Condiments for the Cottage

Condiments for the Cottage

If you take a look at French Lunch's pantry drop-down menu, you'll discover a number of European snacks and condiments — everything from ketchup to black truffle oil and Béarnaise.

Many of these condiments are perfect for a trip to the cottage. They pair excellently with European foods like crêpes julienne and quiche. Or try them with any appetizer available at our store. But you can eat them with other types of foods too, whether as pizza dip or burger sauce. Here are our favourites!

            Aïoli. A Mediterranean garlic, salt and olive oil sauce beloved by many Catalans and Provençals, it tastes great with raw veggies. We include a helping of aioli with all of our lunch starters, and suggest you do the same for your cottage trip! Instead of dipping spoonfuls of salad into a calorie-laden ranch dressing filled with preservatives, grab a bottle of aioli sauce to go! Made with whole ingredients. Product of France.

            Béarnaise. Béarnaise is a French sauce of clarified butter, egg yolks, and white wine vinegar. European herbs like tarragon, shallots, and chervil are added to increase the sauce’s flavor. When the French buy béarnaise, they buy it for steaks most of the time. So if you’re planning on BBQing at the cottage, you absolutely need to try béarnaise sauce on your next steak! Made with whole ingredients. Product of France.

            Bourguignonne. Don’t let the long name scare you away! Bourguignonne is a perfectly affordable gourmet sauce made with red wine, meat stock, onions, herbs, a sprinkling of pepper, and a hint of butter. Bourguignonne goes well with many dishes. Steaks, escargot, tartiflette, hachis Parmentier… we recommend buying some of our Belgian Nut potatoes together with Bourguignonne sauce to pair with any steak. You’ll love it! Made with whole ingredients. Product of France.

            Tapenade. Tapenade is an extremely popular Provençal spread of puréed ingredients: black olives, Kalamata olives, lemons, capers, or other savoury fruits and vegetables soaked in olive oil. It’s traditionally ground into a paste with a mortar and pestle, and dates back to Roman times. We have five types of tapenade for you to try: green olive, black olive, Kalamata and fig, Kalamata, olives & lemon, and green olive & almond. Tapenade works for… basically anything you can dip into a sauce! Use it as sandwich spread together with roti de porc. Dip crêpes into it. Use it as a steak sauce. Use it as salad dressing. Serve it on crackers. Eat it with cod and other fish. The possibilities are endless!

Whichever sauce you choose, know that every sauce listed here is versatile! They add that extra dimension of flavor to any plain dish. They work for you, rather than you having to shape the dish to fit them. And that’s the beauty of Mediterranean, especially French, cuisine — sauces go well with nearly any meal!

Drop by 187 Cross Avenue for amazing French condiments and more. We have an entire pantry section dedicated to European condiments. Show us your Presto card and get 5% off.

We look forward to feeding you,

French Lunch

Crêpe Fillings: What We Choose and Why

Crêpe Fillings: What We Choose and Why

Sweet and savoury, crêpes are beloved by nearly everyone. But here's something to think about: what should you put in a crêpe, and which fillings produce the most flavourful crêpe?

French Lunch's crêpe buffet offers the following sweet ingredients: honey, nutella, jam, chocolate chips, maple syrup, marshmallows, bananas, strawberries, blueberries, almonds, brown sugar, walnuts, and cinnamon.

For savory ingredients, we stock cold meats, grated parmesan, dry parsley, spinach, mushrooms, and French sauces like tapenade and béarnaise. Additionally, we offer premade hot crêpes before 4 p.m., Monday to Saturday: mushroom and brie cheese, mushroom and egg, egg and ham, and salmon and cream cheese.

So, why these ingredients in particular?

Well, all of our fillings are immediately available to customers, so we had to choose some of the most popular fillings that don't spoil at room temperature. The meats are kept in the cold, of course, but every other ingredient keeps well on a buffet table. Which means that customers don't have to order them and wait — they can build a crêpe right away and enjoy it then and there. We're a meal shop focused on convenience, affordability and health, and our crêpe fillings reflect this.

Why three types of fruits? Because crêpes with fruits taste better than crêpes with just chocolate in them. That's why we dice up fresh fruits for the buffet table every day!
If you go through any article on popular crêpe fillings, you're bound to see spinach, herbs, chicken, cream cheese, mushrooms, cinnamon, cheeses, berries, peanut butter... the list goes on. Fruits are also present, of course, but they're often paired with creams. This can be problematic. In fact, you'll often see various creams, including ice cream, listed. Whipped cream and ice cream make everything taste better... but at what cost? One serving, or one dollop of whipped cream nets you up to 5 grams of sugar or more, and around 100 calories.

The average North American consumes around 100 grams of added, non-natural sugars per day, well above the 25 to 37 gram limit recommended by governments. No wonder obesity rates are skyrocketing here! And then there's ice cream. Whether cheap or premium, many ice creams contain a number of preservatives and not enough real ingredients. Some brands have even reclassified themselves as "frozen desserts" because they don't meet federal standards... why? They don't contain enough milk! Instead of milk, a bunch of preservatives are added: notably, carrageenan, palm oil and gums.

Although we recommend whole ingredients above all else, we do provide Nutella, chocolate, and marshmallows to customers who want them. We've modified portions to be small, though — small cups of Nutella, miniature marshmallows (under 4 grams of sugar), and teaspoons of chocolate chips, to help guide crêpe lovers towards healthy choices. Moderation is key. Our crêpes are smaller too, and cheaper than most. $4.99 for a cold crêpe, and $5.99 for a hot crêpe. You won't worry about not finishing one, or getting bloated from one.

