By Linda Bladholm
At Paris Gourmet, expect to hear French — the South Florida ex-pats have discovered this hidden treasure. Pilar Guyot greets customers and helps serve the simple French dishes while her husband, Laurent, makes the pastries, petit fours, tarts and cookies that are displayed like jewels in glass cases.
Any time of day is good for the category of foods the French call salee (salty), including quiche, pizza, croque monsieur (hot ham and cheese sandwich), croque madam (with a fried egg) and friand (small puff pastry shells with hot chicken filling). There are all the standard sandwiches, from brie to roast beef on baguettes and pressed panini, served with a daily soup. Salads are fresh and grilled chicken can be added to any of them, from spinach with Gorgonzola, walnuts and bacon to the nicoise.
Crepes can make a meal — try seafood with little nubs of octopus, squid, mussels and shrimp blanketed in creamy cheese, tomato and white wine sauce. Check the chalkboard by the entrance for daily specials. Theres often the original slow food — escargot in melted butter with garlic and parsley. Like most snails served stateside, they are the large, canned, helix variety, with a rich earthy taste.
End with a glass of Jurancon (dessert wine from the Pyrenees) and a caramelized apple crepe or éclair. There’s nothing haute about this friendly café with gracious hosts and divine desserts.
Paris Gourmet, 26 Diplomat Parkway in the Mar Bay hotel, condo and marina complex, Hallandale Beach; 954-457-4770; 7 a.m.-7 p.m. Mon-Sat, 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Sun. Sandwiches and panini $6.25-$7.25, salads $5.25-$8.25, crepes $3.50-$8.25
FYI: Local delivery available.
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