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Liquid comfort at a cafe

March 2, 2013

This post is about a café. A French-style café, to be specific. And while actual French cafés do tend to serve alcohol in the evenings, the title of this post does not refer to that type of liquid comfort.

I refer instead to the comforting warmth of French onion soup. MADE-FROM-SCRATCH French onion soup, that is.

Ever since my days of studying la langue française avec Mme Spangler at Schaumburg High School, and the concomitant visits to a French restaurant for pain au chocolat et, bien sûr, soupe à l’oignon (but not escargot – I abhor the texture of escargot!), I have become a French onion soup snob. I can’t stand it when a restaurant serves up a French onion soup that’s more notable for its sodium content than its hearty onion-browned-in-butter flavor.

Family-owned-and-operated Café de Paris in Scottsbluff (15 West 16th Street, around the corner northwest of Bluffs Bakery, 308-633-2529) serves up the real deal. Next to the café’s order window, you can read a bit about the gentleman, a WWII vet, who makes said soup.

The cafe has food in addition to coffee. I shall have to stop by sometime and do a post just on this place.

On a bone-chilling day this winter, Bugman and I decided we needed to get out of the house, so we walked over to Café de Paris.

He ordered a cappuccino and a reuben.

reuben

I ordered a spiced chai and a bowl of French onion soup.

french onion soup

The combination of the walk in the cold and the warming meal hitting my belly made me feel relaxed and blissful, like after a good soak in an old-fashioned clawfoot tub.

I do miss the crunchy edges of browned cheese provided by the typical presentation of ramekin-broiled French onion soup, but the addition of a side crêpe helps make up for that.

And, if crêpes are your thing, and good coffee (the café serves Mark Ferrari Coffee roasted nearby in Oshkosh), they’ve got you covered, too. (Note to vegetarians: in addition to the fruit crêpes, vegetable quiche has been a feature on the menu.)

crepe

When I last checked, Café de Paris’ hours were 7:30-5 Tuesdays-Fridays and 8-5 Saturdays. The café has both table and couch seating, a conference room, a small boutique, and (key in my mind) wifi access (just ask for the password when you order).

Copyright 2013 by Katie Bradshaw

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Becky McMillen permalink
    March 3, 2013 12:24 pm

    Nice write-up! Thanks Katie! The onion soup is wonderful, isn’t it?

  2. Maggie permalink
    March 4, 2013 11:01 am

    I’ve been to the cafe for breakfast, but now I think I’ll have to go back for lunch…both the reuben and the french onion soup look delicious. I haven’t had good onion soup since I left New Hampshire and the home-cooked lunches at Badger.

  3. Darla Heggem permalink
    March 5, 2013 11:31 am

    As always, fantastic review, Katie. I’ve lunched here and found it absolutely delightful. Thank you for your insights!

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