Every now and then, the temperature actually falls below 75 degrees, and when it does, I start getting in the mood for some French onion soup. This battle pits two places (Croissant Brioche and Au Petit Paris) that are within minutes of one another. Special thanks to commenter CMN for suggesting Paris.
Everything about Brioche's version of French onion soup screamed classic. From the stereotypical brown bowl, to the massive amount of Swiss cheese, to the flavorful broth--there was no mistaking this soup. I'm a fan of cheese, but when it comes to French onion, too much sometimes can be a detriment. The Swiss was fresh and gooey, but it overwhelmed the broth and onions. I had to actually scrap cheese off my spoon a few times just so I could appreciate the other elements. I enjoyed how Croissant Brioche cut the bread and onions into bite-size, uniform pieces. It made for a nice presentation, and both were soft and tasty. The broth was a little salty for me, and did have a bit of an aftertaste that wasn't particularly enjoyable, but overall, the soup was well-composed, properly tempered, and delicious.
Paris's take on French onion soup was beautifully presented in a mini-cast iron pot. But wait! Where was all the cheese that I am so accustomed to seeing? I was a little perturbed, but that went away with one taste. What Paris lacked in cheese, they made up for with an absolutely perfect broth. The hint of sweetness from the onions stood out. The onions themselves were cut into various sizes and weren't as soft as you typically find in most French onion soups. They had a little bite to them, and I enjoyed that. Two pieces of floating bread were topped with a small amount of cheese. The bread proved to be a little difficult to break apart into smaller bites. It was fairly obvious that the broth and onions were the stars of this show, and I was all right with that.
Both soups had their ups and downs. Neither was the best I ever had, but Au Petit Paris won this fight. The broth was just far superior. How do I know? I did the bowl tilt so I could spoon out the very last drop. I didn't do that with Brioche. Both soups were good, but Paris was very good, and thus the winner.
Next up: Battle Chips and Salsa. I'm going to Teotihuacan Mexican Café on Airline. Do you have a better place? Let me hear about it. Drop me your favorite chips and salsa place in the comment box below.
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