Tossed Salads and Scrambled Eggs

Café Campagne – Pike Place Market, Seattle

Posted on: Friday 15 July 2011

The French stormed the Bastille 222 years ago yesterday. On a cool and windy Seattle summer day, Francophiles celebrated Bastille Day across the city. I romanticise about France – the language, the food, the wine, the fashion. And the thirty five hour working week! I’m disappointed that our tentative plan for a short trip across the English Channel in autumn has been foiled but alas, we’ll have Paris someday.

Café Campagne had a shortened lunch service to prepare for hosting the Bastille Day party in Post Alley. I made an effort to get there early to ensure I got a table. Groups trickled in and by midday, the restaurant was full.

A pretty posy of carnations greeted me as I was seated. The dining room is decorated in muted tones with colourful vintage posters on the walls and fresh flowers at every table. There’s a narrow strip of al fresco dining lined with fairy lights in petite scalloped lamp shades.

I could see the baguettes neatly stacked on a shelf and I could hear the sawing behind the counter to slice through the crust! The complimentary bread was chewy and appetising.

There’s a prix-fixe option on the menu with soupe du jour (creamy mushroom) and salade Niçoise. The man at the table next to me had oeufs en meurette, poached eggs served on garlic croutons with pearl onions, bacon champignons in red wine-foie gras sauce with pommes frites. It looked rich and wintery, so much so that he left his basket of pommes frites untouched.

Blistered and browned, the croque-madame was decadence on a plate. To describe this as a grilled ham and cheese sandwich is sacrilege. The molten Gruyère oozed and formed a crisp, salty edge, and the fried egg was golden and runny. The simple mixed leaves salad with vinaigrette freshened up the meal. I ate half and brought home the other half for dinner.

I was sad that they didn’t have tarte tartin but the waitress recommended the terrine au chocolat. The chocolate dessert terrine had an intriguing texture. It tasted like ice cream except it was not cold. It was smooth and creamy, a little denser than mousse. I love the combination of chocolate and hazelnut, and there were enough toasted hazelnuts for each spoonful of terrine! The liquid ring was orange syrup but it had more a kumquat flavour than orange.

A belated vive le quatorze juillet et bonne fête à tous!

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4 Responses to "Café Campagne – Pike Place Market, Seattle"

Beautiful pictures and a wonderful description of the cafe..can’t wait to go!!

Thanks Marilyn – I recommend it! They’re open for breakfast, lunch and dinner seven days a week.

that chocolate terrine looks divine!

It was and it would be a perfect dessert for an Aussie summer Christmas!

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