I have this slight obsession with Paris. Maybe my love of French pastries is to blame or the way the city is synonymous with romance is responsible. Either way, I’m aching to visit the city. I want to see all the touristy places, and the opera (of course) but most of all I want to sit in a little cafe, sip on a cup of coffee while people-watching, munch on freshly-baked pastries and enjoy the simple pleasures of life.
Unfortunately a trip to Paris is not in my immediate future so to get my Parisian cafe fix in Salt Lake City I’ve been going to Eva’s Boulangerie, otherwise known as Eva’s Bakery. Brought to us by the same owners as the Mediterranean tapas-serving Eva’s also on Main Street, both restaurants are a few blocks’ away from each other but have much different vibes. I’ve long been a fan of Eva’s for a post-work dinner or Sunday brunch, but the Bakery version has a daytime focus with laid back coffee shop atmosphere.
A pastry counter greets customers at the door, showcasing French-inspired creations seemingly too beautiful to eat. Freshly-baked breads in all shapes and sizes line the walls and, if you are dining early (they open at 7 a.m.), you’ll see servers parading loaves out from the kitchen to the front in such a cliche fashion that I could be convinced it was all for show. Chalkboards cutely display the day’s specials or simply a “Welcome!” as you walk in. Seriously, the place is so cute it makes me happy just walking inside.
Breakfast is served all day. The menu has a handful of rich items like Brunch Pie ($9), ham, Gruyere, easy eggs, Bechamel sauce and arugula—a rich pizza-like “pie” topped with an egg; French Frittata ($8, pictured above), listed on the menu as a baked omelet but arrives in more of a quiche form with ham, Gruyere, mushrooms, spinach, tomato and house potatoes. Granola with yogurt ($5) and stuffed French toast ($8) with lemon cream cheese are also available.
The lunch menu is a small mixture of unique sandwiches like the Tri-Tip Steak ($9) with seasonal vegetables, Parmesan, arugula and spicy feta; Wild Mushroom Croque ($9), served with organic greens and balsamic vinaigrette; and a pita-style Tuna Melt ($9) with Swiss cheese, tomato and onions. Open-faced sandwiches vary daily and can be ordered from the glass case up front.
Savory Bread Pudding ($9) is always mentioned by the server as a lunch favorite, with tomato, Gruyere, spinach and leeks; and the Mac & Cheese also sounds good. (The bacon-filled option is $10; the veggie version is $9 with caramelized onions and seasonable vegetables.) A range of salads, from a delicious classic beet ($7, my go-to for lunch) to a baked goat cheese ($8), served over a baguette with hazelnuts, arugula, pears and Dijon is also a good choice.
Eva’s Bakery is one of those places that reminds me of being in a being out of town. The food is slightly inconsistent each time I’ve been and the quality of service tends to vary depending on how crowded they are, but overall it always ends up being enjoyable.
Go to Eva’s Bakery for :: a quick lunch, a relaxing brunch or a cup of coffee and a pastry. Or grab a loaf of their bread to go. Notes :: Open 7 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Saturday. Follow them on twitter for specials or Instagram for some food porn.