Friday, April 30, 2010

French Baker, one of my comfort food source

I usually find myself in French Baker when I want to reward myself. Mind you,I don't go here for the bread, though I love their Danish varieties but more for their rice dishes. I remember going here on my first day out without the baby, and only recently after an exhaustive week of chasing a very energetic toddler. And as much as I want to splurge and buy myself a piece of steak in a fancier restaurant, I go here not only because it’s nearer our place and it’s prices are lower but because it has a more casual ambience, I don’t need to be conscious of what I’m wearing and can read a book in peace in the company of old gentlemen sipping their coffee and ladies enjoying their Danish and tea.

Though French Baker offers various types of breads and pastries, they also have different special dishes like their creamy chicken ala king and their tasty version of Korean beef. But for a reward, I usually order their hickory spareribs with mashed potatoes and buttered corn and carrots side dishes. And since I feel that the spareribs would taste better with rice, I also order an extra cup on the side. Yes, I am a carbo addict, I’ll have a hard time with a South Beach diet. I just love my mashed potatoes, corn and carrots and rice with a delicious slab of meat, yum!

If you’re familiar with the Filipino barbecue, marinated thin slices of meat in skewers cooked over an outside grill, you would know what French Baker’s hickory spareribs almost taste like. It is slightly on the sweet side with a light peppery taste. It is surprisingly tender, you can slice it with a fork, and its sauce doesn’t drown the meat’s flavor . Meanwhile, the pork fat in the meat adds more succulence to the spareribs, giving me a chance to rationalize the extra rice I ordered. I also liked that it was a thinner slab of meat compared to a full steak, eating it was easier and you don’t feel heavy afterwards.

I also love their mashed potatoes side dish with its right combination of creaminess and texture. The potatoes were soft and velvety and had some slivers of mushroom embedded in it, a great partner to the spareribs. The buttered corn and carrots also provided a sweet crunch and good contrast to the creaminess of the potatoes and the tanginess of the pork.

And since I enjoyed the meal so much, I decided to order their mango crepe. I was excited that the meal would end in a high note but I was slightly disappointed. Though its presentation was impressive, the crepe had a thick batter, it was like eating a thin pancake. Crepes should have an airy feel to eat, a light smoothness that goes through your mouth bringing along the sweetness of the fruit that accompanies it like the mango. Oh well, that’s okay I still felt satisfied, next time though, I may think it over before ordering it again.

Rewarding yourself means different things to different people. Some do retail therapy, some pamper themselves in spas or salons, but me I reward myself by going to not so expensive restaurants like French Baker and order my favorite comfort foods. It’s not just the food, there’s also something satisfying watching people go by and reading your favorite book while waiting for your wonderful meal to arrive.

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