It’s been seven years since I first covered the opening of French Corner Café in Leucadia and they have since added a second location in Carlsbad. But the original location is still as popular as ever.
It’s always been a weekly visit for me and to be honest, I have not been very adventurous in my selection as their Le Jambon Fromage sandwich on a fresh baguette with French ham, gruyere cheese, French cornichon pickles and butter, is the sandwich that transports me back to Montpellier in the south of France every time I eat it and I like that feeling.
On a recent visit, I was paying a bit more attention to the building that surrounds French Corner, as the structure is designed like modern-day versions of our treasured boat houses on Third Street in Encinitas.
Those boathouses are the reason I’m in Encinitas today as my best friend Jim Klemmer lived in one for years, and staying in them over 20 years ago was my introduction to Encinitas. Their funky, eclectic vibe contributed greatly to my love of this place.
Anyway, I got to thinking one day while enjoying lunch below one of the modern boats, that appear to have living spaces in the upper level, how cool it would be to live in the unit above French Corner and simply run downstairs daily for breakfast and lunch.
Having an active imagination, I decided to share this fabulous housing/culinary fantasy in the form of a column and in the process highlight and remind folks how lucky we are to have a French corner in both Leucadia and Carlsbad.
With that, here are my selections for seven days of breakfast and lunch at French Corner, while residing above it in the modern boat structure. Naps would be in order in between meals of course.
I would start the week off on Monday with the Breakfast Croissant that includes two scrambled eggs with Gruyere cheese and French ham in a fresh-baked croissant. Simple, delicious and satisfying. For lunch, I’d get a little fancy with their Provencal French Stuffed Tomato. It’s a large baked tomato stuffed with turkey and their secret sauce and served with bread and oh my is it good.
Tuesday morning I’d go for their Breakfast Frittata which is basically a crustless quiche with eggs, roasted potatoes bacon and parmesan served with organic greens and homemade Dijon Vinaigrette. When lunchtime rolls around I’ll be craving bread, so I’d go with the Le Jambon Fromage sandwich on a fresh baguette that I described in detail above. I think this is my favorite sandwich ever.
Wednesday: I’d like to indulge on the sweet side of things, so it’s got to be the La Nutella Crepe filled with Nutella spread and I’m going to add bananas and strawberries. This paired with any of the fabulous coffee options is so decadently delicious that if you like to go sweet on occasion, please give this combo a try. Lunchtime on Wednesday has me enjoying another favorite, the Le Poulet which is the homemade chicken salad with celery, almonds cranberries and a light mayo curry sauce.
Thursday for breakfast I’m going back to the savory side with the oh so sexy sounding Omelette du Parisian. It’s a three-egg omelette (French spelling so I’m going with it) with French ham, shaved onions and gruyere cheese. Oh, and just in case you are intimidated by the pronunciation of this cheese…as I’ve been for years, it goes like this, (groo–yehr). Oh, and the omelette is all that and then some. I’m keeping on the lighter side for lunch with the La Nicoise Salad with boiled egg and albacore tuna salad.
Breakfast on Friday is another French favorite the Tartine Avocado. The tartine, in its simplest incarnation, is often referred to as the national breakfast of France. This one has goat cheese, sliced avocado, cherry tomatoes and Dijon vinaigrette and you can add an egg on top. Simple sounds good for lunch today with the Le Caprese Sandwich with pesto, fresh sliced tomatoes and mozzarella cheese. So good.
Saturday morning is Quiche Lorraine. The classic quiche is calling and honestly, I could eat this every morning and not tire of it. Le Saucisson, the sandwich with dry salami, French Brie and cornichon pickles will be what I savor for lunch.
On the seventh day of my French Corner week, I’d have to go big at breakfast with their heavenly French Toast. How about two brioche French toasts with berries, shaved almonds and organic maple syrup? Yes, please. The Aux Fromages sandwich includes a delightful mix of imported cheeses including mozzarella, Gruyere, aged cheddar and blue. Think of it as the best cheese sandwich ever.
So there you have it, a delightful seven days of French goodness, complete with a French music soundtrack.
I must mention that there are a plethora of sweets including madeleines, cannelés, fruit tarts and many more. All of this goes so well with an assortment of sexy French coffee, juices and sodas. Incredible whole pies and tarts are also available for that next special occasion as well as catering.
This place is a gem folks and is worth exploring. Hope this helped to pique your interest.
French Corner Café is located at 1200 N. Coast Hwy 101, Encinitas – 760.230.2221 and 2744 Carlsbad Blvd, Carlsbad – 760.453.7475 www.frenchcorner.com