Enzian Theater & Eden Bar Still Maitland’s Best Hidden Gem

    For anyone that is a film lover- more specifically of indie films, cult hits and midnight movies- the opportunity to have a unique experience is right around the corner.


    By Michael Menendez


    When approaching the location, had no idea what I would be looking for, passing it on multiple occasions. Heavily bushed and with the appearance of a house, it was easy to do so.


    When I tested the waters, trusting my phone’s GPS that it was telling me the correct location, I was pleasantly surprised when seeing the location I had arrived at. Enzian Theatre, a one theatre cinema (probably one of the few remaining), has special showings of cult hits (with Airplane! showing later this month on August 25th) and smaller indie films that are in theatres right now (with The End of the Tour starting August 14th). They even have the film for the hopeless romantic in all of us (but still with its feet firmly placed in the indie hit catalog), showing (500) Days of Summer on August 19th.


    Enzian Theatre offers a very unique opportunity for the avid filmgoer, showing films that are rarely in theatres or aren’t as appreciated by the general public as one would hope. This alone makes the theatre special, but the peanut butter to Enzian’s jelly is Eden Bar, connected right outside to the cinema. On July 21st, Enzian and Eden Bar added 20 new food items to their already existing menu, broadening their appeal to a wider array of customers.


    “We are excited to provide new food items for our guests and the new items offer a broad range of delicious and affordable dishes,” said Veronica Jaramillo, Food & Beverage Manager. “We always aim to locally-source our ingredients and make everything in-house, which is what we’ve done with these new items.”


    Something great about Enzian and Eden Bar is that food bought at Eden Bar can be brought into the theatre, offering something far more elaborate than the standard chicken fingers and fries at more mainstream dine-in theatres. To gauge just what Enzian and Eden had new to offer, I decided to try something new from each category: appetizer, entrée, and dessert. To say the least, there was no disappointment.


    Starting off with the Cream Cheese Stuffed Pretzel Sticks, this writer was pleasantly surprised how the cream cheese accented the pretzel not only on its own, but with the sauces provided as well, spicy mustard and a raspberry sauce that both meshed with the pretzel for a different flavor that each stood on their own terms. This, mind you, coming from someone who isn’t too fond of raspberry. Here, though, Eden knocks it out of the part because of said addition of cream cheese. The mixture of that and the raspberry sauce makes for an enticing reason to come back for a second round. 


    After starting off strong, the entrée lived up to the expectations. Trying the Blackened Mahi Tacos, this writer was surprised at how tender the fish was but more importantly pleased with how well the fish was blackened, neither overpowering nor nonexistent for the spicy lovers out there. The coleslaw served on the tortilla wrap might be a little off setting to some, it does a good job of adding that little bit of extra flavor to the taco without adhering to the generic lettuce and tomato.


    Although I ordered a dessert (and a standard Samuel Adams Summer Ale), my showing was starting, something I wanted to touch on only because of how sincerely cool it was that I got to take in my drink and dessert to the theatre even though I hadn’t technically bought it inside the cinema. The raspberry beignets, my dessert of choice due to my love of New Orleans culture and anything that can correlate to it, were as close to the dish’s origin (in terms of taste and texture) that I have ever had the pleasure of tasting, in front of a great movie no less.


    All in all, this theatre and restaurant combination offers a great place to spend your afternoon at, with the outdoor bar having a great ambiance about it being almost entirely secluded from the road just outside and surrounded by flourishing green gardens amid 400-year- old oaks. The theatre has its own charm, bringing to life long dormant films in many genres, and I will be returning very soon for dinner and a show.


    Michael Menendez is a student at the University of Central Florida, where he majors in journalism.

    Michael Menendez is a student at the University of Central Florida, where he majors in journalism. – See more at: http://eastorlandopost.com/cleaning-service-sets-sights-students-gives-back-local-charities#sthash.LrtMZHan.dpuf