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Une delight du Escondido

North County thirst gives way to French hunger

I don't know why they don't call it charcuterie. Not as pretentious as me I guess. French Deli Plate. A Delight of France.
I don't know why they don't call it charcuterie. Not as pretentious as me I guess. French Deli Plate. A Delight of France.
Place

Delight of France

126 W. Grand Avenue, Escondido

It's how we think French bistros should look.

Grand Avenue, downtown Escondido's de facto Main Street, has been (what I consider) blossoming in recent years, with the opening of a good coffee shop (Kettle Coffee & Tea) and a good brewery and taphouse (Plan 9 Ale House). I spent some time at each recently, and when I looked around for something to eat between my coffee and beer(s), discovered the street's had a pretty decent French bakery for years. Funny how I might never have known were it not for my latent interest in Escondido beverages that don't rhyme with 'scone'.

A Delight of France makes a lot of croissants, baguettes and pastries, and they do it well enough that locals like to sing their praises. They also offer a typically French-styled menu, by which I mean American French bistro fare.

For breakfast you might choose among eggs benedict, crepes and brioche French toast. Lunch offers French onion soup, niçoise salad and boeuf bourguignon. Naturally, there's a quiche of the day, and a glass case dares you to not finish your meal with a sweet napoleon, opera, or éclair.

A big croissant handles a thick chunk of pâté. Pâté Sandwich. A Delight of France.

The dining room and patio feel French enough without getting too cutesy about it, and considering the reasonable prices, I'd say they don't need to change a thing. Being a Francophile of the most gluttonous order, I split the so-called French deli plate with a friend, though I insisted on calling the $10.75 dish "charcuterie," with its selection of saucissons, pickled vegetables and cheeses. I also tried a small soup du jour — in this case a potato leek ($3.75) — and made my coup de grace with a pâté sandwich ($9.50).

The tasty little soup benefitted from generous peppering, and the deli plate from some bris, cornichons and olives. Neither were outstanding, make-a-date-to-come-back-here-and-eat-this kind of dishes, but they definitely kept me interested.

Had the bistro still been serving that brioche French toast at this late afternoon hour, I might never have tried the pâté sandwich, and would have missed out on the bakery's specialty: the croissant. I can't sit here and pretend it's the same class of flakey, buttery bread you may pick up at an every other block Parisian boulangerie, but for the sweet little shopping district in the center of Escondido, I'll toss it some praise. The large, slightly crisped-on-the-outside croissant held up quite well as a sandwich base, which it needed to, because the quarter-inch slab of pâté laid through the middle of it was rich, creamy and heavy. Hell, in retrospect that thing might have been closer to 13mm thick (aka, a half inch).

As pâtés go, it's also not one I'm going to shout about from the mountaintops, but you don't see a lot of this in San Diego County, let alone in such a generous portion. Getting a little pasty pork fix inside a flaky, crusty, air-light croissant in North County was — I'll go ahead and say it — an unexpected delight.

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I don't know why they don't call it charcuterie. Not as pretentious as me I guess. French Deli Plate. A Delight of France.
I don't know why they don't call it charcuterie. Not as pretentious as me I guess. French Deli Plate. A Delight of France.
Place

Delight of France

126 W. Grand Avenue, Escondido

It's how we think French bistros should look.

Grand Avenue, downtown Escondido's de facto Main Street, has been (what I consider) blossoming in recent years, with the opening of a good coffee shop (Kettle Coffee & Tea) and a good brewery and taphouse (Plan 9 Ale House). I spent some time at each recently, and when I looked around for something to eat between my coffee and beer(s), discovered the street's had a pretty decent French bakery for years. Funny how I might never have known were it not for my latent interest in Escondido beverages that don't rhyme with 'scone'.

A Delight of France makes a lot of croissants, baguettes and pastries, and they do it well enough that locals like to sing their praises. They also offer a typically French-styled menu, by which I mean American French bistro fare.

For breakfast you might choose among eggs benedict, crepes and brioche French toast. Lunch offers French onion soup, niçoise salad and boeuf bourguignon. Naturally, there's a quiche of the day, and a glass case dares you to not finish your meal with a sweet napoleon, opera, or éclair.

A big croissant handles a thick chunk of pâté. Pâté Sandwich. A Delight of France.

The dining room and patio feel French enough without getting too cutesy about it, and considering the reasonable prices, I'd say they don't need to change a thing. Being a Francophile of the most gluttonous order, I split the so-called French deli plate with a friend, though I insisted on calling the $10.75 dish "charcuterie," with its selection of saucissons, pickled vegetables and cheeses. I also tried a small soup du jour — in this case a potato leek ($3.75) — and made my coup de grace with a pâté sandwich ($9.50).

The tasty little soup benefitted from generous peppering, and the deli plate from some bris, cornichons and olives. Neither were outstanding, make-a-date-to-come-back-here-and-eat-this kind of dishes, but they definitely kept me interested.

Had the bistro still been serving that brioche French toast at this late afternoon hour, I might never have tried the pâté sandwich, and would have missed out on the bakery's specialty: the croissant. I can't sit here and pretend it's the same class of flakey, buttery bread you may pick up at an every other block Parisian boulangerie, but for the sweet little shopping district in the center of Escondido, I'll toss it some praise. The large, slightly crisped-on-the-outside croissant held up quite well as a sandwich base, which it needed to, because the quarter-inch slab of pâté laid through the middle of it was rich, creamy and heavy. Hell, in retrospect that thing might have been closer to 13mm thick (aka, a half inch).

As pâtés go, it's also not one I'm going to shout about from the mountaintops, but you don't see a lot of this in San Diego County, let alone in such a generous portion. Getting a little pasty pork fix inside a flaky, crusty, air-light croissant in North County was — I'll go ahead and say it — an unexpected delight.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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