Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Veg Out: Cafe L'Aube


What good are those other cafes where you can't keep up with French talking points through magazines like L'Express and the Paris Match? Granted, they're a little old, but isn't your soul? Doesn't it feel like you've spent centuries pressing a mug to your lips as you draw in the mechanics of Western South Street on a weekday morning?

Cafe L'Aube certainly feels familiar, though the fig crepes and crème fraîche waffles are a foreign addition to our breakfast inventory. No disrespect to the bagels and tofu scrambles hardened into most backbones of cafe society, but sometimes one wants a bit of finesse in their fast.

To sum it up, I ate a waffle. The menu insists that these are Brussels-style gauffres, not to be confused with Liege (the dense, burnt sugar waffles from Bonte). The sunny rectangle is a mammoth, enough for two, crispy on the outside and fluffy in. Crème fraîche puddling on top gave it a slightly sour, malted taste that hit me right. A swirl of chocolate syrup added a hint of sweetness, but this was one sophisticated waffle. There couldn't have been more than 10 grams of sugar in the entire thing. If you want a dessert waffle, head to Bonte. I'll stay here.

Another key specialty of L'Aube, the crepe. I have Beau Monde on my shoulder. I have crepe mix in my cupboard right now. I wouldn't go there specifically for them, but there are some
inventive fillings, both sweet and savory. The spinach and feta crepe didn't knock me out and steal my day, but I ate the entire thing.

As with any new cafe, the wait times are what they are. Exemplary waffles are a labor of love. Try a cup of Peregrine coffee while you're held up, it's notably stronger than most, and get fresh on the Sarkozys. Good things come.

Cafe L'Aube, 15th & South

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