Finally, we offer a unique savory crêpe experience through our selection of sauces. In Provence, France, savory crêpes come with tapenade and other spreads in gourmet restaurants. Here's an idea: stuff a crêpe with mushrooms, parmesan, parsley, and cold meat, and coat it with a bit of tapenade. The crêpe won't just be savory, it'll be packed with flavor — olives, capers, lemons, and olive oil, among others. A zesty Mediterranean taste for sure!

Here's to crêpes packed with not just the tasty stuff, but the healthy stuff too.

We look forward to feeding you,

French Lunch

Let's Learn about Crêpes!

Let's Learn about Crêpes!

What could make for a tastier brunch, lunch, or dinner than a crêpe? Chances are, even if you've never eaten a French-style crêpe before, you've probably eaten it in another form — as a pancake, a crumpet, a dosa, a blini, a hotteok, a farinata, or as some other flat, wheat-based roll — all of these foods, including crêpes, are pancakes. Each type of pancake is either meant to hold fillings, or can be enjoyed alone with or without condiments.

The French crêpe is a thin shell of fried pastry batter, often containing containing eggs, milk, and butter, and is offered with savoury or sweet ingredients: meats, cheeses, veggies, and herbs for savoury crêpes, and chocolate, fruits, jams, creams, syrups, marshmallows, and other sugary ingredients if sweet. Vended on Parisian streets and streets around the world, crêpes are extremely popular today. But how did the humble crêpe come to be?

The origins of the crêpe can be traced back to ancient Greece, where they took the form of breakfast pancakes, which were made with only flour and water, sometimes honey. But the actual crêpe we know today was created accidentally by a teenaged Henri Charpentier in 1896. He had been given the task of preparing a dessert for the Prince of Wales, King Edward VII, and other nobles.

But an accident happened: the dessert Henri was preparing was "ruined" by a drop of wine sauce, causing the fire underneath the dish to flambé, thus transforming it into the crêpe Suzette, the predecessor of what is now known as the French crêpe. Henri, in a fit of genius, introduced the dish as his brand new creation to the royals, and they happily accepted it. Just imagine trying to pass off a mistake as an invention! Chef's hats off to the courageous Henri! The dish was named "crêpes Suzette" in honour of a young girl who attended the banquet.

Because the Prince of Wales loved it so much, the crêpe spread like wildfire across France and Europe, eventually entering North America and other countries in later years. Today, France celebrates Crêpe Day (Candlemas) on February 2. On that day, everyone eats crêpes all day long. According to French Catholics, cooking a crêpe while holding a coin brings wealth. But happiness doesn't come so easily — in order to obtain it, believers must flip a crêpe in a pan by flicking their right wrist, all while holding a coin in their left hand. If the crêpe lands in the pan face down, your happiness is assured!

Who knew the French crêpe had such an interesting history or traditions associated with it? We hope you'll come out and try our crêpes soon. We'll be serving the sweet and savoury types that you can build yourself for $4.99, as well as pre-made crêpes for $1 more ($5.99). Our premade crêpes are savoury: ham and egg, mushroom and brie, egg and mushroom.

We look forward to feeding you some steaming hot, delicious crêpes on May 16,

French Lunch

A Brand New and Affordable Crêpe Buffet!

A Brand New and Affordable Crêpe Buffet!

Guess what? Starting Tuesday, May 16, French Lunch’s amazing crêpe buffet will begin! At just $4.99 to $5.99 per crêpe with no additional cost for fillings, we offer a lot of value for less than $10. At restaurants, you’re usually charged for each additional topping you add to your crêpe, in addition to a base price for the crêpe itself. But here at French Lunch, we’re only charging you for the crêpe. 

We’ll be offering the following hot savoury crêpe at a fixed price of $5.99:

  • Egg and ham
  • Egg and mushroom
  • Mushroom and brie
  • Salmon and cream cheese

All savoury crêpes will come with a free helping of tapenade, aioli, béarnaise, mayonnaise, or other sauces, as well as herbs and vegetables like spinach. We recommend tapenade, a sauce not commonly found outside haute cuisine. Best of all, you don’t have to pay to try it!

Our sweet crêpes are completely DIY. Fillings include:

  • Honey
  • Nutella
  • Jams
  • Maple Syrup
  • Bananas
  • Strawberries
  • Blueberries
  • Marshmallows
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts

Make it a crêpe day brunch date at French Lunch, the only meal shop in Oakville that does gourmet crêpes starting at just $4.99. Have your crêpe to go, or sit down and enjoy it in-store. We’ll have a couple of tables set up for customers who want to eat their crêpe(s) straight away.

Speaking of crêpes, what are they anyway? For anyone not in the know, crêpes are… pancakes. Yup, crêpes are French pancakes that are rolled up and stuffed with sweet and savoury ingredients. These days, you can put practically anything in a crêpe — from candy to coconuts. Crêpes are incredibly versatile. They’re thinner than pancakes, and are basically hollow, thin shells meant to emphasize stuffing. A crêpe isn’t supposed to be enjoyed by itself like pancakes are, but surely, there exist people out there who dig crêpes without fillings with, say, café au lait (hey, that’s cool too!).

Although popular, crêpes can be quite expensive. Crêperies often charge $10 to $20 or more per crêpe, and the total cost only increases when you add in extra fillings. French Lunch guarantees that there are no additional costs involved when you choose our crêpes — again, we set a fixed price per crêpe, and everything else is included.

Enjoy a gourmet French lunch and brunch for under $10. The most affordable price for a freshly made crêpe in Oakville and the GTA.

French Lunch is right opposite Oakville GO, at 187 Cross Avenue. Feel free to drop in and browse. We’re open until 8 p.m. from Monday to Thursday, and until 5 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays.

We look forward to feeding you,

French Lunch