Fontina-and-apple panini with white-bean-and-ham soup
Drizzly gray days can really amp up a restaurant diner's coziness requirement. On this late October morning, Barrio Bakery
— on North Winooski Avenue in Burlington's Old North End — called to me.
I'd only visited once, and just for coffee, but I'd heard that Barrio's owners, Jessica and Ryan Bunce, are opening a breakfast and lunch café, dubbed One Radish
, in the Richmond space formerly occupied by Parkside Kitchen (and before that, On the Rise Bakery). It was time for a taste of the coming attractions.
Waiting in line to order, I noted the spot's friendly, neighborhood vibe. Nearly every person who walked through the door had a warm greeting for somebody who was already ensconced there. At one table, midwives talked about work. At several others, folks typed away on their laptops. One coffee drinker was reading a book by Haruki Murakami
The pastry case was full of good-looking treats, including a savory tart, perfect-looking scones and croissants. Signs advertised additional offerings such as panini, a recent addition to the Barrio menu. I wanted the one stuffed with fontina and apples, but I also wanted the white-bean-and-ham soup, so I ordered a combo ($7.50).
The sandwich was toasty and melty, with slices of apple falling out the side. The soup was satisfying and rustic — white beans, ham chunks and pieces of onion sat in the golden broth, and little globules of melted fat floated on top. I love fat, so I mean that in the best possible way.
There was enough cash left over for a nicely made soy cappuccino with a little bit of maple ($3.88), which served as dessert.
When One Radish opens, count me in.
Dining on a Dime is a weekly series featuring well-made, filling bites (something substantial enough to qualify as a small meal or better) for $12 or less. Know of a tasty dish we should feature? Drop us a line: firstname.lastname@example.org.