May 25, 2014

As I went to copy my French Bulldog review from Yelp, I realized it was 17 months ago. My how times flies when you're having fun. And fun is all I've had at TFP over the course of my 6 visits. Well, 7 because I took so long to write my update that I've been another time. (Unless you also count the Science of Bacon workshop, then it's 8 times). 

But really, that's not even enough. 
Follow the Frenchie
The reason I probably haven't finished writing this update is because every time I think about it enough to write, I want to go back. Lucky for all of you reading this, they're closed today. Which reminds me, The French Bulldog posted a pretty neat little Vimeo on a Sunday recently. I'll embed below. 

The French Bulldog from Kyle Gilbertson on Vimeo.

But back to the food. My original review mentioned several items that I've since tried, so it seems only fitting to write an actual update. But first [more stalling] I'll reproduce the original review below. I suppose it's a good thing that I don't cringe when I look back at my old writings (yet). 

Salami. Sala-me. Sala-you. Fun for all at The French Bulldog. 
Charcuterie and Cheese - circa 2013
It took us a good long time to get here... Waiting out the grand opening crowd, waiting out the post-OWH review crowd, and then finding a good time to go. 
That last part isn't really an issue as TFB is open generally from 11am - 11pm daily (midnight on Friday and Saturday). No Sundays, but that's plenty of time during the week to get your meat on. 
Ironically, speaking of meat, the item I was first drawn to on the menu doesn't have it - the Ploughman sandwich w/ green apple and white cheddar. But the main attraction at this place is the meat... So what to do, what to do???

pork pie
As I sipped on a Goose Island Matilda, my carnivorous side prevailed and I ended up ordering the pork pie (see above), which came on a bed of mashed squash with blue cheese crumbles and tiny apple bits scattered around. (So I was still able to get my apple/cheese fix after all.) The pie seemed a little less fresh than I'd have hoped... Probably prepared earlier and warmed up. A little on the dry side. 
We also got a charcuterie & cheese plate for the table and opted to let the kitchen provide their selections for our 3 meats and 2 cheeses. This was a smart move.
We ended up with the Herbes de Provence, Anisetta, and a prosciutto of some kind. Cheese selection included a hard taleggio and some soft mild white. (I really should know more about cheese given my severe affinity for it.)
Oh well... it was all delicious and a great portion to share for four as a precursor to our meals. Bread - from Le Quartier - was perfect also. No surprise there. 
And to make it all better... Rubbing elbows with other diners in a cozy combination of new and old decor. 
On a foggy Saturday to boot! I loved everything about this place.

This is all still pretty accurate - the crew at French Bulldog really know and love food. That love shines through in each and every dish. And the restaurant itself lends to a versatile experience. You could make it a date destination, happy hour stop, casual afternoon lunch, or late night gathering with friends. It's a spot that's loved by neighborhood locals and far-flung Omaha foodies alike.

Before the Lunch Rush
The Yelp reviews for the place are glowing. A solid 4-star average with fans from Miami, L.A., Kansas City, Denver and Honolulu. I'd say it was wise of these visitors to our fair town to make the bulldog a priority stop on their visits, and I for one am happy to have a place like this representing Omaha on the national stage as well, with chef Bryce Coulton’s award-winning Hungarian Salami.

It's true that The French Bulldog could have been opened - and done well in - any other foodie city in the U.S. But the concept is perfect for Omaha, and Dundee in particular.

If you're planning your first visit to the restaurant, the charcuterie and cheese plate is a must. 3 meats and 2 cheeses for $23. Served with some complimenting items (honey, jam, nuts) and freshly baked baguette, there's plenty to share as an appetizer. Try not to load up on bread too much though, because you'll want to save room for the entrees.

Charcuterie and Cheese - circa 2014
Okay, also you need to get the chorizo stuffed dates. I probably don't need to elaborate on why.

Chorizo-stuffed dates. Enough for sharing... maybe.
Moving on through the menu, I have had the quiche and greens before also. It was one of those rare nights I felt myself tending towards the lighter side. And while it was good, by no means was it my favorite menu item.

That honor [ha] is reserved for the nearly mythical pork belly sandwich - smoked gouda, jam, red onions, greens and mustard-creme fraiche on ciabatta bread. Served with chips. This could be shared, if you can convince one of your dining partners to order up my other favorite sandwich - the ploughman's - with white cheddar, granny smith apples and greens on sourdough with piccalilli (a pickle relish) and candied walnuts. Ooh-wee.

Ploughman's Sandwich
Pork Belly Sandwich
If you manage to read all the way through the menu without committing to any of those items, there are also the Sausage Board or Mexican Chorizo Plates (and don't forget the chalkboard specials)! As you might expect, this is one of those places where it's very easy to both over-order and over-eat.

Cocktails and beers are nicely curated as well. Wine (probably) also, though I'm not really a good judge of that. They also have desserts, but I've never had the stomach space to try them.

To sum up... get there now and enjoy.

The French Bulldog on Urbanspoon

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