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Kelly's French Bakery (Santa Cruz)

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Kelly's French Bakery (Santa Cruz)

Carb Lover | Mar 7, 2005 05:33 PM

Went to Kelly's French Bakery (402 Ingalls St.; westside SC) for Fri. lunch since I was curious to see what the baker/co-owner who came through Chez Panisse could do. See link for recent review.

Small cafe tucked away in a funky industrial building next to Pelican Winery. Cramped but comfy cafe seating indoors w/ a few tables outdoors. Small pastry case filled w/ lots of good-looking cookies, cakes, danishes. Fresh artisanal breads neatly arranged on the back wall created a rustic backdrop.

Open for breakfast and lunch--kitchen serves til 3pm; bakery closes at 6pm. Friendly counter service. Focused lunch menu spans panini, salads, soup, and specialty cafe drinks. Sandwiches and salads range from $6-9. Baked goods are quite reasonable. Fri. lunch specials included: shrimp nicoise salad; beet salad; beef borscht.

Three of us ordered:
Beet salad: roasted red beets, gorgonzola, candied nuts (pecans?) atop red leaf lettuce dressed w/ house vinaigrette. Beets were clearly the star; perfectly roasted and seasoned--flavor was not tiresome. Would have liked more interesting mix of greens though.

Breaded chicken panini: Lightly-breaded chicken breast sandwiched btwn. housemade Francese bread w/ a smear of pesto and other piquant flavors. Had a couple of bites and thought it was rather tasty but not something I'd order for myself.

Croque monsieur panini: Basic ham and cheese btwn. Francese. Looked plain but friend reported that it was "good quality." Would be nice if sandwiches came w/ side salad though, so one might order a small salad to accompany.

Pistachio macaroon: much larger than the petite traditional cookies. Surface crackled when I bit into it, leading to a sweet lightly nutty flavor, followed by a nice chew. Delightful overall and great deal at $1. Excited to try other flavors.

Parfait: this was like a trifle in a tall flared cup. Layers of superb whipped cream, creme anglais, yellow cake, fresh strawberries. Perfect for two to share.

Francese loaf to go: just $2 and my favorite version in town so far, trumping Gayle's and the Buttery. Earthy w/ good sour and chew. Lightened by air pockets galore; ideal for crostini, soup croutons, sandwiches.

Verdict: Will def. return to buy their fresh breads and sample more of their sweets. Love how fresh their produce tastes, so I'll stick to their daily salad and soup specials.

Link: http://www.santacruzsentinel.com/arch...

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