January 10, 2012 by
French writer and philosopher Voltaire once noted that “pleasure is the object, duty and the goal of all rational creatures.” Voltaire most definitely would have endorsed eating at Sabletine Fine Pastries.
I had heard positive rumblings about Sabletine from a variety of food loving friends, so last Friday I recruited my husband to join me for lunch (such a hardship for him, this blog...) and we headed over to owner Kate Sauer’s little shop on King St. S. in Waterloo.
Sabletine’s website advises that they are “your local French pastry shop with fine pastries, delicious cakes, and great savoury items. We focus on simple, whole ingredients with no fillers or preservatives; it's just good food.”
And yes, yes it is! The petite front room has the charm and warm appeal of a tiny French bakery/bistro, and our noses are instantly filled with heady aromas of freshly baked breads, croissants, tarts and other delicacies. Since neither of us were in a hurry and the smells were like a magnet we decided to eat in. Have to rush back to the office? Plenty of folks were filing in and out for quick take-out and it’s well suited to those in needing their gastro pleasures to go.
The chalkboard menu behind the front counter lists the day’s specials, and they tweet them daily as well. Choices included sandwiches made on the divine smelling house baked bread, quiches, tartines, soups and salads. All sounded amazing. This leaves you with a small (yet tasty) dilemma - this is also a pastry shop, and one with an owner specializing in French pastry, no less. Even with a smorgasbord of savoury delights, room must be saved for dessert sampling...and oh, the desserts...tarts, cheesecakes, tiny gateaus, brightly coloured macarons, pain au chocolat, flan, tartins...wait, what? RIGHT. The lunch.
We decide on 2 combinations to share, affordably priced at under 8.00 each. We order sweet potato and onion quiche with a wheatberry Waldorf salad, and bacon, cheddar and tomato tartine with chicken noodle soup. We agonize over all the dessert selections, but finally choose a chocolate almond croissant and a sour cherry clafouti (cherries with a light flan like custard on a shortbread style crust). The food is nothing short of sensational, and even in the midst of the lunch rush, they split up everything onto two plates for us to make it easy to share. Thoughtful!
The tartine, which is a French style open faced sandwich, is ½ of a fresh baguette covered in smoky, crispy bacon, sharp cheddar and tomato. Heaven. My husband’s half is gone in seconds. Not shocking. He likes bacon. What is shocking is our agreement that our favourite of all the dishes is the wheatberry Waldorf salad. The toothy texture of the wheatberries is perfectly contrasted with the crunch of green apple and a creamy light mayo dressing. Chicken soup, while a bit on the room temperature side, is just like your grandma made – no tiny prefab cubes of salty “meat” here (I’m looking at you, giant corporate coffee chain), just big chunks of chicken floating in a rich broth amidst wide noodles and herbs. The quiche is expertly cooked, nicely browned on top but with that lovely custardy texture of perfectly set eggs inside, the sweet potato and onion giving it a lovely, earthy sweetness. We finish everything, and then they bring out the desserts.
To truly know their pleasure, you will have to pop into Sabletine. Fulfill your duty as a rational creature - it’s your destiny!
Sabletine is located at 203 King St. S. in Waterloo. Find them online at http://sabletine.com
Morning coffee and pastries and lunch are served daily (except for Mondays, when they are closed), and on Wednesdays they serve a "Dejeuner Chez Sablétine" where they feature a special European lunch item.
Michelle Sullivan lives in Kitchener and is passionate about all things food related and about sustainable, healthy living.