Fresh french baguettes with mountains of flavor...and Brie!

frenchThe interior is quaint and filled with tables...a few of which are on raised platforms along the walls looking out the windows into the busy streets. The decor is a mixed collection of antiques, plants, old books and classic older furniture with tons of character. The type of furniture that might have found itself in another persons yard sale gives Finch's a classic and comfortable appeal. I immediately felt the need to grab a seat and a book and settle in for lunch.

The menu is scribbled onto multiple blackboards in frames along the back wall behind the counter. The selection is simple, homemade french food inspired by french cafes. Baguettes, breakfast, soup, salads, and cheese plates.

Upon the recommendation of my friend, I choose the Baked Blue-Brie, Pear, Roasted Walnuts and Prosciutto Baguette with a side of (made from scratch and different daily) Sweet Potato Masala Soup. The friendly counter staff take my name and let me know they will bring my order to my table. I find a cozy perch upon one of the platforms on a plush green armchair with a worn wooden table beaming with a vase of fresh carnations.

As I watch the preparation of my baguette, I quickly realize this might not be the prime choice location for those who are in a hurry and are used to the pre-cooked, pre-packaged lunches. The staff are busy and work quickly to prepare all ingredients for my order from scratch. They are slicing the prosciutto and pears as needed for my order as it is required. Although this may take an extra few minutes, I am not concerned because I am enjoying the atmosphere and visiting with my friend. Within 10 minutes I am presented with what can only be described as a piece of edible art.

The bread is fresh and the perfect combination of crunchy crust and chewy wonderfully fresh within. The pears are crisp and sweet as their flavors blend seamlessly with the blue-brie cheese and the prosciutto. The crunchy walnuts add a textural appeal with its natural bitter woodsy taste. All of these divine flavors are topped off with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This is what I imagine my friend Jason enjoys when he is enjoying a baguette in Paris. So fresh and relying on the natural flavors of its ingredients, this sandwich need only say what it contains to "wow" you. No further bells or whistles required.

My soup is a warm creamy concoction that melts on my tongue and is such an exemplary use of the sweet potatoes natural flavor. Using the fullness of Masala without any of the heat, I can identify the notes of garlic, ginger, onions and chilli paste on my palate. A comfort soup combination of delicious Indian cuisine and mom's sweet potato pie rolled into one.

I finish my meal full and content, although with a clear new appreciation for the humble baguette. How logical that combining simple ingredients and allowing them to speak for themselves is the best way to truly appreciate their flavors. Although Finch's may not be the speediest in their neighborhood, they make up for it with flavor, freshness, and authenticity.

Grab a book, go for a walk into downtown and take a bit of time to find a little corner of Paris right here in Vancouver. You will find yourself plotting your next visit upon completion of the last bite.

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