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A Slice of Paris in Sausalito

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A Slice of Paris in Sausalito

Sophie Newman

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With a bright orange sign displaying the symbol “F3”, Fast Food Francais is easy to spot at the end of Caledonia Street in Sausalito. Fast Food Francais is the more casual third restaurant of the restaurateur trio Bruno Denis, Susannah Souvestre and Olivier Souvestre. In addition to their latest restaurant, this team of culinary enthusiasts has created the French hot spots Le Garage in Sausalito and L’Appart in San Anselmo.

Decorated with industrial light bulbs, randomly placed cow heads, knives, and splashes of orange, this French fusion restaurant possesses a unique décor. Along with the French newspapers paper-machéd across the walls, and large communal tables, this new Marin restaurant is endowed with a homely yet lively ambiance. This ambiance is very similar to the now seemingly plausible combination of the party scenes of Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris and the various hip restaurants depicted in IFC’s Portlandia. While eating at Fast Food Francais, one feels comfortable but as if they are surrounded by jovial people at a party. With quaint and clean presentation, “F3” is able to combine the ease of fast food with the class of French cuisine.

Moreover, Fast Food Francais is filled with amiable employees and servers, many of who have French accents that make the meal feel even more authentic. Often, people steer clear of French restaurants due to a fear that they will feel inferior when they do not understand the menu or are spoken down to by the staff. However, “F3” sharply contrasts with this image. With handy explanations of each dish in colloquial terms that even non-foodies will understand, and friendly hosts, it is easy to feel pleasant at Fast Food Francais.

“F3” takes typical American dishes and essentially French-ifies them, adding new flavors and introducing experimental combinations that have before gone un-used by the stereotypical fast food restaurants. This innovative method is exemplified by dishes such as the “Pan Seared Eggs Mimosa/ Gribiche” which transforms the classic deviled eggs, “Cavatappi & Cheese/Tomme De Chevre/Laura Chaner Chevre/Harrisa,” which uses various rich cheeses that inexplicably alter the quintessential mac & cheese, and the “Mary’s Chicken Wings/ Vadouvan/ Roquefort Creme Fraiche Dip,” which delights the eater’s tongue with a mix of flavors blended with the classic taste of wings.

Although the entrée section of the menu is titled “Les Burgers,” it has a variety of options, with turkey burgers, duck, and fish to satisfy the non-red meat eaters. However, the burgers did not quite live up to the standard embodied by the flavors and uniqueness of the earlier dishes. I tasted both the Bos and the Classic burger. Both the Bos and the Classic were made up of grass fed beef, cheese, and all the works. However, the Bos was also equipped with savory bacon. With large ciabatta buns, I initially thought the burgers, which had been cooked medium, were a bit dry. I often enjoy a somewhat juicy burger with sauce filling every nook and cranny, and this French burger could not satisfy my craving. However, about midway through the burger, juices began to flow, and my enjoyment of the burger increased drastically. To top it off, the French fries were perfectly cut, crisp Kennebeck potatoes served with cheese for an added French flair.

The burgers were fairly priced for a night out with the family, between $11 and $13 dollars but slightly too steep for most Tam students to fork over at lunch. Overall, my experience at Fast Food Francais was highly enjoyable and I look forward to going back sometime in the future. With complementary sparkling water, highly agreeable service, and decorative embellishments such as little cow burger holders, “F3” successfully combines the comfort of American fast food with the flavor of a foreign culture.

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A Slice of Paris in Sausalito