Tuesday, April 24, 2012

French Baker's Beef Burgundy, a taste of indulgence

It was one of those days. Slightly depressed, I rationalized that I need to have a food fix. And one restaurant that I usually succumbed to is French Baker. I love its cafĂ©-style ambiance and the clean and cheery colors of its interiors. My blue days has often been spiked with my fixations of its different dishes like the Korean Beef,  Hickory Spareribs and lately, the Chicken Cordon Bleu. But the other day I changed it up a little, indulged if I may. I’ve always wanted to try the Beef Burgundy in Casserole, their version of Beef Bourgignonne So I gave in.

I’ve read Beef Bourguignonne in the book Julie and Julia and heard about it on the former’s movie adaptation. I haven’t been to any authentic French restaurant( though  I would love to visit one someday) so I can’t say if this tasted authentic. Nonetheless, I was glad I tried it.

Before the main dish arrived, I sipped their brewed iced tea first. As always, I loved it, my favorite ice tea, with the Wendy’s iced tea coming in second. It wasn’t too sweet, squeezed with a little lemon and blended with a sprig of mint, the combination was refreshing.

Their soup was called the Italian chicken soup. Not too thick and laden with chunks of chicken and thin pasta. The croutons were not as soft even if it was soaked in soup already, I wonder why.

Then the Beef Burgundy arrived. It completed the spread that spelled a good, hearty meal. I can feel the blues slipping away. Some indulgence does bring a whiff of joy in an otherwise cumbersome day.

The dish was rich. Though it may have been braised in red wine, the alcohol have evaporated and have seeped gently in the brown sauce. Tasting it, I’m thinking a dollop of butter have been stirred in to balance the acidity of the red wine because I noticed a creamy and velvety quality to the sauce.

The portion was also bigger than I expected, maybe good for two people if you eat like a bird. Because the waitress said that it’s good for two. I deferred from polishing it off. A little self-conscious on my part, ha J The beef was tender as I expected it to be but the mushrooms gave it depth. The soft texture of the mushroom lent a luxurious appeal to the sauce while the olives gave it contrast with its tartness. Overall,  a good testament of French cooking if this only the regular type version.

Going out of the restaurant, my mood lifted up a bit. I tried something I haven’t tried before. Beef Burgundy. Sometimes, going out of your comfort zone can be uplifting. Trying out new things or new dishes reminds you that life can offer something more, more than the usual humdrum of activities or  dishes you’re comfortable with. Having said that, I can’t wait for our hiking trip next month, Mt. Manabu, here I come J

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