There's a short stretch of Orange Avenue in Winter Park that's become Breakfast Central in recent months. With access to these three new establishments, there's no excuse to not start your day sated and caffeinated, and possibly healthier to boot.
Foxtail Coffee Co., 1282 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-951-7931; foxtailcoffee.com
From the tiniest cortadito to the showiest siphon brew, Foxtail imbues its coffee with an appropriate level of drama. Maybe it's the space – between the exposed ductwork of the high ceiling and the polished concrete of the floor, Foxtail is appointed with marble counters, brass lighting fixtures, black subway tile, reclaimed barn wood, and a dozen other exquisite finishes and fixtures, including hand-painted menu boards by local maker Secret Society Goods. But the attention to detail isn't a distraction from the coffee.
Rather, it's a reflection of the deep care that goes into each cup. Foxtail roasts their own beans, and they serve all of the expected espresso drinks, as well as cold brew, pour-overs, presses and siphons; less expectedly, they offer as many as six different cold brews on tap, with at least one nitro at all times. If there's any drawback, it's the lines that form at busy hours (take it from us: Don't order a pour-over during the Sunday morning rush unless you've got some really great conversationalists who don't mind sticking with you for the wait). When a home-grown coffee joint is this assured right out of the gate, we start wondering how long it will be before they plan world domination – or even just regional expansion.
Create Your Nature, 1284 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 407-636-3001; createyournature.com
When people say that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, they're usually coming from an angle of health. (Those people would probably look askance if you agreed to breakfast's importance while downing a pint of Talenti before work.) If health is uppermost in your mind, but deliciousness is right up there too, Create Your Nature is working to tempt you on both levels.
The small L-shaped space in the State Auto Body complex serves açai bowls and oatmeal bowls with intriguing topping blends. Fruity açai berry puree can be topped with chopped fresh fruits, nuts, seeds, honey, even avocado or baby spinach. Oatmeal bowls include similar fruit/nut/yogurt combos; sweet treats like the "Banana Bread" (bananas, walnuts, brown sugar and raw honey); full-on savories like the "Lacey Caprese" (diced tomato and avocado, shaved Parmesan, and basil olive oil); or the sophisticated sweet-savory blend of our favorite, the "Good Luck Parm": shaved Parmesan, olive oil, granulated honey, truffle salt and cracked black pepper. The health of the planet is considered here, too, with in-house bowls and flatware made of sustainable materials and compostable to-go serveware. Coffee is brewed from neighboring Foxtail Coffee's roasted beans; honey and preserves are made locally by Sunchowder; and oils and vinegars are from Winter Park's Ancient Olive.
Buttermilk Bakery, 1198 N. Orange Ave., Winter Park, 321-422-4015; buttermilk-bakery.com
Those of us who savor the savory more than the sweet aren't always as excited about new pastry spots as everyone else. But whether you've got a full set of sweet teeth or you're a salt-and-butter fiend to the end, skipping a trip to Buttermilk Bakery would be a big mistake.
The sugar-dusted "morning buns" crafted by the Rebroff family (Taissa, her mother Lana and her brother Phillip hold down the proofing trays at Buttermilk) are a sweet treat that turns any morning into a celebratory occasion – tipping-over tall and sugar granule-sticky, with a hint of orange, cardamom, or whatever flavor the crew deems best that day. Croissants are shatteringly crisp and insanely buttery, filled with sweet almond paste or rich chocolate on the sweet side or sophisticated savory combos like smoked cheddar and charred jalapeño or mushroom and Gruyére. We haven't tried the brownies yet, but the next time we see them lurking in the case like a stack of decadent black bricks, we're grabbing with both hands. Hand pies, tarts, galettes, quiches and bread loaves crowd the case each morning; unless you're on a real diet kick (in which case, hie thee to Create Your Nature), we suggest one treat to eat in and one to take with you.
Now, this article is all about breakfast, so we won't talk about Buttermilk's lunch – their gorgeous, intensely flavor-packed tartines and sandwiches will just have to wait for another day to see print. But there's no reason for you to wait until then to try them.
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