Ashley Brookes sprinkled fresh basil on a pepperoni pie straight from the oven.

Baricci Café a family affair

Josh Wells’ family is no stranger to the business of food.

His grandparents owned a catering company that served the Philadelphia Eagles and still does so for the Philadelphia Fliers.

After his parents relocated to the Keys 10 years ago, he and his wife Erica, continued to operate a café by the same name in Center City that produced “Best Panini” as voted by the folks of Philly.

“We were successful in Philadelphia, so we’re confident that we can succeed here,” he affirmed, adding that the family decided to the collective leap because “We saw the need.”

The Wells family, including parents Barbara and Rich, and Josh’s wife, Erica, is confident in the restaurant’s future since their family recipes call for fresh ingredients.

“We bake all of our breads in house, and our pizza dough is made from scratch,” Josh continued. “We roast all of our own meats, including prime rib we use for the Philly Cheesesteak, here on premises.”

Ashley Brookes sprinkled fresh basil on a pepperoni pie straight from the oven.

As Ashley Brookes, a fresh transplant from Maine sprinkled fresh basil on a pepperoni pie Rich pulled straight from the oven, Josh continued, “We’re hoping that our passion for food translates to our customers.”

A menu item of curious influence is the Panamanian Chicken Soup, a bowl of fresh-roasted chicken in a savory broth of vibrant, chunky vegetables. Erica and Josh both spend time in Panama operating a hostel, so they brought that experience to the menu as well.

Capt. Ariel Medero of Big Game Sportfishing devoured the bowl of soup alongside a panini stuffed with chicken, artichoke hearts and tomatoes.

“This is delicious, very good!” he exclaimed.

Barbara’s family-style take-out dinners are available each evening after a long day at work for only $11 per person. The rotating daily menu includes recipes passed down through several generations and range from lemon, honey and rosemary chicken quarters to bacon-crusted macaroni and cheese, string bean almondine and grilled corn succotash.

Erica and Barbara decorate the countertops in the joint with a host of baked goodies like Coconut Snowball and Mocha Nutella cupcakes. Classic cookies and bars can help satisfy any sweet tooth!

“We’re definitely a lunch place right now, but we’ve been getting an evening rush,” Josh noted. “We’ll likely extend our hours in the near future.”

Baricci Café, located at 61 53rd Street (next to Publix), is open Monday through Friday from 11 am to 6:30 pm. (305) 517-6752




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