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My foodie friends had mentioned The French Oven Bakery & Cafe a few times and I finally had a chance to try it this summer! This small shop is located in the Scripps Ranch area of San Diego and provides social distancing through limiting customers in store and 6 feet markers on the ground.
Our first takeout was in early July. Dennis participated in the virtual version of the annual Scripps Ranch Old Pros bike / fun run event and claimed a free pastry offer from here plus brought home a few treats for me to try.
Chicken Curry Sandwich ($8) - chicken, apple, raisin, curry mayo, pickled onion, red pepper, cilantro
My favorite item so far is this refreshing Chicken Curry Sandwich! First off, that fresh baked croissant is light and beautifully flakey. Then you add that slightly chilled, creamy filling with the nibbles of raisins, some crunchy apple bits, and chunks of chicken to the tasty mix. If anything falls off onto the plate, you better believe we'll retrieve it as to not waste a single bite! The ratio of filling to bread is just right for me.
R.A.C Croissant ($4.50) - Raspberry Almond Chocolate
Initially I thought this was a simple almond croissant and was surprised by the additional berry-like layer as well as chocolate! I really enjoy that chocolate accent which was a nice contrast to the sweet almond paste! This version makes it very pie-like which temps Dennis's tastebuds!
Quiche Lorraine ($6.95) - Ham, bacon and caramelized onions with Swiss cheese
This generous slice has subtle flavors with an eggy layer that's airy. I'd like even more crust (my favorite part usually) but maybe I'm secretly craving pie from Pop Pie Co...
This time I visited the bakery with Dennis. We ordered another Chicken Curry Sandwich plus a few new items that caught my eye.
Almond Croissant ($4.50)
For the classic bakery treat, we enjoy the Almond Croissant. There's the toasty slivers of almonds on the outside plus a generous sweet almond paste layer within. I'd say go for either this or R.A.C since both are delicious!
Ham and Cheese Croissant ($4.75) - filled with black forest ham, gruyere cheese and creamy béchamel
Another delightful item from the bakery is the Ham and Cheese Croissant. Since we were full after our chicken curry sandwich, this was saved for the next day. After a gentle toast in our mini oven, this steamy pastry was freaking good! Nice quality black forest ham inside plus that gooey cheesy layer was fantastic melted within!
Fruit Tart ($4.95) - 4-inch tart shell baked with almond cream, thin layer of homemade jam, fresh seasonal fruit
This treat is rather hard to resist! Plus, I actually prefer these mini sizes over full size desserts! I like the thicker shell that manages to hold together right up until you bite through! It crumbles so nicely onto your tongue, slightly sweet and makes me wonder where this has been all my life! Fruits are preserved nicely and add to that eye candy appeal!
Dennis likes hummus and was intriqued by the presentation, with the reddish oils and spices calling to us from the display. At home we dug in and were hit by a strong garlic taste... Dennis was immediately a fan though I prefer more subtle flavors! The portion on this is plentiful for multiple snack sessions. We've tried it with pita chips as well as toasted bread from the bakery.
Kalamata Olive Bread ($5.50)
That's bakery fresh! I find that the flour layers are quite thick in some areas, and cause dusty white fingers while slicing. Oh, the joys of baked goods...
I'd say it's slightly hard to slice because the firm crust needs a little push to cut through yet the insides are so soft that it collapses a bit. But after slicing, give it a slight heat in the oven or toaster and that outer crust has a lovely bite to it while the insides remain wonderfully fluffly! You'll also get occasional chunks of olives with a touch of saltiness to it. We paired the bread with hummus that evening but do what you love best, whether it be butter, oil & vinegar, etc.
This time, Dennis ordered two Chicken Curry Sandwiches because I didn't want to share! He also brought home a new dessert for us to try.
Lemon Tart ($4.95)
The crust is similar to the fruit tart and we were happy that it wasn't overly zesty in the lemon department and not sugary sweet!
We ordered another Chicken Curry Sandwich, Ham & Cheese Croissant, and Hummus plus tried a few more items.
Turkey BLT ($8.50) - turkey, bacon, lettuce, tomato, avocado, herb aioli, on a baguette
Dennis pointed out how much he liked the light mayo-y sauce and how the turkey felt like premium quality meat. There's not a lot of ingredients but what is in there seems balanced between meat and veggies. On the outside, it's on the breadier side and slightly chewy if you don't toast it before eating. We were starving at the time so chomped right in!
Chocolate Royal Cake ($4.95)
This cake looked similar to my favorite Princess Cake from Champagne Bakery. We enjoyed the crunchy bottom layer crust as well as the side crispies which reminded us of Ferrero Rocher. The middle was a light mousse though we'd probably prefer a firmer cake-layer for our dessert. Dennis did promote this idea of pairing it with banana and ice cream which did sound quite yummy to me!
Mixed Berry Scone ($4.25)
This scone has a berry filling so we were curious to give it a try. Dennis ate it straight out of the fridge and enjoyed the crumbliness of it. I'm still on the fence about scones in general...
Chocolate Twist ($3.50)
At home we toast for that warm gooey dark chocolate with your bite! I wouldn't mind a little bit more chocolate too (R.A.C gives you that chocolate taste) but it's a decent treat!
Too bad there isn't a rewards program here because we could easily rack up the points! If it were along my work commute, I'd be a little rounder too haha! My favorites are the savory items: Chicken Curry Sandwich and Ham & Cheese Croissant. Dennis also digs the Almond or R.A.C. Croissant and the Hummus. Staff is friendly and quick with takeout service. Our friends CC and Kirk have also posted about The French Oven.
The French Oven Bakery & Cafe
10299 Scripps Trail suite e
San Diego CA 92131