Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Friday Lunch from Clafouti

Clafouti is something of an institution on Queen Street West. Noted for its croissants and tarts, it is a convenient place to grab a snack before heading to Trinity Bellwoods Park. For those of us in search of something more substantial, there are also sandwiches.

We try two sandwiches. The "333" is layered with turkey, beef, cheddar, bacon, and lettuce lapped with barbecue sauce and mayo.  While the bread is nicely crisp and golden, the too-sweet sauce overwhelms the filling. Why bother with lettuce on a pressed sandwich?  You don't need lettuce on everything, especially when it is going to wilt and turn bitter.

The second sandwich is billed as a tuna nicoise.  When we think "nicoise", we think of a garlicky mix of black olives, anchovies, and tomatoes. Served on a pale, slightly flaccid baguette, the tuna nicoise is really tuna salad garnished with slices of hard boiled egg,  a component of salad nicoise to be sure, but not enough to warrant employing the name.  Though a bit too moist, the herb-flecked tuna salad is quite tasty, just not quite what we expected.

We can't leave without dessert.  What we thought was a raspberry and pomegranate clafouti tart does not have a clafouti texture or much pomegranate bite. On the other hand, a key lime tart is excellent starting with its crust. All too often graham cracker crusts are soggy or too buttery or both,  this one, on the other hand, has just enough butter to hold it together without the faintest hint of sogginess.  The filling is tart and creamy.  If there were a little garnish--a dollop of whipped cream or a half slice of lime--it would be even better.

Though the sandwiches are okay, it is probably best to stick to pastries.

Price:  two sandwiches and two pastries, $19.44

Location: 915 Queen Street West

Phone:  416-603-1935

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