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A strawberry tart and cappuccino at Le Gros Franck, a bistro in Cambridge.

A strawberry tart and cappuccino at Le Gros Franck, a bistro in Cambridge. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

A strawberry tart and cappuccino at Le Gros Franck, a bistro in Cambridge.

A strawberry tart and cappuccino at Le Gros Franck, a bistro in Cambridge. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

The care taken with the food at Le Gros Franck in Cambridge comes through in anything you order. It’s the perfect spot for a quick daytime bite or a longer evening dinner with that special someone.

The care taken with the food at Le Gros Franck in Cambridge comes through in anything you order. It’s the perfect spot for a quick daytime bite or a longer evening dinner with that special someone. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

Le Gros Franck in Cambridge offers a variety of homemade options for lunch.

Le Gros Franck in Cambridge offers a variety of homemade options for lunch. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

=Le Gros Franck, near the train station in Cambridge, offers a cafeteria-style lunch menu before morphing into a fine-dining experience in the evenings.

=Le Gros Franck, near the train station in Cambridge, offers a cafeteria-style lunch menu before morphing into a fine-dining experience in the evenings. (Geoff Ziezulewicz / S&S)

CAMBRIDGE — It’s been about seven years since "freedom fries." Are we ready to forgive the French?

I say "Oui."

For many Americans, the French remain a confounding mix of quality living, good food and a bit of snobbery. For many French, the Americans remain well-fed, open-minded and just plain loud.

This madness must stop, because it’s about as effective as the Maginot Line. So head on out to Le Gros Franck in Cambridge. Start the cultural healing process today. You’ll get a fantastic meal if you do.

From the assorted bric-a-brac on the walls to the comfortably cozy layout and Francophile music, Le Gros Franck is a French cafe about a five-minute walk from the Cambridge train station at the corner of Station and Hills roads.

By day, Le Gros Franck is the epitome of a charming local cafe. Food is laid out cafeteria-style and customers go down the line picking what they want before paying at the counter. Think a variety of sandwiches that are made with care. Think hot salads, everything from crispy duck to a smoked-herring-and-potato salad.

Specials are handwritten on the wall, and they recently featured an awesomely unexpected salmon-and-spinach crepe. It’s easy to taste quality, and it comes through in every bite at Le Gros Franck. I mean, you have to be pretty confident in your food when one of the items in your dessert cooler is a beautifully presented collection of strawberries and cream.

You can get yourself a nice hefty square of pizza with a circular slice of brie lovingly adorned on top, or a variety of hearty hot dishes. You’ll be hard-pressed to find a better lunch for about 6 pounds.

At night, Le Gros Franck morphs into a très romantique affair. Head to the intimate basement seating area and let the efficient wait staff walk you through the specials of the night. A recent visit involved an achingly delicious steak with an amazing wine sauce.

It wasn’t all just taste, though. The excellent and very fresh vegetables were artfully arrayed, and a nice slice of a quiche-potato concoction rounded out the plate beautifully. Again, the care comes through.

Le Gros Franck isn’t necessarily cheap, but dang, it’s worth it. A three-course meal costs 21.95 pounds, but this is the spot to go when you want to blow a little dough on some quality eating.

If you’re going at night, plan on the weekends. Le Gros Franck is open only until 5:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

So, come on. We got a new president and America is working to regain its awesome sparkle in the world. Do your part and let the French folks at Le Gros Franck cook for you. Reconciliation never tasted so good.

Le Gros FranckLocation: 57 Hills Road, Cambridge, CB1 7SP

Hours: 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday. Evening meals served Thursday through Saturday only, 6:15 to 9:30 p.m. (last order).

For more information, log on to www.legrosfranck.com

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