This Is Not a Pancake

Where to breakfast like a doomed aristo

Didier Martin was born in Normandy. He and his wife, who hails from France's southern coastline, ended up in Miami when Didier took a job as director of operations at the Hotel Sofitel. What he knows of kitchens he picked up there. "I worked with all the bakers and chefs doing openings," he told me by phone. "By being close to them, I could see how they were working. As a manager, you have to know how to do this stuff by yourself in case anything goes wrong." Although the Martins had never run a restaurant before, they bought a struggling bakery on Olive Avenue three years ago and figured out a way to import partly baked croissants and baguettes from France that they finish in their own ovens. They compiled a list of Andrea's favorite family recipes to serve as weekly specials and for their heavenly breakfasts, and Didier admits that the place would have probably tanked without his wife — she's got charm to spare.

The Martins see to it that there's cream and butter in everything — the oeuf cocotte has two poached eggs dipped in heavy cream, finished off with ham and cheese and stuffed into a baguette. There's French toast with strawberries, buttermilk pancakes, and a crepe platter in which your pancake is loaded with eggs, bacon, and cheese. Plus home fries and more bread. The omelets are delish — we had the "Veggie" with goat cheese and ratatouille one Saturday morning, and it was fine. And as we ate our way through the entire list of crepes, day by day, we agreed that although the salade niçoise ($8.85) and the quiche Lorraine ($6.95), served with a fresh green salad, the beloved sweet tarragon dressing, and many servings of bread were palatable enough, it was those thin, butter-infused pancakes and the occasional word with Madame Martin we were coming back for — the rest was just necessary research.

Joe Rocco

Location Info


Paris Bakery and Cafe

212 S. Olive Ave.
West Palm Beach, FL 33401

Category: Restaurant > Bakery

Region: West Palm Beach


Paris Bakery and Café. 212 S. Olive Ave., West Palm Beach. Open for breakfast and lunch Monday through Friday 7 a.m. till 3 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. till 2 p.m. Dinner Saturday by reservation only 6 till 9 p.m. Call 561-820-9281.

I think the scribes mistook those famous words, the ones that supposedly sealed the child-queen's doom. When told that her subjects were starving in droves, that a famine had stricken her country and the people had no bread, Marie Antoinette would surely have responded: Let them eat crepes.

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