I was debating as to whether this belongs in the General Chains topic, but since 10 of its 15 locations are in LA/OC, it might be more useful here.
Co-workers suggested going to Champagne French Bakery Cafe for lunch today, and I had never been there before until now. It's been mentioned a few times on this board, but I guess I missed those posts. I was going to order one of the crepes dishes, but as my eye spotted the French Dip on the menu, I decided to order that, as I've been on a little French Dip kick recently, getting it at the Rooster Cafe last week.
This one was quite good, if just a slight bit pricey at $7.99. Served on a nicely baked and fresh French bread roll, about 6-7" long, the sandwich was cut into two large triangle shapes, with a generous amount of sliced roast beef, a slight amount of horseradish, and a slice of Swiss cheese. The au jus was just about perfect, not too salty nor too watery, as each dip of the sandwich soaked up a fair amount of the beef drippings, but not too much as to cause the bread to disintegrate. Each bite was quite tasty, as the added Swiss cheese really seems to make a difference in the sandwich being better than those without the cheese.
I seem to have finally found a nice trio of local restaurants to rotate between to satisfy my French Dip cravings (with the Rooster Cafe and Tommy Pastrami as my other favorites). It certainly beats going to Arby's and Quiznos (although I must admit that the Steakhouse Dip at Quiznos is among the best I've had at a fast food restaurant).
Since there are other Champagne French Bakery locations around OC and LA, it's nice to know that they have a good quality French Dip that I hope to rely on when I'm visiting areas away from my neighborhood.
On a side note, there appear to be two Champagne locations in Costa Mesa, one in the main part of the South Coast Mall, the other in the Crystal Court structure of the mall on Bear St. I went to the Bear St location.
750 St Clair St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Champagne French Bakery & Cafe
3333 Bear St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Champagne French Bakery
3333 Bristol St, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Tommy Pastrami New York Deli
3751 S Harbor Blvd, Santa Ana, CA 92704