Salut, mes amies! There is part of me that has always longed to be French. Perhaps it was Estelle, the 16-year-old French exchange student who stayed with us when I was just 6 years old. She had this amazing long hair, jet black Levi’s 501 jeans and a beautiful accent. She was so refined and made me want to be just like her. Or perhaps it was Muzzy. That big purple monster who taught you how to speak your foreign language of choice (mine being French, of course) from the comfort of your own home. I will always remember “je suis la jeune fille!” or “I am a young girl!” from the commercial alone. Or maybe it’s the beautiful haute-couture designs that come strutting down the runway during Paris Fashion Week each year.
In reality, it’s probably a combination of all of the aforementioned French delights. However, there is one thing about the French that I simply love and simply can’t deny: the cuisine. A flaky croissant, a bubbly croque monsieur, brie cheese spread on an inexplicably crunchy, yet soft baguette. I could go on and on. And on and on. Crepes, beignets, and lest we forget wine. Ohh, the wine! Entire regions of the country are dedicated to producing their signature variety. Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne, Chablis, Cognac…again, I could go on and on.
So, of course, it was a great delight to discover a truly French gem this morning, right in my neighborhood here in Orlando. Le Cafe de Paris is a small, unassuming sidewalk cafe located in Dr. Phillips. I’ve driven by this particular strip of shops numerous times, never paying careful attention to the ever-rotating list of tenants. As I drove by this morning though, I spotted the cafe and instantly I was reminded of a review made in passing by one of my Mom’s friends. “They have the best coffee in town!” Feeling particularly tired, I pulled into the first parking spot I came to and rushed in for a cafe au lait. Let me just say, this coffee did NOT disappoint. Nor did the sweet French couple running the place. The coffee was fresh pressed and served hot with a perfectly frothy top. The service was quick and very kind. Owners Claude and Chantal Wolff, originally from Mezt, France, offer a full menu including coffee, breakfast, lunch, pastries, beer and wine.
So, the next time you find yourself craving a chocolate croissant or you just can’t force yourself to drink one more ounce of Starbucks’ drip coffee, make the trip to Le Cafe de Paris. I promise you will find it tres, tres bien!
Le Cafe de Paris: 5170 Dr. Phillips Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819/407-293-2326
Open: M-F 8am-9pm & Sat 9am-9pm
The full menu can be found here.