BeiBei and I decided to have a long-anticipated shopping date at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. We had a jolly ol’ time shopping around, and we both made a few purchases. This post isn’t about our shopping adventures, however. This post is about food! Prior to our shopping, we needed to energize ourselves! First off, let me mention that I have this strange affinity for French restaurants and cafes. With that said, our lunch choice for this particular outting: Champagne French Bakery Cafe. South Coast Plaza has two Champagne locations: one on the Bridge of Gardens and one in Crystal Court, which is the separated section of the mall that is connected to the main plaza via the Bridge of Gardens. Since the Bridge of Gardens location has outdoor seating and it was a rather chilly day, we opted for the indoor Crystal Court branch.
Champagne has a pretty extensive menu, and everything on there sounds absolutely delicious. I ordered the French dip sandwich, tomato basil soup, and a latte. Whenever I see “French dip” on a menu, I can’t help but default to it. I love au jus and I love horseradish. BeiBei ordered the Brioche French Toast with toasted almonds, strawberries, syrup and bacon and fresh orange juice. For all you breakfast lovers out there, Champagne serves breakfast items all day.
BeiBei got quite the lucky order number: 88. If you’re familiar with Chinese superstitions, the number 8 is extremely lucky, especially in repetitive patterns (except in fours, since four is an extremely unlucky number in the Chinese culture).
Pictured above is my French dip sandwich with a side of tomato basil soup. I substituted the usual side salad for the soup; I was in the mood for soup considering the weather outside was dreary and chilly. I enjoyed my sandwich, although I must say I have had juicier French dips at other venues. The horseradish wasn’t strong enough for me, so I requested more on the side. I wish they had raw horseradish instead of the whipped, creamy kind. Perhaps they did – I didn’t bother asking if they had the raw kind. The soup tasted as expected – just like any tomato basil you could order at various restaurants. Expect to pay slightly above what is typical for such a portion, but keep in mind that it is the perfect portion for a lunch meal. I guess I am making it sound like my meal was mediocre. On the contrary, I really did enjoy it. It’s not necessarily the best of the best, but it definitely hit the spot. I would recommend giving Champagne a visit for breakfast or lunch.
BeiBei’s Brioche French toast tasted a tad too sweet for me. I didn’t even use the syrup in the portion that I tried. As I had commented to her, I could not imagine eating this as a lunch meal. I’d only consider it for breakfast or perhaps a snack or dessert. We agreed that we liked the texture of the Brioche, although I would have preferred it to have been less soaked/soggy and a little more firm. BeiBei enjoyed her meal and finished all but one slice of Brioche.
What makes me salivate when I go to Champagne is looking at all the desserts they have on display in their glass counter. Throughout our entire meal, I looked forward to indulging in dessert after finishing with our entrees. However, by the time I finished my plate, I was too full. With BeiBei’s sweet lunch, she didn’t feel like having dessert immediately after. We both agreed that we’d make up for our lack of dessert later on into the afternoon with Starbucks and a Starbucks Petite. Champagne’s dessert menu will just have to wait until our next visit!