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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Parisian Cafe: Authentic French cuisine infused with some American character

    Gordon Bates
    Gordon Bates / Daily Wildcat Parsian Cafe’s owners and chefs Joel Suire , pastry chef, and Justin Murdock , entree and appetizer chef, show their cafe and the French influenced cuisine they have on the menu at their cafe on East Sixth Street on Tuesday January 24.

    The Eiffel Tower. Croissants. Van Gogh paintings. The Parisian Cafe is open for business, and it’s calling out to students. Although most of us won’t go on a trip to France anytime soon, this restaurant offers the next best thing: authentic French pastries and French-American food just minutes from campus.

    Justin Murdock, co-owner and chef of Parisian Cafe, said that when he started learning to cook almost 25 years ago, he never “in a million years” would have thought he would someday open a French restaurant. But Murdock found inspiration after working alongside Joel Suire, Parisian chef and owner of Joel’s Bistro on University Boulevard. So Murdock, a Tucson native, joined Suire to take on French cuisine — and add his own flavors to it. Now Suire and Murdock work together to offer both authentic and fused dishes.

    The restaurant serves breakfast all day, with choices such as Quiche Lorraine, French toast made from fresh brioche bread, and a variety of omelets. The cafe’s atmosphere is laid-back and comfortable, which encourages diners to sit down and relax in true Parisian fashion.

    But you don’t need to reserve hours of your day to enjoy Parisian Cafe. The service also offers to-go options, so it’s easy to grab a pastry on your way to class. Or consider trying one of the many other treats that Suire makes from scratch. Chocolate croissants, cinnamon swirl croissants, and even apple-filled pastries, all go great with a cup of the cafe’s coffee or espresso.

    Have you ever wondered what ratatouille tastes like? It’s not just the name of a Pixar movie; it’s also one of the cafe’s French favorites.

    A specialty of the cafe, however, is the eggs bisque. The dish is a new Southwestern twist on the classic eggs benedict, which combines pork confit on top of grilled leeks and cheddar biscuits with poached eggs and a tarragon and tomato hollandaise.

    Murdock said crowd feedback on the restaurant has been worth the long hours it took to get the restaurant running, noting both French natives and French food enthusiasts will appreciate the cafe’s authenticity.

    Maddie Dejean, a political science sophomore whose father is a French cook who lived in France for four years, said her Denver omelet “was like my dad’s.” She said the cafe reminded her of a low-key French bistro where you get food and go.

    Kiley Wassenberg, a freshman studying French who lived in France for a year, said this “cute and quaint” cafe is convenient for freshmen who want a change from normal campus eats but don’t want to walk far. Also, any one of the items displayed on the shelves, including an espresso machine, French cookbooks, trinkets and iron Eiffel towers, are for sale.

    There are also four to six soups on rotation, each handcrafted by Murdock as a warm winter alternative to breakfast offerings all day.

    “We offer everyone a little bit different and more upscale,” Murdock said. “Every day I’m learning new ideas.”

    Murdock emphasizes that Parisian Cafe’s staff is focused on pleasing the customers and adapting to their surroundings. Since opening in late November, Murdock changed the menu items multiple times to cater to local tastes which helps get the word out about the cafe.

    “People who know we’re here come back,” Murdock said. “We offer a comfortable feel, relaxed atmosphere, and good quality food for a great price.”

    If you go:
    Parisian Cafe
    1012 E. Sixth St.
    (520) 798-3333

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