Gables Bites: French Pause


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By: Riki Altman

Don’t feel silly if you don’t know the difference between a crepe and a galette. Or if you don’t even know what the heck a galette is, for that matter. Many folks around here don’t, but thanks to Frederic and Patricia, owners of the new French Pause on Miracle Mile, you’ll soon learn why both of these delicacies should become a regular part of your dining experience. “Many Americans think crepes and galettes are only for breakfast but it’s simply not the case,” Patricia says. “In France we eat these for lunch and dinner. They’re a meal.”

It’s true: The folded entrees will satiate appetites all day long. And this couple should know, since they originally hail from Brittany, the home of the crepe. But what should you order on your first visit? Let’s begin with a basic breakdown. First there are the crepes, those thin, slightly sweet pancakes made from white flour and usually topped with chocolate, Nutella, fruit and sometimes even ice cream. French Pause offers more than a dozen varieties, ranging from the La Tatin with fried apples, vanilla ice cream and almonds to a simple crepe drizzled with lemon and sugar.

Galettes, on the other hand, are a more savory version of the crepe, made with buckwheat flour. You can tell a great galette, Frederic says, if it has “dantelle,” (a.k.a. lacey edges). French Pause serves their galettes with a light, but flavorful salad. Our favorite thus far is the La Supérieure topped with Serrano ham, Swiss and Emmentaler cheese, and a sunny side up egg–the perfect mix of tastes and textures.

Ask Frederic what his trick is to making the perfect crepe or galette but don’t expect to walk away with the answer. He will most likely say: “It’s a secret. My grandmother’s technique and special ingredients!”

Also offered are savory meals for lunch and dinner, including a lunch special that will be priced at only $10 to $12. A highlight from the dinner selections is the French Entrecote (New York strip with bleu cheese).

Folks who enjoyed meals at the restaurant that was in this space before, Charlotte Bistro, will recognize the fun, black-and-white hexagonal tiles on the floor and the friendly, warm vibe inside. Otherwise, the space looks a bit different, especially since the new owners wisely added a number of tables outside. They will gladly rent out the place for special occasions, too, so consider it for a birthday, anniversary or office celebration.

Whenever you decide to stop in, prepare to get immersed in the experience. “We wanted to bring a small part of France here,” he explains. One taste will tell you they did just that.

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