Saturday, October 10, 2009

A Trip to the BriarPatch

Recently while on a farmer's market Saturday, we strolled down Park Avenue with some friends.  OK, actually, let's be realistic.  Our friend, Sharmila, was actually craving this brie, apple & ham omelette a neighbor had raved about. So, we made our way in search of the BriarPatch Restaurant.  Like many restaurants on Park Avenue, they had outside seating, which we love to see.  I mean, who doesn't like to people watch while scarfing down delicious food?

The outside area has a comfortable, porch like feel to it.  Once through the front doors, you immediately are drawn to the ice cream parlor in the front where they offer ice cream, milk shakes and ridiculously large cakes (more on that later).  We got there around lunch time and it wasn't too busy, so we were seated right away.

Marily ordered the blackened grouper sandwich and I opted for the gorgonzola filet mignon sandwich (and yes, Sharmila got her brie & apple omelette - no ham).

Blackened Grouper Sandwich

Gorgonzola File Mignon Sandwich

Marily was not impressed at all with her blackened grouper.  This is Florida, so I'm not sure how you can go wrong with this choice...well OK, here's how:  bones (the noticeable ones...ones that should have been noticed by the kitchen staff), lack of flavor (didn't we say it was blackened? I mean the definition of blackening is to dredge through herbs and seasonings) and the lack of a condiment (an aioli perhaps...maybe some freshly made tarter sauce...or heck, a dab of mayonnaise would have sufficed).

I had much better luck with my selection.  I honestly didn't know what to expect, since this was under the "burgers" section of the menu.  As you can see in the picture, it was literally a small filet mignon on a bun.  Joining the steak was the gorgonzola, romaine lettuce and a tomato slice.  The filet was properly seasoned and perfectly cooked.  The gorgonzola was amazing and was a wonderful compliment to the protein, offering a nice buttery, salty and bold flavor to the sandwich.  I had to fight Marily off my plate, only allowing her a few bites ;-)  As delicious as it was, I thought there was some room for improvement.  I don't think the romaine lettuce did the filet justice and something more along the lines of a spring greens mix (or just something more gourmet  and able to stand along side the filet would have been a better choice).  Also, the bun was almost english muffin like...while I can't put my finger on what would have been the better fit...I know the one chosen didn't have me screaming that it was a culinary, orchestrated masterpiece.  Neither the bland romaine nor bun was enough for me to deny this was an overall good sandwich, that I would order again.

Unfortunately, we didn't have room to try any of the desserts.  I'm not sure if it was the fact that we had eaten bagels and cinnamon rolls at the farmer's market earlier on top of the sandwiches or if we were just intimidated by the gigantic cakes in the display case:

It looked like the options were red velvet cake, carrot cake and a chocolate layer cake amongst various pies.  Next time, I vow to order a slice of one of these cakes (even if I have to share it with the whole table).

Overall, the BriarPatch was a good restaurant offering good service, good food and some potentially delicious desserts.  We would definitely return for the gorgonzola filet mignon sandwich and find Marily another option!

Briar Patch on Urbanspoon

One response to “A Trip to the BriarPatch”


i love the winter park farmers market! the cakes look great @_@

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