Several weeks ago I spent a lazy afternoon in Oak Park, Illinois, strolling and feasting. There was a French patisserie that had caught my eye and I had taken a break to enjoy a cappuccino and a dessert after I had my fill of eating food from a few other eateries in the area. Today I spent several hours revisiting some of the eateries that I had sampled previously and in between my lengthy snacking, I occasioned to have a seat at the French patisserie of weeks past. Sugar Fixé at 119 N. Marion Street in Oak Park sits at the corner of two cobblestone streets that provided enough ambience to take me away from Illinois and transport me overseas to an outdoor cafe where I could delight my taste buds.
When I had gone to Sugar Fixé previously I had a mango mousse with pineapple and coconut in it. The dessert was incredibly light and splendid to my sense of taste. It was that very dessert that stayed on my mind for weeks to come, telling me to return to Oak Park, begging me to patron Sugar Fixé, guiding my footsteps all the way. And I complied. However, there was no way that I was going to return and only have that dessert when the display case had so many other edible bites waiting for my appetite.
I started with a cappuccino and a broccoli quiche. The cappuccino was strong the way I like it, considering I am more of a tea connoisseur than I am a coffee drinker. The cappuccino was nothing akin to the watered coffee that you take at many brand name and independent coffee houses. It very well may be that shops that are truer to European and South American fare have a tendency to brew stronger coffee. The only other coffee-house where I have gone that served coffee that was rich and flavourful was Royal Coffee, which serves the absolute best Ethiopian coffee. But the quiche was impeccable. This was not something pulled from a refrigerator and heated. There was no way the crust would have been as flaky as it was if that had been the case. As to the broccoli, you could taste it and it was not the consistency of mush — from over-cooking — or crunchy as celery stalk. The last time I had fresh broccoli quiche was well over fifteen years ago when I lived in New York and a Sicilian friend had made some for an afternoon brunch.
When it came to dessert, I waffled between getting another light dessert like the mango mousse that I had weeks ago — this time a raspberry lovely — or a chocolate bread pudding. I asked the server for a recommendation, of which she gave me the option of going for light or dense and rich. Being a man whose metabolism is faster than the speed of light, I opted for the chocolate bread pudding and another cappuccino. There is a god and He or She intended for me to enjoy life through food to the fullest. The bread pudding was worthy of me shouting Bravo! Rich and dense indeed, yes, I took my precious time enjoying this treat sitting outside so that all could see my bliss. There is something to be said for enjoying food like the bread pudding without self-inflicted deprivation for fear of gaining a few pounds or unsightly inches. As I finished, my metabolism went to work quickly taking care of the calories — although I am actually working to gain five more pounds to put me around 198 pounds.
Sugar Fixé is a wonderful French cafe that sticks to the rule of less is better. The savouries and desserts are made in the store daily so that they are fresh. That goes over very well. The service is splendid, as the servers take time to explain the items, make recommendations, and even entertain you in polite banter. For this to be my second time visiting the cafe, my appetite has been sated on both occasions. Sure, there will be a third, fourth, fifth, and nth time returning, and I pretty much have a guarantee that the flavours will appease my taste buds even more. C’est bon.