Cafe St. Tropez

29 Nov

I love it when Groupon has a deal for a restaurant that 1) I’ve never tried and 2) is down the street from my house.  I know that I’ll be trying it eventually and Groupon just makes it easy sometimes. With Groupon in hand for breakfast, hubs and I made our way to Cafe St. Tropez located in downtown Carmel. It is tucked in the new Sophia Square on Main Street which faces the Monon Trail.  When it is warm outside, I can imagine some nice tables outside for sipping coffee and enjoying the afternoon.

All the tables were full, so we took a seat in two of the comfy leather chairs to wait our turn. We were encouraged to enjoy coffee while we waited; the restaurant has the self serve coffee station where you can grab a cup and fix it anyway you choose. There was quite a variety, but we decided to hold off until we sat down. Though convenient, it was your basic coffee and I was craving a latte while hubs was looking for a Turkish coffee. Our wait was short, but I could see how someone would have to wait quite sometime if the timing wasn’t in their favor. There weren’t many tables, maybe 7 at most, and my impression is that this is the kind of environment where you are encouraged to relax, sip your coffee and enjoy the paper. If you arrived with a large group, the chance of getting a table quickly is slim to nothing.  The set up was so casual and inviting to relax, it seemed odd the restaurant even offered entrees, especially plated.

The breakfast menu was limited with a sandwich, crepes, oatmeal and an omelet. Hubs settled on the egg and bacon sandwich. He chose sourdough to sandwich the over medium egg, bacon and cheddar cheese. The bacon didn’t have much flavor, not adding much to the sandwich. The sourdough would have been good to soak up the egg, but honestly, hubs thought it was a little dry. He did like the variety of fruit in the cup, but mentioned that it was a basic and not memorable.

I had settled on the St. Tropez omelet. Compared to hubs sandwich, I clearly had selected the better option. The omelet was much bigger than I anticipated.  The eggs were surprisingly fluffy and enveloped all the classic Mediterranean flavors I was anticipating. The feta was crumbly in texture with the slight briney flavor, adding the perfect level of salt to the eggs. The spinach was slightly wilted, the tomatoes warmed, and the crisp red onion brought everything together. I enjoyed the omelet – it was light but filling all at the same time with all the flavors working together. Hearty slices of wheat toast were served on the side but the omelet was filling enough that I didn’t eat them. I, like hubs, enjoyed the fruit and the lack of the typical honeydew or cantaloupe to take up space.

The service was slightly slow, though the owner was very friendly and checked in on all the tables while we were there. Price wise, it was a bit more than I would have anticipated. Without the Groupon, the meal would have set us back $27.

I really enjoyed the laid back environment, rich colors on the walls and deep brown leather chairs for relaxing. But the atmosphere reminded me of a coffee bar; a place to hang out with friends and have a conversation. I wouldn’t have expected them to serve food, let alone plated meals. Though my meal was good, I wouldn’t go back for a meal. A cheese plate, hummus, cupcake or scone with coffee or champagne would do. I’d rather kick up my feet, enjoy the latte (which was delicious by the way) and read a book or enjoy an afternoon with a friend.

Cafe St. Tropez * 110 W.Main Street * Carmel, 46032 * 317.581.9559

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