Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro

Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro is a small and hugely popular French restaurant in North Burnaby. On my first visit, this past Monday, I managed to snag the last table. I walked past on Thursday around 1:30…not a seat to be had, people waiting. On Friday I made a reservation for 11:30. Again, full house.

One reason for this venue’s popularity is the friendliness of the owner/server, Isabelle. Each guest is greeted with a happy “Bonjour!” Even with an over-flowing lunch service her temperment never wavers, creating a homey, warm vibe. Another reason is this concise and well-planned menu.

Along with the soup, salads, sandwiches and “Plats”, they also do an amazing breakfast, I’m told.

Great food, a fine selection of beer and wine…life is good!

Unfortunately, while at work, we must abide by a strict no-tolerance policy when it come to alcohol. Too bad, that. A nice Pinot would’ve worked perfectly here.

On my “scouting-mission” visit, I went with the Snitzel.

A very, very solid sandwich…every aspect oozed freshness. The crisp, warm baguette was the best I’ve had since my days at Provence Mediterranean Grill. That, I think, is because it’s the exact same baguette! Phenomenal, these are. Inside is a tender, breaded pork loin, crunchy lettuce and a ripe, juicy tomato I’ve not seen the likes of around here for quite a while. All this is slathered in grainy Dijon and a well-placed lemon-caper mayo. Today’s soup was a nice tart Tomato-Basil…an excellent accompaniment.

These folks really know how to craft a sandwich.

Carl’s Jr.’s choice was the Jarret. Just by looking at this sandwich, I think I’ve figured out why the word unctuous was coined. Tender hunks of lamb shank, garlic jam and grainy mustard. The soup du jour was a slightly-currified purée of mixed vegetables. By all accounts, delicious. Unfortunately, Carl’s Jr. is a recent hire and has yet to learn to share. He does, however, display a prolific appetite…terrific in the clutch.

Jacky and I split the Bourguignon and the Cordon Bleu.

The Bourguignon is a carnivore’s dream-come-true. A seriously delicious pile of fatty short-rib (that’s “fatty” in the best sense of the word!), caramelized onion and almost enough nose-tingling horseradish. If it were up to me, this would be slathered in garlic aioli and maybe a touch of rosemary. No complaints, tho. A sensational sammich!

The Cordon Bleu is another stellar choice. Chicken breast and Emmenthal are wrapped in Black Forest Ham and served with a ramekin of Dijon. Not sure why the mustard is served on the side…other sandwiches have it on the inside.

The soups here, although exceptional, are portioned on the small side when served with a sandwich. For $2 you can upgrade to a larger serving. Better yet, for a mere $2.50 you can upgrade to the Onion Soup.

More often than not, when you order up “French Onion Soup“, you get a heavily-salted, powder-based soup mix and a slab of Swiss cheese. The version here is the real deal. The broth is lightly seasoned yet very flavorful. A high-quality, very melty Emmenthal works oh-so-well. Baked to perfection.

Top-quality ingredient, friendly service and a small, cozy room make Chez Mémé Baguette Bistro worthy of a slew of return visits. Seeing people stand for 45 minutes, at lunch, mind you, says it all.

BTW, they open at 8 and close at 3, Monday to Friday. Get here. It’s well worth the trek.

Chez Meme Baguette Bistro on Urbanspoon


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