FRENCH JOURNEY

Bonjour! I enjoyed French eats to commemorate the completion of my French examinations in the past 2 weeks: End of term for a 3rd level class as well as the internationally-recognized DELF A1. In January 2017, I started reacquainting with the language at my own pace until classes at the  Alliance Française de la Jamaïque were discovered. Thanks to the lessons recalled from high school plus the 3 weeks of independent learning, I started at the beginner plus level then eventually graduated to the current transition level.

A creative writing competition was entered in April for extra practice, which I subsequently won! The prizes received included a certificate, workbook, and a free registration for the DELF examination. The surprise win turned out to be a blessing; I wanted to undergo the examination for professional reasons but wasn’t sure it would’ve been financially feasible.

Fast forward 2 months later, both examinations were submitted with confidence. I marked the completions by indulging in typical French cuisine at Fromage Gourmet Market and Tea Tree Crêperie.

FROMAGE GOURMET MARKET

This has been my go-to place for French eats treats so far, lol. The lunch visit following the DELF examination was my 3rd time at the establishment, with one visit for each meal time:

BREAKFAST

A lox breakfast flat (comprised of scrambled eggs, smoked salmon, herbed cream cheese, onions, and capers) was enjoyed with a side of iced coffee for brunch at a previous visit. The capers were new to me, I wasn’t very fond of their flavour which spread to the salmon, but the dish was an overall good meal. Tastes of the power scramble (eggs with sweet peppers, smoked sausage and mozzarella), and apple streusel pancakes were also savoured. Everything tried tasted like a lovely start to the morning.

LUNCH

For the first time since visiting this restaurant, the seat beside the Eiffel Tower backdrop was available! It seemed appropriate to mark another French achievement while sitting by the famous landmark. Alfredo pasta and a white wine sangria were chosen as the well-deserved treat meal. I asked for the added chicken to be spiced to ensure its flavour wasn’t masked by the creamy alfredo sauce. ME SEH! Be careful what you wish for! A generous serving full of flavour (and spices) was presented; the sangria was quickly finished trying to subdue the fire in my mouth. “Ethnic fatigue” kicked in, having me contently leave the restaurant filled, sleepy, buzzed, and with leftovers.

Fromage Gourmet - Eiffel Tower

DINNER

The first visit to Fromage Gourmet Market was for dinner to commemorate the writing competition win. A chowder du jour in bread boule (flavourful fish soup served in a bread bowl) was picked for the starter meal. The bread was so0o0 soft and soaked in the soup’s goodness! I finished it against my better judgement, knowing well that room had to be left for the main course. For the entrée, I ordered pomegranate glazed salmon served with vegetables and a side of mashed potatoes, plus a sangria. The side of potatoes were ordered thinking the salmon and vegetables wouldn’t be filling…WRONG! One of the first lessons learned here was that there are generous serving portions. My partner had the shrimp scampi with pasta in a white wine sauce; both meals were very satisfying.

OVERALL REVIEW
  • Delectability 77.5%
  • Food Variety 85%
  • Staff Interactions 80%
  • Ambiance 65%

TEA TREE CRÊPERIE

Following the final French transition class, I waltzed next door to meet a friend at Tea Tree Crêperie and enjoy savoury crêpes, located in the same establishment as  Nirvanna Indian Cuisine. It’s almost hypnotizing to look at how the flat pastry is spread, then folded with all ingredients inside from a front row viewing of creation process. I ordered a crêpe filled with beef tenderloin, tomato salsa and mozzarella cheese, while my friend’s crêpe contained chicken, mushrooms and mozzarella.

The thickness of a single crêpe was enough to satisfy our hunger for the rest of the evening. Between the two, mine was dubbed the favourite, mostly due to the great difference in flavour from the meat choices. The light atmosphere made us comfortable; we chatted and enjoyed each other’s company almost an hour after eating, while occasionally engaging the crêpe master. Before leaving, we grabbed a few markers and searched for spaces on the glass to add our names to the space’s customer-influenced decoration.

OVERALL REVIEW
  • Delectability 65%
  • Food Variety 80%
  • Staff Interactions 70%
  • Ambiance 80%

Have you enjoyed any other French Eats in Jamaica? What do you recommend?