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In praise of honest food.
For over a decade our office were situated at Granville and 10th (the top floor of the Pottery Barn building) and even then the area, while pleasant and tony, was a bit of a lunchtime wasteland. There was West of course, but it was never much of an everyday place. There was Cactus and a now-departed outpost of Joey, but not a whole lot more. But if you were looking for a place that had a bit of quirk, a whole lot of Gallic flair, honest well-made food and a price point that worked for writers, there was only one spot: Café Salade de Fruits.
For the longest time I thought it was an outpost of Alliance Française, because everyone seemed to be speaking French and the menu skewed hard to the classics: duck confit, coq au vin. (It’s actually part of the Le Centre Culturel, a cultural centre for Francophones in Vancouver.) It was never going to knock Le Crocodile off its pedestal for haute cuisine, but it wasn’t trying to.
So why am I forcing you down my memory lane? Because I got an email from a friend last week saying that they’ve started to do takeout. As is usual, there was no big roll out or PR blitz—just a getting back to the elevated basics.
Full disclosure—I haven’t tried it yet: but the menu channels all the things I love: there’s the aforementioned duck confit, and at lunch there’s a daily omelette (so awesomely française). The prices are, as is the norm, great: a green salad with house dressing is $6.67, which is just sort of heartwarming, as is a tart tatin for $5.67. Restaurants need our help these days—all restaurants, and sometime I fear that grassroots spots like Salade de Fruits can fall under the radar. Let’s not let that happen.