By Denise Ortuno
Charming French café style dining abounds at La Quinta Baking Company.
We walked into the La Quinta Baking Company on a late Monday afternoon. The patio, anchored by a massive and romantic fountain, was still full, leaving us to seek a table indoors. Inside, the scene equaled the charm of the patio, minus the fountain, but with the addition of bistro style seating, traditional white and red wicker chairs, and classical music piped in for audible ambience.
My boyfriend and I wondered why we hadn’t tried the restaurant before, offering excuses such as, “I thought it was a different place,” or, “I think that they were closed that day,” both of which didn’t make up for the fact that we had been missing out on a cozy café in La Quinta, which has been charming patrons for well over a decade.
The benefit, or maybe the nemesis for some on a diet, is the direct view of their pastry case when sitting inside. It’s filled with a variety of luscious goodness, that you can stare at while eating your meal, and plan as premeditated gluttony, the dessert that you want to devour afterwards.
We were able to peel our eyes away from the pastry case long enough, to decide what we wanted for lunch. I vacillated between their Stuffed Avocado (filled with chicken and tuna salads, served with tomatoes, cucumbers, Kalamata olives, carrots, and balsamic vinaigrette), Chicken Mushroom Crepe (handmade crepe with chicken and mushroom in a white sauce), or the ever famous French classic, the Croque Monsieur (ham and Swiss cheese on French bread, topped with creamy béchamel sauce, then grilled to perfection). In the end, the Croque Monsieur won out, as it was a favorite dish that my parents used to make, and I had to try the restaurants version.
My boyfriend went lunch time traditional, and had the French style ½ Club Sandwich (turkey, ham, crisp bacon, lettuce, tomato and Swiss cheese on wheat toast) and Mushroom soup, which was a perfect combo! He added a mellow glass of house burgundy to complete his meal. The cheesy, béchamel draped Croque Monsieur did not disappoint me, and was accented with a crisp salad to offset the sandwiches richness (pomme frites, fruit or potato salad are also offered).
When it came time for dessert, we shuffled through our options that had been dancing around our heads. Would it be the Lemon Tart with Meringue, the Berry Tart, the Key Lime Cheesecake, Bread Pudding, Pot de Crème, or the Opera Cake? And the winner was, the Opera Cake! A dense layered cake with flavors of coffee and buttercream, topped chocolate, acting more like a chocolate candy, than a cake…and there’s nothing wrong with that! The dessert was very rich and dense, very chocolatey with strong coffee tones, and very delicious!
La Quinta Baking Company is opened for breakfast, lunch and dinner Tuesday through Saturday, and breakfast and lunch, Sunday and Monday. Breakfast items include a variety of Benedict dishes, Frittatas, Quiches and traditional breakfast favorites. Dinner offerings include the French classic Escargot, Penne Pasta with Grand Marnier Shrimp, Petrale Sole (Picatta, Veronique, or Livornese style), and many more options.
Our impromptu visit to La Quinta Baking Company turned out to be a lovely lunch outing, with delicious French fare, and charm to match!
La Quinta Baking Company is located at 78-395 Hwy 111, La Quinta 92253