Friday, December 01, 2006

Beans and Barley

Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are.—Brillat-Savarin

I woke up last Saturday at 1:30pm and was surprised to find the day still sunny and warm. It was a perfect day to visit a favorite neighborhood café for a relaxing brunch before heading in to work at 5pm. Beans and Barley is a small specialty grocery store/deli that sold health foods and some organic produce. It also has a small café with approximately 20-25 tables within a glass conservatory. I love the atmosphere in the café as it is always sunny and warm. It’s perfect for a relaxing meal and catching up with old friends.

On a nice day like this, I like to take a slow stroll from my place to the café but because I was too lazy I had to go to work later, I decided that we should drive there. Beans and Barley serves a wonderful selection of breakfast/brunch dishes including Whole Wheat Pancakes (elect to add blueberries!), thick sliced Almond French Toast, Pesto Scrambled Eggs and their 3-egg Omelettes (choose from Fine Herbs or Vegetable). I was practically salivating at the thought of a 3-egg vege omelette with extra turkey meat. The café serves a huge selection of vegetarian dishes and only two kinds of meat: turkey and chicken. Carnivores would feel out of place here.

Unfortunately, there was a wait when the bf and I got to the café and brunch was over by the time we were seated. I was about to bawl because I could almost taste my omelette in my mouth. Deflated, but not defeated, I decided to have the Chicken Pine Nut Sandwich while the bf had the Hummus and Vegetable Pockets.


First, I started off with a nice calming pot of black tea with milk.

After we ordered, I started fooling around with the camera and took these pics:




Then the food came:

We shared a bowl of Vegetarian Chili as an appetizer. The chili (a stew-like dish made with chili powder, beans and traditionally, meat) came with a choice of either raw onions or cheese as a topping. I thought that the pungent aromatic bulb added a nice crunchy texture to the chili but its strong aroma completely overpowered the meatless chili stew. What can I say, I like meat!


The Hummus and Vegetable Pockets: Toasted pita bread stuffed with baby spinach, tabouli, sliced tomato and cucumber, alfalfa sprouts and dollop of hummus, served with tahini dressing. It was deliciously crunchy and refreshing. Hummus, made from mashed chickpeas, olive oil and sesame seed paste is very high in protein, fiber and mono-unsaturated fat. Thus, it’s very filling, making it the food of choice when I am on a diet and trying to get more bang for calories consumed.

The bf couldn’t wait for me to set the white balance on the camera and took a chunk off the side of this pita pocket.

The Chicken Pine Nut Sandwich: A cold sandwich made with 2 slices of French bread, sliced tomato, lettuce and stuffed with a chicken salad made with lemon-shallot mayo and pine nuts. I was disappointed with the quality of my sandwich. The bread tasted and looked like day old Wonder bread and the chicken meat was dry and tough. I have had this sandwich previously at Beans and Barley and it has never tasted like this. I wonder if this was a fluke or if the quality of the food has declined. The bf’s pita pocket tasted good though and I ended up eating a lot of his food.

Both dishes at a glance

All in all, it was an enjoyable experience because of the relaxing ambience and nice wait staff.

The bill came up to RM76.96. What kind of meal can I get for that kind of money in Msia? Anyone volunteering to go makan-makan with me when I am back in Penang?

We left the café as the sun was setting. It signaled the end of a beautiful day and the beginning of another long night for me at work.


BEANS & BARLEY MARKET & CAFE
1901 EAST NORTH AVENUE
MILWAUKEE, WI 53202

(414) 278-7878 VOICE
(414) 278-7800 MENU INFO

NOW OPEN 8:00 A.M. - 9:00 P.M.
SEVEN DAYS A WEEK








1 comment:

misery said...

$20 is cheap for all that food. Over here, it would probably have been bout...AUD30!!

yea let's go makan makan when we're back!!