Julie Stalmer 5:30 p.m., Sept. 22
Good deal at French Gourmet
The French Gourmet in Pacific Beach now has a three-course prix fixe dinner, $25 per person (plus tip, tax, bev) with a huge choice of appetizers (including veal sweetbreads and sausage; escargots; onion soup; mussels; pate sampler) and of entrees (plus veggie du jour, and your choice of starch.) And then there's dessert -- worth saving room for at this restaurant. (Cream puffs, chocolate crepes, etc.)
I'm glad to see that they've survived (at least so far) a particularly vicious, vindictive-seeming bust by ICE, which was (is?) threatening to impound the whole restaurant for the crime of repeatedly employing undocumented aliens. (This is not like that huge Kosher butcher shut down in the Midwest whose workers were not only "illegal" but many of whom were underage, working in highly dangerous meat-cutting jobs. That guy deserved what he got.) But, look in any local restaurant kitchen lately? This is San Diego! I'd estimate about 90% of our restaurants have at least one "mojado sin licencia" * working his/her tail off, whether busing the dishes or washing them, chopping heaps of onions (waah!) or slaving over a hot stove. Whatever you personally think about the immigration issue, fact is, Hispanic immigrants (legal or not) are the backbone of SD's service industries (emphatically including food service) -- and ICE Baby's threatened penalties to French Gourmet seem wildly disproportionate to the "crime." So hey -- if you agree with me (or if you don't) go treat yourself to an affordable dinner of old-fashioned French cuisine. Be sure to make a res, 'cause now -- word is out.
(*"Un Mojado Sin Licencia" is a hilarious ranchero by the great Tex-Mex singer/accordionist, Flaco Jimenez.) .