French Coffee Shop
 Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio       Date of Visit  04/19/13    
   No Known Website

Steph and I had lunch here probably six years ago and I couldn’t remember much outside of the soup so since we are cruising into the Falls together for a few weeks I thought maybe we would give it another try. Seoul Garden was an enlightening experience last week so let’s give the frogs a turn, maybe they even serve frog legs. Set in a little strip mall, this place has been around for some time and much of the clientele have as well. If I had to guess, the interior was set up in an effort to replicate a sidewalk café. The atrocious lighting and enclosed feeling of the dining room counterfeit the design making it feel dingy and cheap. The interior also evidences every year of service it has provided.



Cheesy Salad Was Fine

There was one young man attending to the dining room. He was nice. He was also about as efficient as the Maginot Line was at keeping the Nazi’s out of France in World War II. I had to wonder if the plan is to serve Americans in the same manner they are served in France. We ordered a crepe and a sandwich, one with a salad and one with soup.

Steph ordered the grilled chicken breast sandwich. Seasoned chicken breast with some kind of cheese, house made French mayo which has a distinctive kick of mustard and DanDee potato chips.

The best thing about the sandwich was the bread…long, thin and French, the baguette wasn’t extraordinary but it is certainly good. I also really enjoyed the spicy kick of the mayo but the sandwich overall is dry and lacking any punch when taken together. The salad was straightforward and loaded with thinly shredded cheese, not bad.

Looked Interesting

Tasted About As Plain As Plain Gets...And Dry

I tried the creamed chicken crepe gratinee. Soup was an option so I went with what the place is apparently known for… French onion soup gratinee.  Made in house the lightly beefy stock supports the sweetness of the caramelized onions and the whole mess is topped with a thick layer of Swiss cheese melted over a crouton. It’s a pretty serious version of the classic. There's a reason they're known for this concoction.


Soupe à l'oignon

This Is A Well Constructed Homage To A Classic

The crepe consisted of chicken breast, and a crepe resting in a béchamel sauce and topped with “Swiss” cheese. The chicken was fine but the béchamel is…well, let’s call it copious. There is so much of the classic French mother sauce it makes the dish underwhelming…much like the sandwich. Béchamel is milk thickened with a roux and a hint of onion and clove or bay leaf to add some depth. The depth was absent in this sauce which could have been transformed to a Mornay with a little cheese or loads of other small sauces with some flavor.

Never Been Served A Crepe That Looked Like This

It's Okay. Either Flavor The Sauce Or Use Less Of It. Might Be Really Good

The menu reports the gratinee is done with Swiss cheese. There are a number of different cheese labeled Swiss, all with varying signatures, but this tasted so much like Parmesan I had doubts. It is served with a slice of the French bread and the soup was included.

We finished with a dessert crepe, the Grand Marnier was on special for the day. Simply a crepe doused with a shot of the bitter orange liqueur made from a brandy base. The alcohol was certainly upfront on the palate, making Steph bark a little bit at the first bite. It smoothed out after a couple of forkfuls but remained pretty aggressive.

In my French training I tasted much more flavorful dishes. It seems as though the French Coffee Shop is more focused on richness than overall taste. Not appalling but far from my favorite. 

That Looks More Like A Crepe...Holy Alcohol!



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