Located in a strip mall in East Cobb, Café de Paris is a welcome refuge from the chain restaurants and fast food establishments that are abundant along the Johnson Ferry / Roswell Rd area. I visited this quaint French restaurant on a Wednesday afternoon for lunch. Tucked away in the corner of the Woodlawn Commons shopping center, Café de Paris is attached to a European style home décor store –C’est Moi, both owned by the same people.
Upon entering, you’ll notice the blackboard stand near the front door that lists the 3 or 4 specials of the day. There’s also a display of various canned and packaged foods for sale – with things like monkey bread mix, tri-colored pasta, pancake mix, syrup and the like several of the items imported from France.
The laminated menus are located near the register where you place your order. If there is a line when you enter, go to the counter and grab one of the menus, so you can peruse it as you wait in line. Once your order is placed and paid for, grab a seat and your meal will be delivered shortly.
The menu at Café de Paris is comprised on omelets, salads, sandwiches, and quesadillas (yes, quesadillas in a French restaurant). You can also choose a half and half combo consisting of your choice of 2 of the following: soup, salad or sandwich. It appears breakfast is served all day or at least through the lunch hour.
As it had been many, many months since I had had quiche, I ordered the quiche of the day- Quiche Lorraine and the soup of the day – Lobster Bisque. We also sampled the chicken salad sandwich melt. My cohorts and I were starved (we had skipped breakfast) and I was a bit concerned that the quiche Lorraine and the chicken salad melt weren’t going to sustain us for very long, but I remained satisfied well into the evening hours.
In my experience, true French food tends to be very rich but served in small portions, so the diner doesn’t feel gluttonous, and Café de Paris was no exception. My cup of soup and the small piece of quiche was served with a side of fruit, a welcome change from the normal carb fest at most other lunch spots.
My Quiche Lorraine was decent and had a fair offering of ingredients – ham, spinach and swiss cheese. But sandwiches are the real winner here. I sampled the chicken salad melt and it was divine. I’m a chicken salad addict myself, but the melt, served on thick toasted slightly sweet wheat bread was excellent. It had a slight lemon flavoring in it as well, which added another dimension of flavor.
I had the chance to sample all three of the featured soups that day: Lobster Bisque (which came with my meal), Tomato Basil and Lemon Artichoke. I felt the bisque was decent but a tad too sweet and creamy. I prefer my bisque to be a little more spicy as opposed to sweet.
“The Lemon Artichoke soup is what we are known for”, which the owner / manager, Jim (I only caught his first name) proudly extolled as he set the soup in front of me. It is definitely a bold flavor. It was not like anything I’d ever tasted before.
And, to be honest, on the first sip, I didn’t care for it, as both the lemon and artichoke flavor is extremely strong, but it actually grew on me and I was loving it by the end. While in line, I heard 2 customers talking about it as well with polar opposite opinions, so it appears to be one of those dishes you either love or hate.
Café de Paris is open from 8 am until 9 pm every day but Sunday, when they close at 3 pm. The café also has dinner entrees like Steak au Poivre, Lamb Chops with Mint Pesto and Shrimp Carbonara all priced at under $14. Lunches are around $8.
Service was pleasant and quick. The majority of customers look like soccer moms out to lunch with their girlfriends, in between shopping and errand running. Although the atmosphere lends itself to the Parisian-style long, leisurely lunch, with the quick service it is possible to get in and out within your lunch hour. So, if you work in area, Café de Paris should be on your short list of lunch spots, a definite escape from the ordinary.
1100 Johnson Ferry Rd
Marietta, GA 30068