Café de France Bakery and Bistro translated into Texan as… ‘Awesomely prepared fresh food’.
Café de France 17370 Preston Rd, Dallas, Texas 75252
Located on far North Preston Road, just before entering Collin County line, of Plano, Texas, Café de France Bakery and Bistro is a hidden gem of a restaurant.
Founded by Fred Gilani in 1982, Café de France started as a French bakery and café serving soups, salads, and sandwiches. First store opened in Plano, Texas, on 15th St. where their cozy dining room made the Café a local favorite. Allen, with his twin brother and sister along with his cousins, joined his brother, Fred, in 1982 to make the Café a true family business. Of course, no family is complete without a woman’s touch, and that’s exactly what Allen’s wife, Minoo, brought to the dinner table when she joined the restaurant.
For the quality of food it has been a mystery to me why Café de France is located in a strip mall and not in a stand alone building. I am sure there is a story there that maybe one day I will find out.
The food is not just slopped out on a plate and from the taste of the sauces has the grace of a true Chef in the kitchen which is something else I hope to find out about on my next visit. OH yes, there will be another visit.
My wife and I have ate at Café de France a couple of times. It is on our top 10 list of places to go for GOOD Food in Dallas. The restaurant is not a large affair and each time we go is never packed but yet has a steady flow of people coming in to a friendly greeting. The pricing on the menu is below the level of the quality of each item on the menu.
On this recent visit we started with the Calamari appetizer. Unlike the more mainstream restaurants who are following on the bandwagon of serving Fake Calamari, Café de France prepares Fresh cut Calamari, lightly fired in a cornmeal batter and served with a moderately spicy dip. They added in the batter a few slices of Red Bell Pepper and a cross cut of a jalapeno pepper.
Before the entree was served they presented us with a small loaf of freshly bakes french bread. It was by far the best tasting french bread I have had in Dallas.
My entree for this visit was Chicken Kiev. Lightly-breaded fried chicken breast with provolone cheese and mushroom champagne sauce. This was served with steamed carrots with a maple syrup flavored sauce along with rice pilaf. Preceding the entree was a very fresh salad and house dressing they serve on the side.
The sauces were very well done and did not come from a packaged mix. The chicken was Fresh and very well cooked throughout. Was moist and could be cut with a fork. The carrots were straight from the garden..not from a can and the maple syrup flavored sauced was my favorite. The rice pilaf was flavor filled, not sticky.
The portions of food was not overwhelming. The quality taste and preparation of the meal was very filling..even had some left to take home.
Unfortunately, I was so filled I had to have the Carrot Cake I ordered to Go.
Overall, Café de France should get a 5 star. It has the quality food that overcomes their very few weaknesses. They have a Bakery on location that produce some of the best pastries in Dallas A number of people came in while I was there just for the pastries. They have a Full bar, very rare in Plano, Texas. Seem they have a following that enjoy stopping by to have a cocktail.
I know I am not alone with being annoyed when it comes to being seated at a wobbly table that is off balance. Add to that that the char height and the table height were not in proportion to each other. For someone 6 foot or taller, the table was far too low which caused me to have to slump over far more than normal. I called this the Booster Chair effect since it reminded me of being sat at the children’s table. It made me very uncomfortable, but there was no alternative seating.
The location of the restaurant is hard to get to. It is good if you know exactly where it is located on Preston. Driving south on Preston from President George Bush Tollway, Café de France is located on the left. There is some local knowledge needed to navigate through the signal light intersection conveniently created for the shopping center. Arriving from the south, going North from Beltline Rd, is by far a much easier operation.
I could see both of these minor inconveniences solved by Café de France eventually moving into a stand alone building located in the more accommodation location closer to Addison, the more centralized and restaurant friendly section of Dallas. However, if a move like that destroys the quality of Food and Service, they should stay where they are…I know where they are located, and I’ll be back. Next time with a Posse.