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Friday, September 17, 2010

FOODIE FRIDAYS: Paris Bistro in Encinitas?

THE PLACE:  3rd Corner Wine Shop and Bistro
897 S. Coast Highway 101 (Lumberyard Shopping Center)
Encinitas, CA 92024
(760) 942-2104
THE VIBE:  Fun and lively
THE COST:  Very reasonable

Ever since I got back from my first trip to Paris I've been looking for a restaurant that reminded me of a French Bistro.  Casual, great food, fair prices, good wine, and a good ham and cheese sandwich.  I fell in love with these simple sandwiches in Paris, sold from street vendors and just about every take out food store. 

The Third Corner is part wine store, part restaurant.  Dining is casual - sit at the bar, sit at one of their sofas, or sit at a table, inside or on the patio.  They have a lot of wines and the cool thing is if you find a bottle you like you can have them open it for a $5 corkage fee.  That's way better than the standard double retail price most restaurant charge.  

The menu looks like a Paris Bistro, lots of cheeses and small plates for nibbling, larger entrees and salads for meals.  And there it was, the ham and cheese sandwich.  With fries!  I am in heaven.

The real Paris bistro sandwich from my recent trip.
The Third Corner Ham and Cheese
Now to be fair, this isn't exactly like the sandwiches in Paris.  The real French sandwich is on a chewy baguette with a sort of Swiss Cheese (I know, there's a French name for it but I can't remember), and butter.  The Third Corner version has melted brie cheese and caramelized onions.  At $10 it's one of the best cheap lunches in town, especially since it's big enough to split.  Good?

What do you think?  As for the fries, absolutely incredible with a bit of cheese sprinkled on them.  The Third Corner has plenty of other great items, like their very delicious Duck Confit served over white beans, or the bowl of mussels with frites.  The cool thing is that it's pretty hard to spend over $15 per person here, making this one of the great restaurant finds in San Diego.  

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