Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sunday Morning Downtown Eats


I've been meaning to try Wood Spoon for months now. It's a little family-run Brazilian comfort food place here downtown, but its hours are oddly sporadic. Knowing this, we walked down there earlier today and had a backup plan in case the place was shuttered.

'Twas good we'd anticipated the possible letdown.
Isn't the signage adorable, though? There is no inkling of the words "Wood Spoon" anywhere, simply the graphic. I'm in love with the place already just for this. Fear not. We shall try again.

Unfazed by the predicted closed status of Wood Spoon, we made a detour to the nearby Angelique Cafe.
It's an old neighborhood favorite of mine, although it seems that lately it has lost a bit of its luster. (Analogy: It's sort of like a spouse who has gained a little weight after being happily married for awhile, if that makes any sense.) Nevertheless, I still go to Angelique Cafe from time to time, and this was our pre-chosen destination in case Wood Spoon was closed.

Don't be fooled by the Tapatio and Heinz poised on your table next to the salt and pepper shakers and long-stemmed rose in a small glass vase. Angelique Cafe is owned and run by real French folk, and it shows in the simple but good food. Even the coffee and fresh French bread are worth mentioning.
We shared my usual omelette marocaine (an omelet with spicy merguez sausage and ratatouille and sides of country potatoes and greens) and a ham and cheese crepe.
With regard to breakfast, omelets are hands-down the way to go here. Very good. Even though the sausage was a zesty celebration for my tastebuds, I will admit to dousing my omelet with Tapatio because I'm a Tapatio fiend. But that's just me. Most will enjoy the marocaine sans added Mexican hotness.

The ham and cheese crepe was a bit bland (and was eventually also doused in Tapatio) and came out lukewarm. This made us sad. The crepe itself, however, had a decent texture and was not the least bit gummy, even when sort of cold.

After cleaning up our savory delights, we shared strawberry jam crepes. Again, they were sadly lukewarm. But we still ate them all.
It should be noted that our server was great. He was very friendly, and my coffee cup was never empty. He even got down on the floor to fix our wobbly table. Who says all Frenchmen are snooty? Also note that lunch is quite good here. The sandwiches are big and delicious, and I especially love the fries. Oh, excuse me -- pommes frites.

We paid the check and decided to walk around a bit to work off a few bites of our casual French comfort food. I knew that Mode, a 24-hour French brasserie, had recently opened fairly close by, so I wanted to check it out and possibly get a to-go menu.

Mode was easy to find (on Olive Street between 9th and Olympic). It looks pretty cool and has a sleek modern feel to it -- my favorite!
The host at Mode was friendly and seemed really familiar to me. Then I realized who he was and asked, "Hey, do you also work at The Coffee Bean on weekday mornings?" And the answer was yes. (Actually, the verbatim answer was, "Yeah, that's me! I gotta get my money on!") The host at Mode was indeed my usual barista who happily makes all my drinks with soy. He just as happily gave us a menu to take home.
The offerings look rather inviting, and I look forward to trying this place very soon.


  1. Have never been to any of these! I will have to check them out...

  2. wood spoon - love the graphic and no text, too.
    angelique - yum! thanks for introducing me to your chubby, old spouse.

  3. I love that you've got such a good eye for people's faces, you can recognize them out of context :)

  4. Your downtown eating escapades have opened up a whole new world of dining to me. I usually stay east of the SGV and west of K-Town. There's so much goodness in between!

  5. I never realized how many good eats downtown has. I'm always looking for cute places to try since my mom lives in the downtown area. I'll have to go try out these places!

  6. now those look like real french crepes...although you would only get one, not two.

    lucky. ;)

  7. the thought of less-than-stellar crepes makes me sad. i heart crepes.

  8. I can't believe it was the same guy. How funny! You've got a scary talent. ;)


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