Le Petit Frederic's French menu adds a bit of 'je ne sais quoi' to Kaiserslautern
By JENNIFER H. SVAN | STARS AND STRIPES Published: December 28, 2017
Le Petit Frederic and its lineup of baguette sandwiches with French names inside a funky cafe adds a bit of fun to the otherwise drab lineup of buildings and businesses in downtown Kaiserslautern’s Schillerplatz.
The tiny two-story bistro pops with color, extending a cozy refuge from the city’s grit and bustle for a quick but hearty sandwich and cappuccino or warm cup of tea.
I first noticed the cafe on a dark October evening while standing outside the neighboring Spinraedl. My eyes were drawn to the restaurant and its glass facade warmly lit from the inside.
Le Petit Frederic is one of the newer places to eat in the city, having officially opened in September.
The menu could be called French, since it’s dominated by the baguette, a long loaf of French bread with a crispy crust.
The baguette is the bread of choice for the dozen sandwiches on the menu, all with French names, from the Bordeaux (pulled turkey, pineapple, cheese and lettuce) to the Soulac (serrano ham, tomato and cheese).
I opted for the smoked salmon with hard-boiled egg, lettuce, tomato and cheese. I had a choice of baguette (wheat or potato) and a choice of sauce (honey mustard, tropical, ailoi, barbecue, tartar or cocktail). I chose potato and tartar.
The cafe’s website staff says the sandwiches are made with 11-inch baguettes in 12 varieties baked daily by a local bakery.
The potato baguette didn’t disappoint. It tasted fresh and made up for the tartar sauce, which had more of a mayonnaise than tartar flavor. The two well-stacked baguette halves could feed two people.
For such a hearty portion, the price was great: Sandwiches ranged from 3.80 to 5.20 euros (about $4.50 to $6.16).
Three kinds of flammkuchen, salads and desserts, such as French apple cake and chocolate mousse, rounded out the food choices. A variety of drinks was also available, from coffee and tea to different types of wine.
The cafe’s best feature, however, was the atmosphere and friendly service. After ordering at the counter downstairs — the server did her best to compensate for my poor German-language skills — I climbed a spiral staircase and sat at a table by the window, watching Christmas shoppers hurry along in the rain.
At that moment, I was content to be right where I was, enjoying a cappuccino while listening to French music and admiring the many eclectic photographs adorning a bright red wall and the unusual lamps, such as a glass chandelier, that jazzed up the room.
With the cafe open seven days a week, Monday to Sunday, it’s a sure bet, whether you’re in the mood for a hot drink, a quick meal or a glass of French red wine.
Le Petit Frederic
Address: Schillerstrasse 5-7, 67655 Kaiserslautern. The restaurant is located in the pedestrian area in downtown Kaiserslautern in Schillerplatz, near the Spinnraedl restaurant.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Mondays-Sundays
Food: Sandwiches, flammkuchen, salads and desserts and occasional specials. Drinks: Coffee, tea, soda, juice, beer and wine.
Prices: Sandwiches average about 5 euros (about $6), while the flammkuchen and salads range are 5.50- 6.50 euros. Desserts are all under less than 4 euros.
Attire: Come as you are.