Sunday, 22 February 2015

San Miquel's Café de la Parroquía Restaurant et Brasserie

by Nancy Snipper

Fresh Authentic Mexican Cuisine with French Flare

 First visit - Dinner

What an awesome place to satiate your senses, especially your taste buds. Three utterly appealing spaces including a century-old open patio whose centerpiece is a sculptured stone fountain comprise this 25-year-old highly popular breakfast, lunch and dinner restaurant. A flat Jalapa covering gives a fabulously airy feel reserved for daytime meals, and then a lovely cozy room dressed in colourful tablecloths over which is a gallery of French and Mexican posters houses diners.

Partly French bistro, partly Mexican homey, Café PerroquÍa offers delicious home-made, freshly prepared unpretentious traditional dishes that hit the spot in a charming setting.
Owned by French-born Francoise Troiani, the restaurant also benefits from daughter Valería who ensures your dinner is as delectable as your expectations are.
Still, being one to appreciate surprise, I was wowed by the menu’s interesting creative cuisine that included tasty beef, fish, chicken, shrimp, mussels and pasta fare flavoured and cooked in exciting ways to perfection. The signature serving words are: fresh and uncomplicated.  Such is the confidence that owner and chefs have – a belief that recipes handed down from the family, and modified with personal kitchen talent whose savoury je ne sais quoi culinary pizzazz never fails to delight the palette.
I was greeted with a tasty, non-greasy lemon pico de gallo – tomatoes and onions with tortilla chips, then hot bread and salsa verde striding fresh slices of avocado which gave new meaning to delicate taste. Before the main platter, I had the salad with a honey dressing and sliver-thin walnut bites. It was terrific. Two rondelles of soft, warm goat cheese on two pieces of bread sent me into salad heaven. Order this! The margaritas were magnifco!
I ordered the grilled flounder topped with parsley with green string beans and sautéed potatoes. Tender and tasty, this plate was filling. Neither greasy nor soggy, the flounder was melt-in-your-mouth yummy. Linguini accompanied the flounder and it was silky smooth with a faint buttery flavour.
Dessert was an embarrassment of choices. I can’t rave enough about the mango flan with strawberry sauce. It was made for Gods.  Don’t leave San Miguel without taking a bite into the homey true-flavour cooking of this comfortable and refreshingly inexpensive restaurant. 

Second visit - Breakfast

I loved dinner so much; I decided to go back for breakfast. Francisca, who comes from France, is the mother of Valeria. Her warmth and hospitality set the tone of great dishes to come. She heads the breakfast end of things – cuisine goodness that once again is the trademark of Café de la Parroquía. She’s been taking care of our morning hunger pangs since 1989!
This time I sat in the patio where all the morning goodies are served. I marveled at the cantera triple-tiered fountains adorned in flowers that put me in such a glorious mood to greet the morning and feast on the splendid menu choices.
I opened the two-page, easy-to-read bilingual menu, and at the top, I read the message: “Good Morning, Buenas Dias”.  How sweet!
What totally impressed me was the fact that among the 16 egg dishes, there was a superb offering of six different types of omelets.  But wait! Let’s not forget, we are in Mexico. There were chilaquiles al Horno (tortilla casserole in a special sauce), and more combos to choose from of the chilaquiles. There were endless enchiladas numbers, plus chiles rellenos (cheese stuffed in poblano peppers); three different varieties of tomales  – accompanied with red or green sauce; a triple choice of tantalizing tomales, including one variety served in their own corn shuck with beans and sauce. More awesomely appealing meals filled the menu – cuisine excitement that would keep any breakfast aficionado coming back on a daily basis.
I had this fantastic Booster drink that combined papaya, apples, spinach and honey just one of the four juice choices to wake you up. Then came the best green sauce I have ever tasted. This side garnish gorgeously featured avocados that only angels into celestial climes. Yummy! I ordered the fruit plate whose presentation could well have appeared in a still life Cezanne painting. I counted the following kinds of fruit, cut in wedges in these numbers:  5 banana and 3 strawberry slices, 9 papaya and 4 pear pieces,  8 cantaloupe cuts and 4 mangos in a mini line-up.
I love omelets, so I ordered the Huerta one. It featured a bounteous mixture of zucchini (I opted for that green instead of the broccoli), green peppers, mushrooms and onions – all perfectly nesting top and in a thin egg covering that hit the spot. No grease, no saturation of butter to hide the freshness and true taste of this outstanding omelet accompanied by sweet slices of tomatoes in a light Dijon cream dressing.
Next time I return, maybe, I’ll try the meatballs in chipotle sauce with white rice. Then again, I could just order the pancakes, yogurt, oatmeal and more!!
What a beautiful way to greet the morning: seating in the patio of Café de la ParroquÍa, pondering the wonders of San Miguel de Allende and its perfect places, such as this restaurant. 

The location is Jesús #11. Call +52 415 152-316