I had arranged to meet a friend at a Winter Park restaurant for lunch, but when we got there we discovered it was closed. Apparently its experimental lunch concept is no more, though no one felt the need to change the information on the website.
Luckily, I remembered a place I’d driven by a few weeks ago, so we hopped into my car and drove to Carrie’s Winter Park Cafe.
Carrie’s serves only breakfast and lunch, closing each day at 2 p.m. My friend and I made it in under the wire, and luckily one of us was in the mood for breakfast and the other wanted lunch.
I chose the Reuben sandwich because it has been a long time since I’ve had a really good one. (I think the last really good one I had was in 2016 when I ate at George’s Gourmet Cookies, but its Reuben is called an Abigail, for some reason, so I’m not sure that counts.)
Carrie’s Reuben was just fine, a sufficient amount of corned beef on buttery toasted rye with a slather of sauerkraut and melted swiss cheese. It came with chips but I upgraded to the macaroni salad, which I enjoyed just as much as the sandwich.
My companion chose the Chef Specialty omelet, which had ham, bacon, mushrooms, tomatoes and cheddar cheese, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a loaded omelet. And it was good, too, if just a tad tepid. It came with hash browns, which were a bit too crispy for me but exactly the way my friend likes them, so that worked out well. It came with a fried biscuit, as well.
Our server was personable and easygoing. There is a small inside dining area but the patio has more atmosphere, literally and figuratively. (You can’t get to the patio through the restaurant; use the door to the right of the main entrance.) Most of the patio chairs are metal mesh and even with seat cushions not the most comfortable seating. The metal tables are topped with plexiglass; paper napkin rollups hold the flatware.
Most of the items on the menu are $9.99 and I don’t think there’s a thing on it that costs a penny more.
Carrie’s is in the space that used to be Tolla’s and then became Canopy Cafe in 2014. I visited thinking that the restaurant was under new ownership, but apparently it just changed names. Doesn’t matter. I’ll go back again and next time I’ll have that omelet all to myself.
Carrie’s Winter Park Cafe is at 240 N. Pennsylvania Ave., Winter Park. It is open for breakfast and lunch daily. The phone number is 407-628-0068.