I started going to The French Baker around 1992, during my final year at college. I started going there regularly while I was reviewing for the Board Exams, when I hung around the mall in Quezon City after my review classes. I liked going to French Baker because it felt like a step up from the fast food places that people my age (late teens) and budget range (lunch money only) frequented. Whenever I sat on one of their circular benches, sipping a cup of brewed coffee, I somehow felt like an adult.
I don’t remember exactly when I stopped going to French Baker. I think I last went there around 13-14 years ago. Probably because I also stopped spending time at the mall. Also, other pursuits have taken over my life, I believe. Work, new friendships, and so on. Last Sunday, as I was walking around Robinsons Magnolia, I was surprised to see The French Baker in the food court. I was looking for a place to have a quick lunch before meeting my friends and I decided, why not?
They have changed their set-up. Before you had to line up cafeteria-style to order and get your food but now you had to order from a menu and wait 10-15 minutes before being served. I ordered the soup of the day (Chicken and Corn) and a vegetarian lasagna (Lasagna Verde). For drinks I just had their house water. The soup was very flavorful although I didn’t like the texture too much. I think if they used some creamed corn along with the kernels, then the soup would be creamier. The lasagna was okay but I kind of balked at the amount of cheese. I think it was too much and it kind of overpowered the flavors of the vegetables. The garlic bread was, of course, as outstanding as I remembered.
Of all the changes in their service, I liked their carafe of house water the most. It was cool (not freezing or tepid) and made more refreshing by a sliver of orange. My only regret is that I didn’t order the Chicken A La King, which I used to eat a lot back in the day. I would have loved to find out if it changed through the years. I didn’t notice that it was on the menu, tucked away from the entrees, which I found strange. Anyway, I enjoyed my meal at The French Baker. The service was okay, if not a bit dampened by this lady who looked as if she wrestled a bull in the kitchen on the way to serve my food.