By: Mallory St. Claire <email@example.com>
Café Patachou, located at 126 St. and Grey, has been a long-time business of Carmel. Tucked between O’Malia’s and a CVS/Pharmacy, it’s something of a forgotten gem in the mix of local restaurants. With a casual French café atmosphere and a menu that never gets boring, Patachou is a very impressive eatery.
Patachou has multiple central Indiana locations (49 St. and Penn and a location at River Crossing), but the Café Patachou that is located in Carmel is by far less crowded and more relaxed.
The restaurant has been consistently named one of Indianapolis’s top restaurants. It’s won the Golden Cup Award for excellent coffee brewing, for those java nuts (pun intended). It also once had a high-end restaurant on the upper floors of Saks Fifth Avenue.
The menu is large with lots of selections, offering 21 drink choices ranging from espresso to French hot chocolate to steamers. Fare is classic dishes with unique twists, such as BLTs made with white cheddar, turkey chili and split pea soup with rosemary. Some notable breakfast dishes are a make-your-own omelet selection, which includes ingredients such as alfalfa sprouts, horseradish, salsa and fresh avocado.
For lunch, salads, soups and sandwiches, such as the Chia Cha-Cha-Cha Chia Pet! (a vegetarian bagel and sprout sandwich), are available. I am especially a fan of the delicious smoothies; the smoothies are actually made with yogurt and fresh fruit, and feature a new special daily.
The restaurant itself is rather small but still cozy. One wall is decorated with art from the art class that the café sponsors. Vintage French posters cover the other walls. There’s a bar and outside area, and customers walk in and pick their table. The servers are personable and friendly.
From a pricing standpoint, Patachou tends to be more expensive than the regular breakfast diner. The make-your-own omelets go for $8.25 in addition to each ingredient costing $1.60 each. Average price for breakfast and lunch food is $7.50.
Since Patachou is only open for breakfast and lunch, it is a nice place to stop off at Late Start Wednesdays, but the service might be a little slower just because the atmosphere is so relaxed and ambient. Patachou is crammed come time for Sunday brunch, but it’s far less busy than LePeep. Walk-in customers can just snatch a seat at the bar. On weekday mornings, customers will find that they have time to sit at the bar area, chat with the waiters and read the variety of magazines the restaurant offers.
But don’t miss out. Patachou is local, friendly and top-dollar. It makes the perfect casual dining spot for both the adventurous eater and casual grazer.