Posted by Jennifer
A Rosedale institution, Patachou, most noted for its pastries, is a popular lunch/brunch stop. On a warm, sunny day, gazpacho seems like the right way to start our lunch. At first glance, it looks as though this soup has nothing but tomatoes. A quick stir reveals vegetable bits so tiny as to be unidentifiable. The aroma is like freshly processed silage. On the tongue, only pepper and garlic register.
The over-processing, so obvious in the soup, continues in the Szechuan chicken sandwich - in which the chicken has been diced too finely. Slices, rather than these teeny cubes, might have had a better chance of staying inside the mini-baguette. Again, like the soup, pepper initially overwhelms everything in its path. After a few more bites one can also detect some sesame. However, the fine quality of the baguette saves the sandwich from disaster.
Since it is rhubarb season, we share a rhubarb and strawberry tart. Sticky with apricot glaze--on both top and bottom, its pastry is somewhat soggy but the filling offers good strawberry-rhubarb flavor in a nicely eggy cream.
The pain au chocolat also fails to impress. Its bready interior and lack of flaky shards on the exterior somehow defeat the buttery richness and decent chocolate. If only we had an oven at hand, a short blast of heat would probably restore some flakiness and further enhance the flavor.
Price: $23.96 for soup, sandwich, one tart, and two pain au chocolat.
Photos by Gina.