France via Latrobe

Apparently I wasn’t done with French food in April although it wasn’t a close to home experience. I was on a work trip to Latrobe, PA and the first night I went to a long time staple when staying in Latrobe, Sharky’s Cafe.

My intent when I headed over was to get a stromboli, which has been a comfort choice on more than one occasion but instead I decided to try something new. In this case something new was their French Onion Burger.

This 10oz burger was topped with caramelized onions and a Gruyere and Swiss cheese sauce. Actually topped is an understatement, smothered is probably a much better word choice. Let me tell you when the server dropped that off and I looked at that and the one napkin the silverware was wrapped in I knew that wouldn’t do. When she came back around I let her know this looked like a multi-napkin affair and it was. The bun also wasn’t structurally sufficient to the task either and this was just a delicious mess that I’d recommend to anyone. As a side note dredging the tots through the excess cheese sauce was a pleasant experience.

On my last evening I didn’t feel like a restaurant but I wasn’t in the fast food mood so I was scrolling Yelp looking for something different and came across French Express just down the road. This was a take out cafe that just like the name says specializes in French cuisine. If I live in Latrobe I’d be a semi-regular here.

It’s a nice little shop with a few tables in the front of the store and some spices, honeys and other food stuffs around the edges of the store. You have the counter where you can order hot and cold items ready to eat or take home and heat. I selected a crepe, a slice of quiche and desert. The crepe and quiche were both larger than I expected so either would have been sufficient alone.

The quiche Lorraine was very good, light, fluffy, cheesy and hammy. Couldn’t ask for much more. The crepe was the biggest surprise. I went with a smoked salmon crepe which came in two separate containers. The crepe was very large with diced cucumbers wrapped up in it. The smoked salmon was in it’s own container and there must have been a half pound of quality salmon. So I embraced the roll-your-own philosophy and ate about half before I had to tap out. Nice choice and it was a great value for the price. Lastly was the desert. I don’t recall what it was called but it was a flaky pastry with a hazelnut flavored filling that on top of the other items capped evening and just put me over the top into a food coma.

So while Latrobe isn’t a local spot for me I found a couple of local spots while there that did the French cuisine thing proud.

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