Why Can't We Have Café Gourmand in OC?

On the third day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
Three small desserts, two tiny spoons and a minuscule cup of coffee.

Orange County, the time has come for you to embrace the Gallic wonder known as the café gourmand, or as we say in American, the dessert sampler.

The way café gourmand works is you get a cup of coffee (espresso, of course; we are talking about France here) and usually three small desserts, just a bite or two each. What the desserts are is up to the chef, and it's not unusual after the main meal to hear people asking, "Qu'est-ce qu'il y a dans le café gourmand ?"

It started as a fad, but more or less every restaurant in France does it now. It's even spread across the Channel to England and Wales, and it's time for it to come to America.

Increasingly, I find myself looking at a dessert menu and seeing two or three choices that appeal equally to me. I'm certainly capable of picking one, but the café gourmand means I get bites of each. Of course, if I crave a giant slice of pie with ice cream on top of it, I can still have it.

Get on that, OC chefs, would you?


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