We were attending the Deland Fall Crafts Show on a recent Sunday afternoon and came across Norville Barnes' American Fare, a quaint little restaurant right in downtown Deland. Deland has a number of seemingly good places to eat, I'll have to return soon. But what drew me to Norville Barnes' was the mention I saw of their Beer and Cheddar Cheese Soup. I'm a sucker for that. So, we looked at the rest of the menu and decided to give them a try.
We enjoyed our meal here, but there were two disappointments, neither major. The first, however, was that they did not have the Beer-Cheddar Cheese soup on this day! Oh no, dang! But, the menu did look good and so we decided to stay and give them a try, and overlook this minor transgression.
I thought we'd try an appetizer, so ordered the Potsmokers. Yes, a clever play on the potential for weed-flavor, if you know what I mean. The menu said that these were "hand rolled and filled with spicy sausage that will put you under the influence." I'm not sure exactly what that was supposed to mean, but this was my second disappointment. They were just OK. Whatever the spicy sausage was supposed to be, it was not spicy and didn't taste all that much of sausage either. They weren't bad, they just weren't what I expected. They were served with a sour cream sauce of some sort. It was very mild. Had these "potsmokers" been indeed spicy, the sour cream would have been a welcome relief. But as it was, it was not needed. I would not order these again as they were just average and ordinary, nothing at all special like I was expecting.
Having gotten over my earlier soup disappointment, my friend Tommy ordered their soup of the day She Crab Soup. It was actually quite good, with a lot of crab and a lot of crab flavor in it. Up until this time, our favorite She Crab Soup has been from Two Blondes and a Shrimp in Sanford. Theirs is more chowder-like. But the soup Tommy had here was equal to that, and perhaps even the best She Crab Soup he's ever had. That's a good compliment. My earlier disappointments were erased by now!
For his main course, Tommy ordered a special of the day, a Chipotle Chicken Wrap. It was served with a choice of regular potato fries or sweet potato fries, he chose the regular fries. The wrap itself was very good, and a large portion. It had a very good flavor with lots of chicken, cheddar cheese, and a nice chipotle flavor as well, not too overpowering, just right. It was a real hit. The fries, too, were very good. They were cooked just right and served nice and piping hot. Overall, this dish was a hit.
I asked for a side salad in place of fries with my sandwich and ended up with a very delicious salad, full of romaine lettuce, walnuts and craisins. It was also topped with quite a few cherry tomato halves. For a dressing I chose a Feta Viniagrette and it was an excellent choice as it complimented the salad's ingredients very well. I'd rate this salad and its dressing as first class, all the way!
For my main course, I had a sandwich--or Sammich as the menu puts it. I had the Roast Beast Peppercorn sammich, and it was very large and very filling. A large portion of nice and tender, shaved roast beef was piled on a roll and topped with provolone cheese, and grilled. It was served with a side of a sort of jus--I guess this was the brandy and peppercorn dressing. It was very, very good. Now i have a confession to make: I ate the whole thing! Yes, it was that good, I loved it. So I overcame my earlier disappointments and really enjoyed my meal here.
During the course of our meal, we had really good and attentive service, both from our waitress and from the manager, who stopped by several times to make sure we were taken care of. Now, there are a few other places in downtown Deland that I'd also like to try, but I'd certainly go back to Norville Barnes' anytime. Next time I will call ahead to see if they have the Beer-Cheese soup, and also I'm going to try their version of tomato pie next time--it sounds very intriguing. A very nice place, I recommend it!