By Laura Azahar–
Oui, oui! Not everyone can speak French, but everyone should try French cuisine once.
Only a 10 minute drive from Belknap Campus, Ghyslain on Market is the deli of French food. For college students, Ghyslain provides a laid back atmosphere for a date or a girls’ night out.
The front counter cabinets display delicately crafted pastries, chocolates and homemade gelato. The menu is sectioned into five main categories: sandwiches, salads, soups, entrees and platters.
Gaelan Genoud, who attends U of L and works at Ghyslain, said that three sandwiches are among the favorites: the Italian baguette, house croissant and French dip.
Ryan Sledge, a senior at U of L, helped in depicting the savory flavors of Ghyslain. He had the Italian Baguette with white chili as his side. The sandwich is basic for those who are afraid to try something new. No wonder it is popular. It is an opened baguette with pesto sauce, chicken breast, a slice of ripe tomato, fresh Mozzarella and a basil leaf to top it off. It looked like a huge cracker with toppings.
On a more adventurous side, the chicken curry naan was an explosion of flavors. This sandwich is served with coconut curried chicken, spinach, red onions, red peppers, raisins and mango chutney. If the taste buds are craving salty-sweetness, this is just right.
If your hunger cravings need attention, diners do not have to wait long. It took five minutes for the food to be served on the marble topped tables. The soup was the perfect temperature. The taste buds jumped with joy from the mixture of poultry and veggies in the creamy chili.
“I’m being adventurous too. Trying different ways to eat a baguette,” Sledge said when figuring out how to go about eating the cracker styled sandwich.
The only problem with the food is that the large and open-faced structure makes it hard to hold and eat. But the taste is not bland. If by a rare chance flavor is lacking, the tables are supplied with three different exotic salts and a pepper grinder.
A dash of ‘50s and ‘60s classical pop music grooved in the background and blended with a well-lit dining room that turned out to be a comfortable place to socialize.
NuLu was the food district that first introduced Ghyslain to Louisville back in April 2011. Ghyslain Maurais started the business in Union City, Ind. Now there are four locations in the area. For the East end commuters, try Ghyslain at Westport Village, which opened Oct. 1.
Do not be turned off if you see grandparents dining. Younger customers are welcomed, and pocket books will appreciate reasonable pricing. Leave the gelato for another day, because at Ghyslain, $26.50 will buy a dinner that leaves two diners stuffed.
There is no need to learn any French to enjoy Ghyslain. Enjoy a sample from the French deli at least once, but try to stay away. Those flavors guarantee a return visit.
Photos: Nathan Gardner/The Louisville Cardinal