The Dish Abq Journal

By Susan Stiger

February 1, 2007
Section: Business Outlook

French bread

          There was a time when the biggest difference between French bread and American bread — except perhaps for the adjectives used to describe them — was that French bread could be eaten alone. It didn't need butter, but jam was lovely and peanut butter was out of the question. Although we now have any number of bakers in Albuquerque and Santa Fe who do us proud, there is still something about bread mixed and kneaded in the hands of "the Frenchman," as my French mother would say with great national pride.

          On a recent Wednesday afternoon, Bruno Barachin and Sabine Pasco, owners of La Quiche Parisienne Bistro downtown, sent some of their baked goods to the Journal and overhauled the mood in the newsroom from the Business Desk through the State Desk and on to the City Desk. We chewed, we mmmm-ed, we smiled. We pitied the poor desks that didn't get any. 

          But enough about them. The sourdough, a great round loaf, crackled when we pulled it apart, revealing a tender, slightly chewy center no dairy product could ever improve. Well, maybe some French cheese. I shared it only to save myself from myself. 

          But enough about me. The bistro, at 401 Copper NW, is a breakfast and lunch spot, and like many breakfast and lunch spots, it's nowhere near close enough to me. Oops, back to me. 

          Barachin and Pasco specialize in quiche — zucchini, broccoli, lorraine, provencal, bleu cheese, mushroom, four cheese, salmon, and sometimes green chili-chicken or goat cheese. When you go in, your olfactories will be seduced by whole wheat, croissants, half baguettes, kaiser rolls, brioche (which they also use for French toast), muesli and every two days, ciabatta, rye, country and pumpernickel. Your eyes will take in the tarts, napoleons, Danish — all the things that make you want to live on a stationary bike right next to their oven. 

          But enough about weight. Barachin, a master baker, and Pasco, a pastry chef, are Parisien, and sound like it. Food for the ears, as well. You don't have to go just for the breads and pastries. How about a sandwich of Italian sopresseta, salami, tomato, lettuce and cornichons on baguette? Imported prosciutto on baguette? Tuna on brioche with green chili and muenster, hard-boiled eggs, lettuce and tomato? Veggies: leeks, red and green bell peppers, mushrooms, asparagus and herbs — in puff pastry?


Open 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays and 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturdays*. They cater, too, and I think a couple of news desks owe me


*Hours have changed