Although the name sounds like it might be the title to a lurid romance novel, Delights of Benezit is actually a French bakery. A modest one, mind you, but a French bakery nonetheless, and one that will likely do well in its College Park location.
The owner of the bakery and designated disher of delights is Fabrice Benezit, a Frenchman who apprenticed in pastries in Cannes and owned bakeries there and in Monaco.
DOB is a small storefront on Edgewater Drive with a display case and a few Parisian cafe-like tables in front and what appears to be a substantial bakery in back. The cases were not exactly overflowing on either of my visits, including one in early morning when you might expect fresh pastries to be in abundant supply. But there were always enough temptables, beautiful tarts and rich looking mille-feuille and croissants.
The croissants were good. I had one as a pain au chocolat, but not until I ordered it as a chocolate croissant. The young woman had no idea, apparently, what the French term was, and I’m pretty sure it wasn’t just my mangled French. Nevertheless, it was fresh, had a perfectly crisped brown exterior and was full of nice little chips du chocolat.
On a sandwich I had a baguette as the carrier of a Nicoise sandwich, with tuna, tomatoes, onions and eggs. The bread had the characteristic hard crust and soft inside. The tuna was a tad dry, but that’s the style of Nicoise — you want moist, order tuna salad.
On that breakfast visit I also ordered a ham and cheese omelet. It was classically prepared — not the fold-over method most commonly found here — and had just the right amount of juiciness beneath the firm exterior. There were plenty of ham bits but the cheese was negligible. It was also a smaller omelet than you’ll find in most breakfast spots, but, really, plenty enough to eat, and, at $4.95, not overpriced (that, however, does not include any sides, not even a croissant).
The dine-in area is bright and clean, the tables decoupaged with French newspapers. Don’t expect a whole lot in the way of extra service — pump your own coffee from the beverage stand — but you’ll likely be greeted by Benezit himself at some point asking if everything was to your liking.
Delights of Benezit is at 2120 Edgewater Drive, Orlando. It is open for breakfast and lunch Tuesday through Sunday, closing at 6 p.m. on most days, 3 p.m. on Sundays. Here is a link to delightsofbenezitfabrice.com. The phone number is 407-203-2828.