Hidden off Mills, in the corner of a historic building which used to be Chuck’s Diner, hides a gem that shines brightly in the heart of Orlandoans who have had the pleasure to walk through its glass door. Old time-y music plays softly, while Lucille Ball runs silently on the 50s style TV above the bar as you walk into The Strand and are greeted with a particularly cheerful staff. Mary, formally of Citrus in North Quarter, immediately clears a space for us at the bar, and takes our drink order.
You can see Chef Joseph Rees, who is in the kitchen just about every day. He’s always adding his personal touch with locally focused and sourced ingredients on every single plate. Joe proudly partners with local farms and vendors, including Olde Hearth Bread Co. The chalkboard above the door lists an ever rotating local purveyor list. Using the best ingredients in town which is what they are known for. They are also choosing local vendors to provide those endures this unique spot to their customers.
Our meals arrive with carefully plated items by Chef Joe. They came with the prettiest yellow-tinged, homemade, sliced pickles on the side. The ingredients from local farmers artfully protruding from the breads.
We ordered our lunch from Erica, asking for the Avocado and Brie Sandwich on our Multigrain bread, served with avocado, brie, petite greens, tomato, and cilantro vinaigrette, coleslaw. Avocado and Brie are the perfect accompaniment to a hearty and dense Olde Hearth Bread Co. Multigrain bread, resulting in a soft sweetness to a crusty, seeded bread. This sandwich ties it altogether and offers a perfect balance between indulgence and healthy food choices.
We chatted about the decor. You can see the frosted glass bricks above the window, still showing some of the paint that blocked the sunlight under the former diner residence. You can even see the outline of the former bar on the original floor.