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La Quiche Parisienne Bistro – Albuquerque, New Mexican

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La Quiche Parisienne Bistro in the Mountain Run Shopping Center on Eubank

Who can ever forget Fred the Baker, the haggard, perpetually exhausted Dunkin Donuts baker and his iconic lament, “time to make the donuts?” Every morning an annoying alarm clock would rouse Fred from his deep slumber and he would wearily utter his trademarked catch phrase as he prepared for the rigor of the day. For fifteen years—from 1982 to 1997—Fred the Baker let America know it was time to make the donuts, reminding them that while he was doing so, the guys who make the supermarket donuts were still in bed. The Fred the Baker commercials became ingrained in American pop culture, but they also had a ring of truth.

Being a baker means rising very early and working during hours in which most people are sleeping. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “bakers work early mornings, late evenings, weekends, and holidays” and “the work can be stressful because bakers often work under strict deadlines and critical, time-sensitive baking requirements.”

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The interior of La Quiche Parisienne

La Quiche Parisienne Bistro is an exemplar of every story you’ve ever heard about how hard bakers work. Master baker Bruno Barachin and his better half Sabine Pasco, the on-site pastry chef, put in the type of hours which would exhaust most nine-to-fivers. Hard work is a way of life with which they are very familiar, but they wouldn’t have it any other way. Similar to Fred the Baker, any sour disposition with which Bruno and Sabine might wake up, dissipates when they greet customers at their sprawling new location.

From its launch in 2006 through May, 2013, La Quiche Parisienne Bistro held court in a delightful Lilliputian café in Albuquerque’s downtown area. It wasn’t exactly an ideal location. Not only is parking downtown an adventure, ingress and egress for folks who don’t work downtown is a time-consuming exercise in patience. The cafe, ensconced in a pedestrian mall, was a bit cramped (to say the least), but its diminution could be viewed as a positive because diners were surrounded by the wondrous aromas emanating from the bread ovens.

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French Country Pate: Housemade Pate, French Mustard, Cornichons, Olives

In its new location, the space which previously housed Glazed Hams & More in the Mountain Run Shopping Center, there’s plenty of parking and seating is no longer in personal space proximity. Because the new location is much larger, however, those alluring aromas dissipate across a larger area and you won’t imbibe them quite as much. The new location boasts of more counter space for pastries and breads. Showcased in glass pastry cases is a larger assortment of even more colorful and delicious pastries. It’s a wonder drool tracks don’t run down those pastry cases from customers studying their contents carefully.

Among the indulgences, you’ll find loaves of country bread, sourdough bread, fruit tarts, fresh-baked baguettes, quiches, artisan cakes, pain au chocolate (chocolate croissants), and so much more, all tempting treats which bear witness to Bruno’s Master Baker certification and Sabine’s genius. The bistro’s beauteous breads and pulchritudinous pastries will be available, in season, at the Nob Hill Growers’ Market every Thursday from 3PM to 6:30PM. On Saturdays, also in season, La Quiche’s products will be available at the Albuquerque Downtown Growers’ Market. It’s the closest thing you’ll find in Albuquerque to the experience of al fresco noshing on bread and pastries in France.

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Onion Soup Gratinee (Vegetarian)

The breakfast menu is somewhat limited if all you’re perusing are the six items categorized as “Breakfast.” Expand your perusal to include the “Viennoiseries” section of the menu and you’ll reach the mother lode. Viennoiseries are baked goods made from a yeast-leavened dough in a manner similar to bread or from puff pastry, but with ingredients which impart a richer, sweeter character similar to that of pastry. The dough is often “laminated” with a bright oily sheen. The Viennoiseries menu includes flaky croissants, apple turnovers, cinnamon rolls, Danish, brioche and more.

The lunch (or early dinner) menu includes three soups, four salads, an array of sandwiches in which the bistro’s bread shines, tartines (open-faced sandwiches), appetizers and entrees. Entrees are served with your choice of side: salad, Ratatouille, endives braises or French fries. It’s a surprisingly ambitious menu if you’re of the mind that bakery menus are limited. It’s also surprising that the menu isn’t strictly a vehicle for showcasing the bistro’s baked goods (take the steak frites, for example).

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Strasbourg Sandwich: Pastrami, Sauerkraut, Swiss Cheese, 1000 Island Dressing on Toasted Levain Bread. Served with French Fries

A bowl of the onion soup Gratinee is a great way to start your dining experience.  If you don’t share that bowl with two or six of your best friends, you may not have room for anything else.  The soup is served in a swimming pool-sized bowl similar to the bowls of pho served in Vietnamese restaurants.  As with many French onion soups, this one is topped with bread and cheese though the cheese doesn’t drape over the entire bowl as some French onion soup does.  Also unlike so many served in Albuquerque’s French restaurants, this is a vegetarian soup made with a vegetarian stock.  It’s not quite as rich as French onion soup made with beef broth, but is quite good in its own right.

The French country pate from the tartines section of the menu is another excellent starter.  Served as an open-faced “sandwich,” the pate is sliced into quarter-inch thick slices and placed atop a slice of French country bread then topped with shaved carrots, lettuce and red onions.  Cornichons, those delectable small pickled gherkins, olives and an incendiary French mustard complete this plate.  The pate is somewhat on the coarse side (so much better than the mousse variety) and doesn’t have that strong liver flavor of some pate.

