Thursday, August 14, 2014

Save Money, Eat Great at Carmel Cafe

One of the reasons that I always recommend Carmel Cafe & Wine Bar in Winter Park and Altamonte Springs to friends is that I can get a good deal on my meal and drinks here. Plus, every time I have visited, I have had excellent service in a relaxing, classy atmosphere.

Braised Short Ribs
I was reminded of the feasibility of dining at the restaurants recently when I ate there on a Sunday and a Monday. On these two evenings, a three-course Prix Fixe menu is available with a few different entrees features. For $14, one can choose from two different apps (including my favorite - Chickpea Fries!), soup or salad, and from four entrees. On the nights I went, the Steak Frites, Moroccan Lemon Chicken, Spinach Gnocchi, and Basil Grilled Salmon were all available. The entrees alone are typically $12-$13 for the small size so the Prix Fixe menu is a great deal!

I have tried all of the dishes except the Spinach Gnocchi, and was very pleased with all of them. The Moroccan Lemon Chicken is accompanied by a light, delicious sauce and the chicken is tender. I would suggest ordering a different side than the roasted vegetables, though, since some of them are not cooked that well. The Basil Grilled Salmon was also cooked perfectly and very flavorful. If you order the Steak Frites, the steak is pretty good - not the highest cut of meat or anything - but the crispy fries are to die for.

Moroccan Lemon Chicken
We also tried the Braised Short Ribs entree and were impressed with how tender the meat was and how delicious the accompanying sauce was. While the Poached Pear is the most popular dessert at Carmel, I wanted to try a new dessert. I would recommend the Pound Cake and Strawberries, which reminds me of a shortcake. While the strawberries were not that great, the cake was simply delicious.

Let me know your favorite dishes at Carmel in the comments section below.

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