Tuesday, December 2, 2008

The French Pastry Shop-Santa Fe 11-27-2008

We had arrived in Santa Fe the rather late the night before after a long flight and an hours drive from Albuquerque so we would have to put aside our appetites until the next morning.

The early Thanksgiving morning greeted us with gray, and rain filled clouds and a clean, cold crispness in the air. None of which deterred from walking into town to seek out our first food adventure in Santa Fe. Seeing that it was Thanksgiving Day we knew that our choices would be limited but we were optimistic that we would find something that would satisfy us.

We headed down to the plaza, which was an easy ten-minute walk from our little casita. For weeks our excitement grew for experiencing true southwestern food in Santa Fe and French food was one of the last things we had planned on eating while we were there. Well being the French foodies that we are I must admit our joy when we stumbled upon the “French Pastry Shop” near the heart of Santa Fe’s historic plaza. The plaza was a virtual ghost town since it was a holiday so we were thrilled to find that it was open.

Like many places it Santa Fe the interiors had a quirky, rustic patina, which added to its charm. But hey we were there to satisfy our never failing craving for French pastries and not for the ambience. Fortunately it was not too crowded and we quickly sat ourselves down to a small table. The restaurant was a comfortable mix of locals (always a good sign) and some obvious tourists like us. They are open for breakfast and lunch.
A very friendly and perky young lady immediately greeted us and we promptly order café au lait. There was a dizzying selection of traditional pastries to choose from and on top of that a variety of sweet crepes.

I decided to have a cheese Danish, which was not the most traditional of French pastries and David ordered his favorite pain au chocolat. Our pastries were accompanied by our café au lait’s, which were oddly served in coffee mugs. Not my favorite way to drink my au lait but after one sip of the perfect frothy milk and the strong coffee I happily put aside my preference for a traditional bowl.

Breakfast for me always poses a particular dilemma. Do I want savory or sweet? Sometimes I crave both so we decided to also have a chorizo and egg crepe. What a perfect way to satisfy our cravings for southwestern food with a French influence. There was no fussiness to the crepe; it was simply served by itself with no garnishes, which was fine by me. The pancake was perfectly cooked, slightly crisped on the outside and a soft slightly dough like quality inside. The chorizo was everything I like it for. It was mildly spicy, the color of dark paprika, and a little oil, which is so good. I barely detected the eggs but the cheese, undoubtedly Swiss added a nice flavor and held it all together.

If you find yourself in Santa Fe craving something French and something casual make sure you head straight down to the French Pastry Shop for breakfast. It’s friendly service and delicious food will certainly please. If I were a local you would surely find me there many mornings of the week enjoying my au lait and pastry. Besides there are always the remains of the day for Southwestern food!

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