Friday, June 02, 2006

a little patisserie along the way

Over Memorial Day weekend, Mr. Cupcake and I did a 6+ mile hike at the Point Lobos State Reserve just past Carmel. The coastline was amazing, but I thought my legs were going to fall off when we finally made it back to the car.

After our hike, we eventually made our way to lovely little Carmel, CA. It was only 4 in the afternoon, and we were standing outside Patisserie Boissiere Cafe debating whether or not we should do an early dinner. A man saw us staring at the menu, and said "I ate there earlier and it was excellent!". We were sold.

They were still serving the lunch and brunch menus, so there was a variety of breakfast items, salads, soups, and other specials. I debated whether or not to get something nice and fatty or just go with something on the lighter side. Afterall, I did just walk 6+ miles. That usually warrants something deep fried at least twice. I must have been delirious from all the sun because I went with the soup and salad.

I ordered the French Onion soup since it appeared to be a specialty of theirs. I was not disappointed. The soup was rich and flavorful. There were big chunks of bread inside the soup that had absorbed the oniony broth. I don't particularly care for the cheese, so I ate around most of it. I know that's crazy since the cheese is a major component of French Onion soup. I did like the crispy cheese along the rim of the bowl though. Mr. Cupcake also ordered the soup since he is a huge fan of French Onion soup. He enjoys the cheese though especially when it dips into the broth and becomes like molten lava. He gave the soup high marks as well.

For my salad, I went with the crab and avocado. It came with a creamy vinaigrette that I wasn't too keen on. The dressing just didn't have much flavor. I also didn't like the shredded crab. It would be been better if they had used lump crab pieces instead. The salad wasn't mind boggling good, but I didn't leave hungry. I kept stealing bites of Mr. Cupcake's chicken pot pie.

The pot pie was good. At first Mr. Cupcake thought it was a little too rich and creamy, but the texture grew on him. I liked the mashed potatoes on top. I could have eaten just those and been happy. The filling was hearty and delicious. I then wished I had ordered the pot pie instead of my salad. Maybe next time. Mr. Cupcake didn't like his salad. His balsamic vinaigrette was better than my dressing though.

Mr. Cupcake and I debated whether or not we should order dessert. This was a patisserie though, so how could we not?! The restaurant doesn't provide a dessert menu. Instead we had to walk up to the case in front of the restaurant and decide there. There were so many lovely pastries and cakes that it was hard to decide. I let Mr. Cupcake make the decision because we were sharing.

He went with the banana cream pie. The pie was excellent. The filling had great texture and a nice mellow banana flavor. The almonds accented the pie very well. The strawberry was good but only because it was coated in a sugar glaze. Without it, the berry would have been lackluster. Perhaps I should start glazing my strawberries? Anyway, it was definitely a great way to end such a nice day.

Our total bill was about $40 before tip. Over dinner, Mr. Cupcake and I discussed how we've noticed the overall quality of food in restaurants in California is so much better than anywhere else we've lived. I guess it has to do with the amount of competition and the fact there's so much locally grown produce available. It's another reason why we love living out here.

I still have a ton more to share, but I've done enough blogging for the day. Hopefully I can do more catch up this weekend.

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