Friday, December 19, 2008

The French Market - une bonne crêpe

I am particularly picky about my French food as a Francophile (or maybe a Europhile), and after briefly living in Paris I am completely a snob. Paris will do that to you, don't hate me for it. Even if you do hate me for it, there is plenty of really good French food available on this side of the pond, and that's what I want and expect when I go out for it. Luckily for you and me, The French Market provides a good local crêperie!

The menu includes both crêpes and baguette sandwiches and various pastries including the misleadingly misspelled macaron (they labeled them "macaroon"; both are delicious but they are very different things, as David Lebovitz is quick to point out). Our party of four all descended on the crêpes, which come in two varieties (other than sweet and savory): galettes (partly buckwheat flour) and the standard wheat flour variety. Since there doesn't appear to be a bakery on-site I would guess they buy their bread locally and daily but that is still in the air (all the more reason to come back, no?)

I chose the vegetarian galette packed with spinach, artichoke hearts, and plenty of gruyere. Two others in our party decided on the crêpe mixte consisting ham, gruyere, and lots of black pepper. The final, and perhaps most adventurous member of our party chose the crêpe saumon with cured salmon and crême friache.

Since they lack a beer and wine license, which is a major shame because I really wanted a cool glass of Rosé to complement my meal, drinks are of the soft-drink variety.

After placing our orders we weren't sure if we were to pay immediately or after the meal and all stood around gazing at our navals waiting for some prompting from those behind the counter. Instead of providing any clue as to what we should do, they argued about orders that had or hadn't gone out. Finally I asked whether we should pay now or later to which they looked surprised and happily took our money. Ok, no problem.

At this point the cadre went outside to the extremely welcoming patio and took a seat, but I realized, as I finished paying, that I didn't have a glass for the can of Dr. Brown's Ginger Ale (it's like Rosé, right?) and didn't want to drink out of the can. I asked the woman behind the counter if I could possibly have a glass for my drink to which she replied "we don't have any ice!" Really?! Whoa. I was so taken aback that it took me a minute to explain that I didn't want ice (the drink was cold) so much as something to drink out of. Somewhat begrudgingly, she provided a small plastic cup and I retreated to the safety of the patio.

The food arrived promptly by the crêpe master of the establishment and we were all quite satisfied by the food. I quickly gobbled mine down and started trying to pick at my wife's (we had spent the morning caring for our huge yard and were both ravenous). For some reason she actually gave me a few full bites and it was also delicious.

The location is good, the interior and exterior of the restaurant are pleasant, and aside from the strange interaction at the counter, everyone in our party was quite satisfied. We will definitely be returning to try their sandwiches and desserts as well! Regrettably, rumor-has-it that the location is on its way out due to a California real-estate developer purchasing the space. Let's hope this is not the case!

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