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Steak Frite: 8-ounce Angus. Served with French Fries and Parsley Butter

The sandwich menu is comprised of seven sandwiches, all made with the bistro’s amazing homemade breads. All sandwiches are served with French fries, though you can substitute fruit or a spring mix salad for a pittance more. Extra cornichons and French fries are other options. Named for the capital city of the Alsace region in eastern France is the Strasborg Sandwich which is constructed from pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and 1000 Island dressing on toasted Levian bread. The pastrami is the ubiquitous Boar’s Head brand, but it’s sliced on the premises. The sauerkraut has just enough fermentation to make it pleasantly sour; it won’t purse your lips. The Levian bread (bread of a wild yeast) is outstanding with a nice elasticity and texture.

My Chicago born-and-bred Kim is much more carnivorous than I and would have steak for breakfast, lunch and dinner if she could. She often laments the inability of Duke CIty chefs to season steaks well. For her to compliment the seasoning of a steak means the chef is a bona fide genius. The steak at La Quiche was perfectly seasoned for her with the amounts of kosher salt, cracked black pepper and garlic she enjoys. It’s an eight-ounce Angus cut prepared to your exacting specifications and is served with French fries and parsley butter. Slather the butter on the steak for a moist, creamy glaze and rich flavor.

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Ratatouille

The 2007 animated film Ratatouille probably did more for the consumption of vegetables than all the food pyramids put together. Ratatouille, a traditional French stewed vegetable dish, is popular among dieters because it’s low in fat and calories while being rich in nutrients. There are many ways to prepare ratatouille and most are passable. La Quiche’s rendition is wonderful, a medley of red, green and yellow peppers, onions and endive tossed in olive oil and grilled to perfection.

Our first life-altering experience with the pain chocolate (chocolate croissants) baked at La Quiche was at Limonada, the outstanding Italian sibling of Torinos @ Home. It was an experience we duplicated at the bakery where this delicious treasure was created. The croissant is delicate, light and flaky with a buttery essence. The chocolate is an “adult” chocolate, not the cloying milk chocolate stuff kids enjoy. There’s a Goldilocks quantity of chocolate—not too much, not too little…just enough. This is probably the very best pain chocolate in New Mexico!

Chocolate Croissant, the very best in Albuquerque

Chocolate Croissant, the very best in Albuquerque

La Quiche Parisienne Bistro is a sleek, elegant escape to baked bread deliciousness, but there’s so much more to this paradise of pan. For instance, there are some nine quiche dishes on the menu, each one an invitation to swoon-inspiring flavors. There are decadent desserts a plenty sure to wear down your willpower. Make a run to the Mountain run shopping center soon.

La Quiche Parisienne Bistro
5500 Eubank Blvd, N.E.
Albuquerque, New Mexico
(505) 242-2808
Web Site
LATEST VISIT: 9 June 2013
# OF VISITS: 1
RATING: *
COST:
BEST BET: French Country Pate, Ratatouille, Steak Frite, Onion Soup Gratinee, Strasbourg Sandwich


View La Quiche Parisienne Bistro on LetsDineLocal.com »

La Quiche Parisienne Bistro on Urbanspoon

  • Renee - Pay Bas (mais pas Terneuzen) says:

    Have been a fan of the bakery forever. Too bad I live too far away to come by and check out the new place. Good to read this review, though.
    Beaucoup de succes pour S et B!!

    June 13, 2013 at 2:39 PM
  • Edward Sung says:

    Gil! Sorry for the off-topic comment, but I saw on Metafilter that an informal “Friends of Gil” group is planning a trip to Torinos at the end of the month. Do you know about this and do you think you would attend???

    June 13, 2013 at 3:22 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Hi Edward

      Alas, I’ve got a business trip to San Diego at month’s end and won’t be able to make it. In Torinos @ Home, the Friends of Gil could not have chosen a better venue for a meet-up.

      Gil

      June 13, 2013 at 8:21 PM
  • Hannah says:

    Gil you’re always a step ahead! I’ve been wanting to check this place out since I loooove their baked goods from the Farmer’s Mkt or the downtown location, but we just haven’t gotten around to it. It’s a must-go, now!

    June 13, 2013 at 3:29 PM
    • Gil Garduno says:

      Hi Hannah

      I’m going through “Drive to Place” withdrawal and hope you and Edward resurrect the Salad Days podcast on weekends. There isn’t a topic the two of you can’t make interesting…even classes. Tomorrow will be just another Friday without your hyperthetical deliberations.

      You have got to try (and write about) Le Quiche Parisienne. It deserves the Hannah and Edward treatment.

      Gil

      June 13, 2013 at 8:27 PM
  • Edward Sung says:

    Oh, and an ON-topic comment — I did not know LQP was doing a full menu at their new location. Their pastries and quiches are unbelievably good…H and I will definitely be making a trip over there soon!

    June 13, 2013 at 3:31 PM
  • Liz Reding says:

    My husband and I just tried to have lunch here this Saturday. The restaurant was fabulous bread, mediocre food, and awful service. There seemed to be nothing but confusion between wait staff and the kitchen. Although there were less than 30 diners in the restaurant, food wasn’t moving to tables. I was ignored at the entrance for 5 minutes, and it took 20 minutes to get an order of two soups; the sandwich we ordered never materialized. That’s not entirely true, the sandwich did appear on our bill.

    I have gotten the sourdough bread, croissants, and baguettes here, and they are truly wonderful! But the table service is dreadful, and you only get one chance to make a first impression.

    March 22, 2014 at 3:05 PM

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