A few decades back, quiche got a bad reputation for being too delicate. Chef LaDonna Andeel is a friendly lady who is quick to point out that, at LD’s Specialties & Gourmet Cafe, real men do eat quiche.
What sets it apart is the sumptuous, yellow-tinged custard filled generously with yummy ingredients: caramelized onion, Gouda and spinach. Perhaps a few strips of ham. The top is a dappled combination of brown and gold. The crust is flaky, yet strong enough to hem it all in.
Each week, two variations are offered, which always include a vegetarian option. One of the most popular is the original from the French-German region of Lorraine. It contains bacon and Gruyère cheese.
A liberal piece is $7.99 and served with your choice of soup or such salads as pasta, spring and fruit.
Luckily for me, the Lorraine happened to be the special on the recent afternoon that I dined. Not a flake was left on the plate. The pasta salad, however, I felt could have used a little work in the flavor department.
right, LD’s quiche is for “real men.”
The restaurant serves up entrees on old-fashioned china plates that are cleverly mixed and matched from old sets. This adds to the French countrychic feel of the intimate eatery.
Be sure to start with a glass of cold peach tea ($1.99), served with a refreshingly frozen peach slice. A substantial hot tea menu is also on hand.
Sandwiches are another popular option. Traditional selections include a smoked Gouda club, chicken salad and a club and roast beef. Bread is either a croissant, bagel, white or wheat. All are served with chips and a pickle for $7.59.
My dining companion opted for the half sandwich duo ($8.99) with the same sides mentioned above. She enjoyed the roast beef sandwich with lean slices of beef, a mild horseradish- Dijon-mayo sauce, all served on an everything bagel. Her only complaint was she wished she would have asked for the mayo on the side, as she wasn’t a huge fan.
Unfortunately, we both missed LD’s listing for grilled cheese ($7.59). Apparently, it is the most requested item. Melted Monterey Jack and Cheddar with bacon, avocado and honey Dijon mustard on sourdough French bread, it is a favorite among regulars.
children’s meal is also available ($4.99). It offers a cup of
chicken-noodle soup with a peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese
sandwich, plus chips or strawberry applesauce, chocolate-chip cookie and
As for sweets, you have to get there early for the dessert of the day ($3.99). Regrettably, when we visited, all the chocolate-mint gooey butter cake was gone.
It is almost always all about cake here: Italian cream cake, grandma’s chocolate cake and strawberries-and-cream cake, which we sampled.
Baked on-site from scratch, it arrived atop a raspberry sauce. The cake was moist and heavily studded with strawberries. The cream-cheese frosting was sweet, but not cloying.
The featured pie was the coconut-custard pie. I couldn’t pass this one up, given the difficulty required to prepare this type of custard. Every bite was laden with flakes of coconut, while the custard melted in my mouth. I moved the huge dollop of whipped cream to the side of my plate. I would recommend a lesser amount so the true flavor of this amazing indulgence can be enjoyed.
LD’s is available for takeout. Its everyday menu is available for single servings or larger portions, too. Quiches, cakes and pies that serve six to eight ($17) come in a variety of flavors. The best advice: Order in advance, as Andeel frequently rotates her selections.
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aspects, and include constructive criticism regarding food, ambience or
service when appropriate.
Photos by Mark Hancock