A friend at work recommended I go to Barry in Northcote to try their peanut butter and banana milk drink (this was at a time in my life where every sentence I spoke somehow related to the amazing peanut butter milkshake I’d had at Tuck Shop Take Away).
I was up for it and mentally scheduled it in for ASAP.
I’d heard that Barry was a cool place. I’d read about it on Broadsheet. I was ready to be grinned at by smug hipsters when I fumbled over coffee origins, but Barry was different. The staff were really cool but also absolutely lovely at the same time. They were all so happy and attentive, which are qualities that sometimes are lacking in the “cool” cafes.
I did a quick scan of the drinks section of the menu for ‘peanut butter’ and found it. Blended Drink #1. I was ready for your banana, crunchy peanut butter, honey, cacao, almond milk, water and ice.
It came served in a really cute cup with a thick straw that wasn’t made out of paper (thank god). I mean I like stripy straws, but not if that means it’s going to be a soggy straw. It didn’t have the same whack of peanut butter that the Tuck Shop milkshake had, but it did have a good mix of other flavours. It actually tasted healthy. I think it was the cacao. Blended Drink #1 didn’t have the same creaminess as a milkshake would, because it had almond milk and ice in it but it was really tasty and refreshing. It’d be amazing on a really boiling day.
Now to order food. I saw yum-sounding dishes like coconut sago pudding and portobello and enoki mushroom omelette but then BAM! something else hit me: Crunchy peanut butter, heirloom tomatoes, salt and pepper peanuts on toast (trust us).
Oh I was ready to trust you, Barry. I was ready to be shocked and fall in love all at once.
Presentation: fuck yeah. I was ready.
When I first took a bite with peanut butter and tomato the peanut butter went to one side of my mouth and tomato to the other. MIX, DAMN IT. They were two very different consistencies, which apparently needed their own dedicated mouth area. I tried to get both the tastes at once to see what old mate Barry was talking about.
When you took a bite with the salt and pepper peanuts it really elevated the flavours. The peanut butter by itself with the tomatoes probably needed a little bit more salt, but that’s what I think about all homemade peanut butter.
If you’d said ‘peanut butter and tomatoes together’ to me before Barry I would have said that it sounded gross. But after it’s presented to you on a well-designed menu with those two little words (trust us) next to it, it actually tasted pretty nice. It’s not the same as peanut butter and raspberries, but again, it just felt healthier. And fresher. And weirder.
I love it when places serve long black coffees with mineral water. I don’t understand why but it’s a nice little bonus. Are you supposed to mix them? Who the hell knows. I just drink them both separately like the uneducated coffee-lover I am. [If you know why they do this, please tell me.]
I had a great morning at Barry. The food and drinks were surprising and delicious. Everything was also really fresh, from the interior design to the sound of the meals on the menu. The staff were really cool but really nice. If that was a Venn diagram (cool vs nice) there’s usually not much of an overlap in life. But the staff at Barry fit right in that middle cool/nice overlap.
You can find Barry at 85 High St, Northcote. Check out their Facebook page here. I forgot to mention I saw the best dog EVER out the front. So small, but so much fluff. If he’s there when you’re there, take a photo of him for me.