The Caribou Cafe: France in Philadelphia

22 Feb

This weekend Alex and I spent a lovely two nights in Philadelphia. Some may see that as bonkers, since you can literally see the Philly skyline from Alex’s backyard. The thing is, Philadelphia is packed with some of -in my opinion- the most amazing bars and restaurants in the country, a lot of places we have always wanted to go to but never indulged in. So this weekend we threw our seemingly endless saving spree out the window and tried a few of our favorite restaurants, and bars in full, gluttonous, heavenly style.

By our hotel on Walnut Street there was this little cafe that I had never seen before but grabbed my attention right away called the Caribou Cafe. It had adorable outdoor seating, fenced off with a wall of plants. The windows were painted with gold lettering of French foods with lace curtains between each of the light brown wood window sills, and I could see the warm orange paint and people sipping coffees inside.

I was instantly taken to my first morning in Paris during my time studying abroad in London. We had no idea where we were or what we were doing, but we were starving. We got off the metro and turned into the first cafe we could find, a quintessentially French little eatery. There couldn’t have been a more perfect place to have enjoyed my first French meal. Tucked along the Seine, with the Eifel Tower placed perfectly in the background, we enjoyed wine and Croque Monsieurs. It will always serve as my perfectly ideal image of Paris.

The Caribou Cafe instantly took me back to that morning and fed my French obsession. I knew I would love it before I even walked in the door. On our last morning in Philly Alex and I walked over for brunch. Walking through their velvet yellow curtains into the cafe I fell in love all over again. This place is beautiful. The bright orange walls compliment rows of dark tables and chairs and their bar, one of the most gorgeous bars in Philadelphia. On top of the counter sits a champagne bucket with three of their finest bottles sitting on ice and two massive silver lamps, shaped like elegant women, with a wall of more champagne, obscure liquors and beers lining the counters behind. I couldn’t stop gushing the entire time.

The menu is exquisitely French, of course. Escargots, quiche du jour, croque madame and monsieur, crepes, moules frites… oh gosh I shouldn’t keep going. Alex chose eggs benedict on a bed of spinach that he went nuts for, but cooked spinach and I do not get along so I avoided a taste of that. I chose their French Philly cheesesteak, sliced ribeye on brioche, with brie cheese, sauteed mushrooms, honey dijon mustard and a pile of frites. Unbelievable. The ribeye was cooked perfectly, the bread was fresh and toasted and the brie. Oh my gosh, the brie. This was without a doubt one of the best meals I have had this year, and I’m already dying to go back and try more.

I spent so much time planning this weekend and the thing I fell into was one of my favorite and most memorable stops. If you’re a francophile stop by the Caribou Cafe. You will be stunned. Also, they have a free beer deal on FourSquare, so stop by and enjoy a free Kronenburg!

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