Tag Archives: French onion soup

Funky four-course French feast @ Jules Bistro

In 2021, I demolished a 24 oz cote de boeuf at Jules Bistro, this funky fresh French joint on Queen West. But it turns out there’s another Jules Bistro in town… only this one’s on Queen East. (They pretty much have the same menu, though.) So when I heard they were serving up a three-course prix fixe for just 40 bucks, you KNOW I had to check it out, bro!!!!!!

jules_bistro_onion_soup (12)

We’re starting off with their vegetarian French onion soup, which is more like French onion soup, with a twist. Fortunately, it’s not completely cheese-free — vegetarian, not vegan — but you won’t see a cheese crust or a crock pot, and instead of croutons, there’s a couple pieces of French bread on top. It wasn’t bad, but I prefer the more typical soupe a l’oignon like they serve at Cluny.

jules_bistro_escargot (13)

Now, the escargot weren’t on the prix fixe menu, but you KNOW I can’t go to a French restaurant and NOT eat snails, bro! These were not your garden-variety escargot, either, served in a brandy mushroom cream sauce with a side of toasted baguette — no garlic butter here!

saute_de_poulet (7)

Dude, this whole dinner is brought to you by cream sauce. Up next, we’ve got saute de poulet, sliced chicken breast in a bacon and mushroom cream sauce, with a side of fries and salad. Chicken is nice ‘n tender, that cream sauce is legit, but those fries are what makes it — they’re like McDonald’s without all the salt, son!!!!

jules_bistro_creme_brulee (16)

And of course, we’re ending this creamy feast with some creme brulee. This tastes pretty much like I remember from the West End spot, with a nice crispy crust and a cold, creamy centre. Nothing wrong with that at all!

spearhead_queen_of_wheat (5)

We’re washing it down with a cream, erm, Queen of Wheat beer from Spearhead. It’s sorta like a Belgian wit, but not as citrusy as some of the ones I’ve had before (i.e. Blanche de Chambly). Goes good with soup ‘n snails, but I switched to a Great Lakes Stout for the main course and did not regret it…

great_lakes_stout (4)

French onion soup + French beef dip @ this funky French bistro

When we went to Cluny in 2020, I discovered that their coq au vin poutine for two was really just a light snack for me — and it was the only thing I ordered, too, except for dessert. So this time, I’m heading back to check out the ne plus français of French food, starting off with some French onion soup:

cluny_french_onion_soup (15)

Now, this dish looks really nice when it hits the table, with all that cheese on top. And the ingredients are all on point — melted gruyère, glazed onion, rich beef broth. Only thing that’s missing are the croutons… I guess that makes it gluten-free or something?

cluny_beef_dip (7)

Since the bread was missing from my French onion soup, I pretty much ordered the sandwich version of the same dish. French dip ain’t actually French — it was invented in Los Angeles, of all places. But the version they do here is pretty decent, with an onion loaf that’s flaky like a croissant. Problem is, that onion loaf falls apart too easy, which isn’t great when you’re trying to dip it in au jus. And the fries are super-seasoned, too, but since they don’t come with ketchup, that works for me.

mill_st_cobblestone_stout (10)

How better to wash down all that French food than with an English beer? Well, English-style, anyways — a Cobblestone Stout from just down the street at Mill Street Brewery. I have never drank a stout out of such a tall glass before, and it was served much colder than a proper pint of Guinness…but hey, it still gets the job done, son!!!!

French food meets deep-fried diner classics @ Le Swan

Now, I dunno if they actually have diners in France. I mean, they’re all about the discotheque and the bibliothèque over there, with maybe a baguette or two for déjeuner. But when I heard about Le Swan, this funky joint on Queen West that calls itself a French diner, you KNOW I had to come check it out! And with half the menu in French and the other half in American, I was soooo down for this culinary exchange in Flavourtown!!!

swan_french_onion_soup (7)

So, we’re starting off with a culinary classic from across the pond: French onion soup. Only, they do theirs a little bit different — instead of croutons, they bake the cheese onto three crispy baguettes, which are hard ‘n crusty at first, but get softer after you dump ’em in the soup. So it might not be what you’d find at, say, Le Sélect Bistro, but it’s still pretty tasty!

swan_chicken_fried_steak (7)

But now it’s time for the main event — real-deal, southern-style chicken fried steak. Dude, I think the last time I had this dish was in Seattle, at a dingy dive that was even darker than Le Swan…which means I didn’t take any pictures. But the flavours here were definitely on point. Nice, crispy breading, with a bit of a peppery kick, on top of a bed of mashed potatoes and a gravy that really brings everything together. Now, if only they’d put, like, some raclette on top, that would really take it to the next level…

swan_rum_chocolate_malt (3)

Speaking of next-level, their rum chocolate malt really kicks things up a notch! This boozy Fudgesicle in Flavourtown takes the rich, chocolatey goodness of an old-school diner shake, and adds a nice kick of rum. This ain’t your grandmama’s milkshake, son!!!!