leche is a staple in many Latin cultures and those who have a penchant for that special cup of coffee (and then some) will want to visit Barnie’s Coffee & Kitchen. Barnie’s extended us an invitation to experience their menu in support of the upcoming Central Florida Home + Garden Show occurring April 4-6 at the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando.
Our culinary preview took place against a backdrop of a flowing water fountain in beautiful Winter Park, Florida. It was here that we heard from Jonathan Smiga, CEO of Barnie’s Coffee & Kitchen. Smiga retold stories of nostalgia in which a serving of tea and coffee were more simplistic in nature. The emphasis instead was on the shared family experience and not so much the drinks themselves. Barnie’s intent is to use their varied menu items as a means to bring people together and take a break from the daily grind. It certainly doesn’t hurt that these menu items have plenty to offer all on their own.
We were treated to a number of different samples of the type of food one can expect to find at Barnie’s Coffee & Kitchen and at the upcoming Home + Garden Show. The introduction to our culinary tour came courtesy of a variety of wine offerings. My selection of Spiced Apple Royale consisted of an iced cube base infused with apple flavoring. The sparkling wine selections were followed up by the highlight of the entire night, Cream of Carrot Shooters with hints of ginger and coriander. This delightful soup came served in a row of shot glasses and could serve as a meal unto itself.
A row of shrimp skewers provided another high point to the evening. Marinated in mojo, the shrimp proved to be very flavorful with just the right amount of herb aioli.
Another seafood offering, Mini Smoked Salmon Tartine, continued the fish theme but there were certainly a variety of other plates to consider. The selections were rounded out by Mini Chicken & Lentil Tagine (popular at our table), Mini Caprese Tartine, Mini Fig & Brie Tartine, and Flank Steak Skewers.
You will notice that up until this point in time little has been said about Barnie’s coffee. The evening certainly dispelled any notion that Barnie’s Coffee & Kitchen simply represented yet another coffee shop. However true to their name one can indeed indulge in a multitude of coffee selections with some beautifully presented via latte art.
Our hosts prepared an especially strong Hawaiian Kona via the Chemex method. Check out this video on Instagram for a visual demonstration. After sampling Hawaiian Kona we ordered two servings of the barista special Thai Tea Latte, iced and hot. The barista who concocted this creation revealed that the drink contained ginger from his homegrown garden. At Barnie’s, baristas are encouraged to create their own specialty drinks providing a personal touch to the menu.
You don’t have to take my word on what you can find at Barnie’s Coffee & Kitchen. Not only can you visit a number of different central Florida locations, but you can also participate in the cooking demonstrations offered by Edible Orlando Cooking Stage during this weekend’s Central Florida Home + Garden Show. You can also sample selections from Barnie’s and other noted chefs while you learn about home improvement and gardening. Either way, you are sure to expand upon the age old café con leche.
Disclosure: We were provided complimentary menu samplings to facilitate this post. All thoughts and opinions are our own.