Fresh croissant & chocolate raspberry coffee with cream.
3 Spanish-speaking people at the square table behind Joel. At first, I thought they were speaking some eastern or middle European tongue, but soon the familiar, “poco” and -mente” came through. Perhaps Portugese with an American accent, Joel says.
The parking lot was full against the building, but the dining room was not. We got the big, long table in the corner.
Outside the window a father with his two girls, one in an umbrella stroller, tied their golden retriever to the park bench before coming inside to order. Another family arrived soon after and a toddling child with blonde curls was pleasantly surprised to almost run into the pet.
Inside, a sweet aroma speaks of fruit- a pie or pastry- my nose cannot tell, though I see the waitress is arranging the colorful display. The glass case has a warm glow of light. The darkish corner has bread baskets; far from overflowing, I wonder how early the customers come for their loaves.
It seems a place for meetings, whether it be new business, partners, old-friends or family.
The place grows on you. One or two familiar employees, though the others may change, give you a sense of welcome. Three rooms and a patio provide plenty of seating, so you don’t feel you should leave quickly, even if you are only sipping on a glass of water- your empty coffee cup and plate, clean of every buttery flake of croissant.
New rugs are being rolled out on the wood floor. Everything is fresh, even the dishes, napkins and empty jelly, jam and butter packets just abandoned.
La Chatelaine has a new advertisement, printed on tented paper, set on the tables. 3 to 6p.m. happy hour isn’t only for people at the bar. Perhaps my $5 dinner can be a cheese plate or charcuterie platter one afternoon. Joel’s eye caught the fried potatoes, “pomme frites”.
A black menu board boasts iced lattes, cro-nuts, and indochine baguettes. I wonder at the definition for the last two. Gazpacho for Deborah. Will she visit Columbus & Worthington one day?
So quiet this morning, just after 8 a.m. The employee chatter and pop French radio station is not as distracting as it seemed our first visits.
Perhaps one day we should run our own. But then what time would there be to enjoy these places? How pleasant to be able to support their efforts without much, if any, strain of our own.
A mother and three children view the variety of pastries. “Are any, perhaps, gluten free?” She asks in a not very hopeful tone of voice.
“Actually, we do have one. The coconut macaroons are made with almond flour.”
For a moment I am tempted to purchase a few to take to my gluten-free friends, but Sunday is two days off, and freshness and atmosphere are part of the recipe of their success.