"Juuuuuuuuuuuust a bit outside." -- Harry Doyle
Glancing down at my random place to stuff your gullet device, I noticed the name Ossorio Bakery & Cafe staring back at me. Looking forward to the peaceful drive up the coast, I hopped in the BBDO mobile and pointed her north. Cruising into Cocoa Village with Brenda Lee "coming on strong", I languidly turned into their parking lot and came to a complete stop. Looking this way and that, I couldn't spy a parking space in sight. Waiting patiently for a space to open up, I couldn't help but get a wee bit aggravated and think to myself what a mess this was. Pulling into a vacant spot I could only hope it was not an indication of what awaited me inside. Regardless, I reset my patience and with a silent, "Once more into the breach, dear friends", trod inside.
Taking the Cafe part in their name to heart, you won't find a service professional awaiting inside to take your order, it is all self serve, including boxing any leftovers. I'm not saying this is a bad thing, just stating the facts, Ma'am. Reading the menu I picked up I was overwhelmed by the depth and diversity it offered, but as I continued to read it more closely, I noticed it was well thought out. Now, if they can execute at a high level, this could definitely be a 5 Star meal! I placed an order for a fire roasted sammich, Buddy's Beef to be exact, and a side salad that went by the moniker of Kendall's Fresh Salad.
After placing the order, I went in search of an open table. Noticing that you can sit inside or outside, finding a place to ease my frame into wasn't all that difficult. I also noticed that they have an array of fresh, made by hand pastries, a wood fire brick oven for pizzas and a whole bevy of drink selections. All of the tables were patio style and reminiscent of Parc in Philadelphia (if you haven't read that review, that was a 5 Star joint). While Parc is pure, unadulterated French, Ossorio's is clearly new American. Being notified that my order was up, I brought my mind back from the City of Brotherly Love and proceeded to the counter to retrieve my items.
As I sat back down with my order, I couldn't help but note how appetizing it all looked as well as smelled. Digging into Buddy's Beef sandwich, I was first taken in by the freshly made baguette. What a delicious hunk of bread this was. With a crunchy crust and a springy, moist interior, it was everything a homemade baguette should be and more. If there was any knock on the sammich at all it had to be the quality of the beef. It wasn't low grade, to say the least, but it certainly didn't taste nor chew like USDA Prime either. The Provolone was miles above the quality you find in chain sub shops and was obviously sliced on site.
Turning my cutlery towards Kendall's salad next, I dug my fork in and moved it around a bit. The salad was a simple spring mix, nothing earth-shattering, but a standard play on a common salad. The greens were indeed fresh, the almonds still warm from being toasted. the apples were nice and tart as Granny Smith's are known to be and the blue cheese crumbles were the real deal. The balsamic dressing drizzled over the top of the whole shebang was nice and tart, again, nothing spectacular, but well above average.
My experience was just that, my experience. I found the staff friendly, the interior pleasant, the parking a nightmare and the food just this side of receiving a 5 Star review. The execution was adequate, though the quality of beef could see just a smidgen of improvement. I rather enjoyed the self-service aspect of the place, though I do also enjoy the human interaction that comes with table service. The savings in overhead must be reflected in the price and that is something in today's world with which we all can live.
The Big Boy says, "for above average grub, friendly staff and an eclectic menu and vibe, make a point to stop in at Ossorio's Bakery & Cafe." #bigboydiningout #iamthebigboy