Monday, December 3, 2007

Restaurant: French Roast


French Roast, while technically a chain, is actually an above average French place simply because it does simple, popular French food in almost a diner like atmosphere. Similar to the other restaurants owned by this group, like L'Express, the restaurant is crowded, not too expensive, and serves up a wide variety of french, and French American fare. My recent trip to the west village location was for a very late brunch (is there any other kind?). I started with my usual Bloody Mary and a cup of coffee. Having had this maybe a thousand times, it takes a lot for me to actually notice something special. The bloody mary was exceptionally good, with just the right amount of tomato juice, pepper, vodka and horseradish. I even got a slice of cucumber with it, practically a healthy drink. The coffee was distinct for a simple reason, it lived up to it's name. The coffee actually tasted like the beans had been roasted thoroughly, and had that rich flavor that is lacking in 90% of the coffee out there now.

For the actual meal (there's only so many bloody mary's you can drink before you eat something) I got a croque poulet, or in English a grilled chicken sandwich. Similar to a croque monsieur, it was made with gruyere and grilled so that it was crispy and cheesy. It came topped with avocado slices, and a small side salad with a vinaigrette. The bread and cheese were amazingly rich, and the chicken nicely flavored with some herbs. Ultimately it was a great change of pace from a burger, eggs, pancakes, waffles or other standard brunch fare. Heck it looked so good (and big) that the large woman next to me kept staring at me and my plate as I ate it. Slightly uncomfortable, but flattering for ordering right. The only thing I would have changed was having the avocado actually in the sandwich instead of on top, and it wasn't exactly ripe, but it's also not the season.

Overall I would go back to French Roast, I have no idea what it would be like for dinner, but for brunch, it gives some great options besides the standards, with a french spin of course.

Laugh like the French, Eat Like the French

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