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What can you eat at a Café - bistro?

Dining Out

The cafe-bistro conjures up an image of Paris in the spring time, friends drinking strong coffee and eating pastries. Although this type of café-bistro is still common in France’s capital, it has also become popular throughout the United States. Nowadays most cities have at least one café-bistro, and some have several.

The history of the bistro is somewhat shrouded in mystery though it is believed that they originated from the basement kitchens of Parisian apartments where landlords supplemented their income by selling food to the public. The original bistro-café menus were based on slow-cooked, braised food that could be prepared in large quantities and provided simple, wholesome fare.

Many historians believe that the term bistro originates from the Russian occupation of Paris during 1815. According to legend, the hungry Russian soldiers would demand their food from the French and shout out “Bystra!” meaning hurry up. The Russian word gradually became adopted to name a place where you can grab a drink and a quick bite to eat. Quaint as it is, not all historians agree with this story, some argue that the word did not appear in the French language until almost seventy year after the Russian occupation, while others believe the term is connected to the word bistreau, from the French western dialect, meaning innkeeper.

Café-bistro dining is a unique and pleasurable experience. A classic bistro is usually family owned and offers a simple menu in an informal setting. One the menu you are likely to find healthy and creative version of simple French dishes including crepes, vegetable soups, omelets, sandwiches, salads and sometimes steaks and simple seafood platters. Because the meals are simple the service is usually pretty quick, so you won’t be expecting to wait long, which is great if you are in something of a hurry. The dishes are usually made with fresh ingredients that have been produced locally. There is usually also a small selection of wine and beer. A bistro will generally serve everything on the menu all day long rather than having separate lunch and dinner items.

Some bistros have themes to their menu. For example, as well as French bistros you will also find Chinese bistros as well as Spanish, German and pan-American. Some bistros also offer food to take out or even a home delivery service. Whatever your taste in food, bistros are great places to have an informal business dinner or simply meet friends to chat over lunch.

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