No, Barry isn’t a man (although if he were, everyone would be fighting over him), it’s a café on High Street that has brunch goers frothing with excitement.
There’s an overwhelmingly healthy menu – don’t roll your eyes though because there’s no average kale smoothies or quinoa salads to bore your tastebuds with.
Picture a Venn diagram with two circles; one for ‘healthy and one for ‘tasty’. The circles cross over slightly and Barry sits firmly in the centre of the overlap.
There are of course, some cheat meal options like the banana loaf with mascarpone and candied walnuts or the ricotta hot cake but most of the menu items are loaded with guilt-free, nutritious superfoods.
The Californian Superfood Salad is my favourite item on the menu! It’s also – and this is a big call – my favourite salad dish in all of Melbourne.
It’s absurdly healthy and loaded with so many goodies! It’s mostly quinoa, wild rice and shredded kale and has plenty of corn, salted ricotta, tomatoes, black turtle beans, goji berries, jalapenos, shredded coconut and finished with a spicy lime vinaigrette.
You can also add in tuna, poached eggs, avocado or house cured salmon to up the protein. And good luck getting through it, because the serving is basically a small mountain on a plate!
Put it this way – this salad is so good, the table next to yours could be feasting on the Beef Burger or pork belly and you wouldn’t feel even the slightest twinge of food envy.
If a dish comes with any “activated” ingredients, it’s probably a healthy order. Barry’s porridge is made with activated charcoal with poached rhubarb, raspberries, lemon balm and maple.
It’s a case of mind over matter because even though the bowl is decorated beautifully with the rhubarb and edible flowers, the black colour definitely throws you off.
On its own, the porridge is plain – the charcoal seems to be more for the visual rather than flavour. But a spoonful with the rhubarb, which has a sweet flavour and mushy texture, is delicious and well balanced.
Another item on Barry’s menu has “trust us” in brackets, after the description. It’s a very strange combination but one that I’ll vouch for, so don’t knock it until you try it!
Crunchy peanut butter, tomatoes and salt and pepper peanuts on toast (pictured at top).
There’s probably a quarter of a jar of peanut butter slathered onto two pieces of multigrain toast, with cherry tomatoes and crushed peanuts scattered on top.
Is it weird? Absolutely. Does it work? Surprisingly, absolutely!
The dish is a wonderful combination of salty and sweet ingredients, which compliment each other perfectly. The cherry tomatoes provide the sweet while the peanut butter and extra seasoned peanuts bring the saltiness.
It sounds like it shouldn’t taste good together, but it just does. Like the menu says, just trust it.
And there’s no shortage of fans that want to get their hands all over Barry. It’s jam packed over the weekend but worth the wait. And worth re-waiting for the next weekend when you go back for more.
Barry Coffee & Food
85 High Street, Northcote
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