Sometimes, all you need is a good café, but it's not always around the block or down the street. Here's our solution: Alain Coumont and Jean-Pierre Gabriel's Le Pain Quotidien Cookbook (Octopus Publishing, $30), a great source of inspiration for anyone who wants to whip up café fare with flair at home.
Le Pain Quotidien is a Belgian bakery with locations around the world; here in the United States, they have locations in California and along the East Coast. While that's a great start, that leaves a lot of folks out of the equation, which is too bad because their cafés have amazing baguettes and great pastries. But it's not just about great bakery; they also serve some great soups, salads, and tartines, a Belgian specialty. We've included some of those recipes below so that you can experience a bit of the simple, elegant fare that's served at Le Pain Quotidien.
Has oatmeal gotten boring for you? Here's a spiced up version, literally. (Photo courtesy of Creative Communication SCRL)
If you've been to Le Pain Quotidien and wondered why tartines dominate the menu instead of baguette sandwiches, even though the baguettes are excellent, here's why: It's a Belgian café, not French, and Alain Coumont, the founder, says that they are a local Brussels specialty and were on the first menu of the original location. (Photo courtesy of Creative Communication SCRL)
This warm salad, which some may feel is reminiscent of a salade Lyonnaise, is delicious and hearty enough to stand in for a meal. (Photo courtesy of Creative Communication SCRL)
Will Budiaman is the Recipe editor at The Daily Meal. Follow him on Twitter @WillBudiaman.