"Is there poutine in Southern California?"
It's a question that gets asked at least a few times a year on the L.A. Board, and the answer is always, "Only at Canadian Cafe in Monrovia." Recently, though, someone mentioned a French-Canadian café in Anaheim, but in the sense of "I've heard they serve poutine."
Well, they don't. Sorry. What they do serve, though, is very tasty French-Canadian food with some normal American specialities thrown in, for a VERY reasonable price. I had a huge slice of very good tourtiere ($5.95), spiced meat pie with a thin, tender pastry crust, covered in -- damn it -- veloute de poulet, a.k.a. poutine sauce, which came with pommes lyonnaises (we call these roasted potatoes) and garlic bread. For dessert, I had a fresh strawberry crepe ($2.50) that was excellent, except that it had a bunch of alcohol in the dish which added a bitter tang to what otherwise would have been a perfect crepe.
They have other French-Canadian specialities, from croque-monsieur (and croque-madame) to savoury crepes ($5.95-$7.95). They specialise in choux a la creme ($0.70 each) and also have sugar pie. Breakfasts include stuffed French toast, which seems to be the speciality, and which comes with real Quebecois maple syrup.
Service is casual -- it's an older Vietnamese couple, and they seem to be easily overwhelmed. If you don't mind waiting a few minutes for your coffee (which was bitter) to be refilled, you won't notice. If you're younger than about 60, you'll probably notice that the crowds tends to run to the older folks.
Despite the disturbing lack of poutine, I like it... and I'm going to remember that tourtiere. I just have to remember to stop at the bank first -- it's cash only.
Cafe Casse Croute
656 S Brookhurst (north of Ball Rd, adjacent to Stater Bros.)
Anaheim, CA 92804
No credit cards accepted.