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Friday, May 13, 2005 | Some of the best, lightest and tastiest croissants and brioche in the county can be found at A Delight of France Bakery and Bistro in Escondido. Breakfast features omelettes, brioche French toast, crepes and croissants, whereas lunch brings salads, soups and quiche. I had the quiche Lorraine to go and loved that it isn’t a slice of a pie, but rather an individual round. Dinner entrees include what I call French comfort food – coq au vin (chicken in wine), beef Bourguignon (beef in red wine) and duck with pear. Owner Jacques Auber’s pastries, breads and other foods are all available to go. A Delight of France Bakery and Bistro, 126 West Grand Ave., Escondido, (760) 746-2644. Open everyday except Monday for breakfast and lunch, with dinner served only on Friday and Saturday.

Escondido locals in the know shop at Major Market located in the same shopping center as Trader Joe’s. Major features a large fresh deli, bakery and Asian food wok cooked within eyesight. The freshest ingredients are used for all their food and the rest of the market has fresh meat, seafood and produce. What makes the place stand out is the service – on a Saturday every check stand was open and each had a bagger – so no waiting in a long checkout line. Major Market, 1855 South Centre City Parkway, Escondido, (760) 741-7827, and a smaller store at 845 South Main Ave., Fallbrook, (760) 723-0857.

The management at South Park Bar & Grill left a bad taste with some patrons when, as the party of four left, the manager said in effect don’t come back, we don’t want your business. What happened to cause such an eruption? Only a bunch of small things: the kitchen was unwilling to split an entrée of meatloaf and then it took flagging a busboy to bring an extra plate to split the entrée at the table and a poor wine selection that prompted one member of the party to go across the street for a bottle of wine. In no way were the patrons being obnoxious, they paid corkage and left a 20 percent tip as the staff were friendly and helpful. Restaurateurs and managers ought to be savvy enough to realize that condescending comments to customers can damage business. Why? Because those customers tell their friends and soon the restaurant buzz is that customer service isn’t high on the menu. If you have had instances of good or bad restaurant customer service, I’d love to hear from you. South Park Bar & Grill, 1946 Fern St., South Park, (619) 696-0096.

Nitpicky … ever wonder why your mixed drink tastes a bit different depending on the bar that’s making it? If you call your liquor you may want to call your Rose’s Lime Juice as well. A cheap imitation of this standard bar product can make a huge difference in the taste of your drink, and the cost for Rose’s is just pennies more than the cheaper clones. Many bars use fresh lime juice and that also affects the taste, depending on the sourness of the lime. So know that if you’re want Rose’s, call it.

Marcie Rothman loves good food – no matter where it’s cooked – at home, a hole in the wall or a white tablecloth restaurant. Known as The $5 Chef on radio, television and in her two cookbooks, Marcie travels far and near with an eye on what’s current in food. You can find her at

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