Authentic European dining in BF? Oh yes.
The Scene: Simply put, Café Francais is authentic European dining in a not too formal environment. The warm lighting, the friendly restaurant crew, the wood interiors, the great coffee, and of course the "real deal" European cuisine are perfect for a romantic evening date or a cozy after work hangout (especially in the covered outdoor area in front). The café attracts lots of BF home owners as well as visitors from farther locales - all wanting to get a taste of the Café Francais experience.
When To Go: If you're in the mood for a breakfast date, you can come in when the store opens at 10 a.m. The place is also perfect for those afternoons of studying or just talking to friends over coffee and pastries. This café is a refreshing break from the usual coffee joints that are nowadays as common as most fast-food branches.
But for those special occasions, your visit to Café Francais should be at dinner time. The place fills up as the night deepens from 8 p.m. onwards until closing time at 1 a.m. Evenings are when the real bistro atmosphere slowly envelops the restaurant. And of course European cuisine is not complete without wine so don't forget to order a glass (or bottle!).
What To Eat: There's a wide selection of soups, sandwiches, salads, and other popular European dishes: Coq Au-Vin, chicken simmered in red wine sauce and sumptuous shallot; Chicken Fillet al Limone, a tender chicken breast in heavenly lemon butter sauce, just the right tangy sweet buttery taste to complement the savory dish; another must try is the Coqueittes St. Jaques, scallops with mushroom in white wine sauce, complementing the sweet taste of seafood.
If you're coming for the drinks, they serve exotic shakes with such names like Blue Lagoon (made of orange juice, yogurt, peach, and blueberry), Colada Surprise (strawberry, banana, pineapple, honey, and milk), and Tropical Sin (banana, melon, mango, and milk.)
Meat is of course a staple in Western cuisine, so Café Francais serves premium steaks such as Rib Eye, Filet Mignon, T-bone, and last but certainly not the least, Lamb Chops. These steaks go for 750 pesos.
Pastas and the pizzas are a must try. I started off my dinner with their Ravioli Epinard (P330). Spinach filled ravioli cooked to aldente perfection in pomodoro sauce. The smooth sauce was simply wonderful, not too heavy, and hinted with just the right tanginess of herbs to compliment the creamy taste. Biting into the ravioli and getting to that tasty filling will make a spinach lover out of anyone.
Their pizzas come in small, medium, and large sizes. However the most famous pizza, the great Vesuvio (P390), only comes in one size: big. I think it's aptly named. I can't help but be reminded of the volcano Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. It's bursting with tomatoes, pepper, onions, mushrooms, anchovies, black olives, capers, oregano, pepperoni, and hot melted mozzarella cheese. All these packed in with a dough cover. This big, loaded, and indeed volcanic pie is one of the restaurant's main attractions.
Finally, I ended my meal with one of their cheesecakes. I ordered the Classic Blueberry and I was not disappointed. The graham crust is moist, crumbly, and very tasty - a welcome end to my meal since I've tasted too many cheesecakes with dry powdery crusts lately.
Insider Tip: Come when you're in the mood for a special or romantic evening.