I’ve always dreamed of sitting in a little sidewalk cafe in Paris, eating a croissant and drinking a cup of French coffee while watching people bustling through their days. Until I make it overseas, I love to visit the trendy French bakeries and cafes found right here in Orlando. A few are Americanized while others have a definite feel of an authentic French connection. Chad and I visited Benjamin French Bakery Cafe in downtown Orlando on a Sunday morning and I immediately felt like I had boarded a plane to France.
French influence was everywhere from the French speaking staff to the French candy on the counter.
The menu is pretty typical of a French cafe- Croissants, Quiches, Omelets and Baguette Sandwiches.
Chad started with a Croissant Spinach and Feta Cheese. Sautéed spinach and feta cheese nestled into a warm croissant. He enjoyed it though it was a bit expensive at a little over $5.
He also liked the almond croissant with its powdered sugar and slivered almonds.
I tried the L’Oceanne Quiche with a mixed salad. My quiche had smoked salmon, leeks, broccoli, nutmeg sauce, cheese and lemon. There were huge chunks of salmon and the nutmeg sauce added a slight hint of sweetness. I loved it.
The mixed salad had a balsamic vinaigrette with grapes and tortilla strips. The tortilla strips seemed out of place in a French Bakery but they added a little oomph to the salad.
There are plenty of sandwiches to choose from. A salmon, dill and cucumber Panini, brie cheese and apples on a French baguette or a simple tuna and egg are just a few of the many choices.
And like most bakeries, there are plenty of pastries available from a simple chocolate éclair to macaroons.
The dining room is very small- only about 5 tables inside and a few ledges by the windows to people watch. Outside there are a number of tables to sit and watch the people of Orlando buzz by.
Parking is sparse as it is located on a side street in Orlando. We were able to find parking at a local middle school which was fine to park at on a Sunday. Otherwise, parking is a hassle as with any major city.
We loved the food, the romantic French atmosphere and the wide selection of veggie options on the menu. 4 1/2 sprouts of 5 sprouts.