BURPING FRENCH

Dine al fresco or inside at Cafe Breton.

Dine al fresco or inside at Cafe Breton.

Only the French can capture the essence of a French meal unless you were a French man, or woman, in one of your past lives. Café Breton, I learnt, was started by a Frenchman living in Manila eons ago. The Frenchman’s plan was to open up another restaurant-café.

“It started in Ermita,” related my Uncle Ric, my mother’s older brother, between bites of his salmon sandwich. It was one of those rare occasions that relatives from my mother’s side and my family could get together to catch up.

He continued after a bite: “He sold it and intended to set up another restaurant but never got around to it. He passed away. I believe this is a franchise.”

Café Breton in Greenbelt 3 in Makati never lacked diners. When one group leaves, another group will come through the door without fail for a coffee or a bite or both in a couple of minutes. Food choices, I observed, were always a sandwich and a crepe, sweet or savoury, or both, which was also how our orders went. Top choice for sandwich was Go Fish (PhilP225) – one for my uncle and one for me. It is an open- face sandwich of smoked salmon on a bed of scrambled eggs on whole wheat toast topped with fresh cream, capers, and fresh onion suvers. My experience with salmon sandwich has never been good; it was either bland or dry. But it has never deterred me from always ordering it. It was my lucky day! Go Fish was a well balanced, flavourful blend of succulent salmon and cream.

Go Fish -  a scrumptious salmon sandwich

Go Fish – a scrumptious salmon sandwich

Next choice was Chicken Asparagus (PhilP190), a plate of chicken salad on a bed of lettuce and asparagus on brown bread that seemed to have sat well with my mum. Tuna sandwich made it to the table, too. Café Breton serves Tuna Melt (PhilP160), a serving of creamy and spicy tuna spread, melted cheese, tomato and lettuce. My dad finished it.

For those who want chicken for lunch - Chicken Asparagus

For those who want chicken for lunch – Chicken Asparagus

There's Tuna Melt for the tuna lovers. It's a perennial favourite.

There’s Tuna Melt for the tuna lovers. It’s a perennial favourite.

Crepe was the next course, naturally. First was Galette Bretonne (PhilP300), a savoury crepe big enough to split among the four of us, so soon everyone was digging into spinach, shrimps sautéed crab meat and onions, fresh cream, and gruyere cheese. If you’re a hearty eater, a plate would do; if you’re not, it is best shared. The second crepe – two different kinds, to be exact – was for dessert that was not saccharine to the taste as I perceived it would be. Dessert crepe one was mango crepe with special cream sauce, caramel syrup, vanilla ice cream, and whipped cream called Déjà vu (PhilP248). Second one was on the chocolaty side but still with a bit of fruit called Le Magnifique! (PhilP240) It’s packed with banana, chocolate hazelnut spread, whipped cream, almonds, and chocolate syrup.

Pair the sandwiches and crepes with a cup of Cafe Americano.

Pair the sandwiches and crepes with a cup of Cafe Americano.

Cappuccino also goes well with the sandwiches and crepes.

Cappuccino also goes well with the sandwiches and crepes.

Deja Vu - a delectable mango crepe

Deja Vu – a delectable mango crepe

Le Magnifique - a chocolaty banana crepe

Le Magnifique!  A chocolaty banana crepe

That Café Breton has not turned into a pseudo-French restaurant is one reason to celebrate. One is not duped into enduring a French meal and having to pay big bucks. It also is a sweet place to meet up with family and a true blue French who just happens to be a good friend’s husband and someone you know by name. The menu is teeming with everything French highlighted by crepes – sweet and savoury – that are prepared on the spot, strong and good coffee, peppered with a variety of omelettes, and an array of satisfying sandwiches. If you’re looking for pasta, you’ll be a tad disappointed – they only one have spaghetti Bolognese if memory serves me right. Reminder- it is a French cafe. Advice: skip the pasta.

Photo op with Uncle Ric photo bombed by the cheeky Cafe Breton staff

Photo op with Uncle Ric photo bombed by the cheeky Cafe Breton staff

 

Burp…burp. Excusez-moi!

 

 

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