The Best Invention EVER: Le Café Gourmand

I feel like I've probably talked about the splendor of le café gourmand in the past, but I'm compelled to write about it again. For the café gourmand truly provides the best of both worlds...

Normally, when you go to a restaurant, you are either disappointed because you didn't get the amazing-smelling coffee or you are disappointed because you didn't get the amazing-looking dessert (or you ordered the moelleux au chocolat and wished you had ordered the clafoutis de cerises). No matter which way you go, you're bummed out.

Enter le café gourmand - it never disappoints because you always get some of everything! An espresso and a miniature version of each dessert...perfection.

My Anglo peeps and I decided to take a stroll in the 18th last week. We got off at metro Abesses and made our way to a funky café - we only had one criteria: the café HAD to serve café gourmand. Thankfully, we had no trouble finding one and promptly ordered 4! (We had a fun Frenchie along for the ride).

When our order arrived, we were surprised to find that our mini crème brulées were literally en train de bruler - on fire!  When we asked the waiter if it was normal, he took the opportunity to make fun of us...mais oui! c'est une crème...brulée!  He then went on to say that a crème brulée on fire is truly "la classe américaine", which took some explaining for us Anglos to get.  American class? ummm, ok...but isn't a crème brulée French? Thankfully, he went on to explain that la class américaine meant that something was  super cool, but in an ironic way.  I'll have to try using it in a sentence...

I tried to get a photo of our crème brulée en train de bruler but alas, the Iphone 3 wasn't up for the challenge:

Our café gourmand came with an espresso (but we requested a "noisette" - they add a little bit of milk!), a mini crème brulée and a mini panacotta with berries on top. Usually they come with a biscuit of some sort too, but we were happy with this. The crème brulée was ah-mazing. génial. fabuleuse.  la class américaine, quoi.

Next time you are out for dinner or need a snack, just remember: Go café gourmand, or Go home!

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