Lunchtime Croques at Cafe Rouge

Ahhh Cafe Rouge, home to my favourite apple tart, and a go to for french comfort food on stormy nights. I’ve been a fan of Cafe Rouge for a while now, you’ll know I’ve worked with them a few times before, and it’s always a pleasure. So when they invited me down to try out their new range of Croques, I was there faster than you can say ‘cheesey french sandwich’.

Our local Cafe Rouge is a real gem, tucked away in the outskirts of town, from the outside it looks dinky, but it’s actually pretty roomy. Whenever I visit it’s always busy, but in a nice, homely kind of way. The servers may be doing a mad dance to get around everyone, but you never feel neglected or like anything is too much trouble, which is nice. I bought Con along with me on this occasion (after our last trip I’m not sure he’d have let me bring anyone else!), and we took our seats as the waiter talked us through the new additions to the menu, pointing out his favourites and making recommendations!

One thing I always order at Cafe Rouge is a French Garden Fizz. They’ve an affordable and pretty big ‘mocktail’ menu, and this is my favourite, a soda water, mint, lemon and elderflower petal concoction that’s super tasty and refreshing! I probably enjoy them more than any real cocktail – and you don’t have to worry about how many you have!

Con ordered the fresh squeezed orange juice which got a big thumbs up, we drank a lot of it in Australia so whenever it’s on a menu now we can’t help but order! It was really tasty, and served with a giant wedge of orange.

Onto the croques! In addition to the classic Croque Madame and Monsieur, Cafe Rouge have created three new twists to the simple Croque. All served with either french fries or house salad, they’re perfect for that lunchtime hunger fix!

Connor ummed and ahhed about ordering the new Portobello Mushroom sandwich, stuffed with goats cheese and drizzled with truffle oil, but in the end he couldn’t resist the Hot Smoked Salmon Croque. Fresh flaky salmon and garlic cream cheese, served on fresh sourdough, topped with homemade bechamel and emmental cheese, it was pretty decadent, and judging by how quickly it disappeared from his plate, very good!

I opted for the Croque Club, a french twist on the classic club sandwich. Fresh sourdough sandwiched roast chicken, crispy pancetta and salad, and the classic bechamel was spiked with sundried tomatoes, giving it an almost mediterranean taste. It was also huge, I couldn’t finish the sandwich, never mind the mountain of accompanying french fries! Delicious though, and much more filling than your usual sandwich affair!

Unfortunately, no apple tart for me this time, I was stuffed! We had a fantastic time though, our food was great and the staff went out of their way to make us feel welcome. I’ll definitely consider Cafe Rouge for lunch a little more often, instead of saving it for decadent dinners! You can check out their menu here, I’m a big fan, there’s so much choice!

Are you a Croque fan?

Our meal was compliments of Cafe Rouge, but all thoughts are, as always, my own!