Food & Drink

French-Inspired Fare At Parade Cafe, ‘The Best New Lunch Spot Around’

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Photos by Ditmas Park Corner
Photos by Ditmas Park Corner

We’ve been patiently awaiting the grand opening of Parade Cafe, a French-inspired coffee and sandwich shop at 622 Caton Avenue (between East 7th Street and Ocean Parkway), since we caught its sign erected in June.

And in the short week it’s been open, the Cafe has already earned 4.5 stars on Yelp, with reviewers glowing about the iced coffee, friendly service, local owners and outstanding sandwiches. We stopped in today for a taste, and are delighted to add ourselves to the list of happy eaters.

An array of sandwiches, soups and salads fill the cafe’s menu, influenced by the seasonal ingredients at Le Paddock in Windsor Terrace — which shares an owner with Parade Cafe, Kensington resident Gregory Tetaud. (The cafe’s other owner managed Jole Cantina in Carroll Gardens).

Tetaud and his wife Angela moved to the neighborhood about 9 years ago, and now have two children, who were playing outside the cafe on this breezy, sun-drenched Wednesday afternoon.

Through the normal bustle of running a new business — the couple filing in and out of the front door with brooms and shuffling through paperwork, the cafe seems to be an immediate success. Right when we walked through the door, the atmosphere was relaxing and inviting, with loads of natural light and ample seating overlooking Caton Avenue.

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Parade Cafe’s interior is filled with delicate touches that made us want to linger all afternoon in the cozy seating area — grainy wood paneling, a marbled countertop, a lemon-infused water jug, plush backrest cushions, sparsely hung artwork and mirrors that reflect the greenery across the street.

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From 7am until 11am, Parade Cafe serves an array of croissants, donuts, quiches, and morning sandwiches. We made sure to stop in for the lunchtime sandwich menu, and had trouble deciding between the eight appetizing options.
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Starting with a cool drink, we ordered the Iced Tea ($3.50) and the barista gave us a choice between hibiscus and darjeeling flavors, though neither were listed on the drink menu. The darjeeling was refreshing, with a soft mossy and floral aftertaste.

IMG_1150The Smoked Salmon sandwich ($10) was small but bursting with flavor, stacked with tangy lox, sliced hard boiled egg (no green rings around the edges!), lettuce, tomato, strands of dill, and a layer of tangy, caper-infused gribiche sauce, all between doughy pretzel bread.
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The Spicy Merguez ($11) was served on crunchy, airy baguette slices — which the cafe soon plans to sell in whole loafs, we learned on our visit. The spicy sausages were drenched in tzatziki sauce with harissa, cucumbers and parsley layered inside. My dining partner declared this to be “the best new lunch spot in the neighborhood” and after devouring even the dressed garnish salad on my plate, I had to agree.

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Once school is back in session, the cafe expects to see an influx of patrons from PS 130 across the street. But until then, those of us who haven’t left Brooklyn for a tropical vacation will most likely fill the seats, clean out the baguette stock, and savor the fresh summer sandwich ingredients.

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