Happy Hump Day! For me it’s more like a Thursday because I’m taking this Friday off work, but not for a fun reason (hate you, wisdom teeth). Had a bit of a bummer yesterday when my favorite spin class was full – got to the gym a bit later than I usually do on Tuesdays. The combo of New Year’s Resolutioners and weather that’s too cold for outdoor workouts always makes spin hard to get into at my gym until about March or so. Hope I have better luck next time, but I got a class in this past Sunday that was great, so all is well!
Ended up doing the Step Mill, my go-to machine for an efficient HIIT workout. I worked my way up to Level 16 speed intervals for the first time recently, and always do 30 minutes, so I wanted to push it and see if I could do 40. Felt like I was gonna die by the end, but I did it! Magazines are SO helpful (and the evening news during the fast intervals, when I’m climbing so fast there’s no chance in hell of me reading a single word).
If you want some cardio machine reading ideas, Diva on a Diet might be able to recommend “Working Out Sucks!” to you, since she won it recently in my giveaway. Thanks for the shout-out, girl!
Workout talk done, now who’s hungry?!
Of course I had to start 2012 with a visit to a newish-to-me restaurant on New Year’s Day, right? The star of today’s post is La Petite France Bakery & Cafe of West Hartford, CT (conveniently located on Farmington Ave, right by Blueback Square). I call this place “newish” because I did have a chance to sample one of their indulgent plain croissants at Bethany’s holiday brunch last month! After one bite I knew I would need to make my own visit, since I am a self-proclaimed cafe-enthusiast.
Remember these? Plain, chocolate, and almond croissants.
My good friend Kelly has been away at law school in Michigan all semester, and after we figured out that between our schedules our only day to meet up while she was home on winter break was New Year’s Day, we knew we had to make a date. We frequented Starbucks and Cafemantic at UConn together, so a cafe seemed an appropriate choice for a lunch spot!
I loved the exterior of the cafe from the very start. I’ve never been to Europe but it certainly looked authentic to me! I was totally starved after a good Stair Master session at the gym, so lunch sounded great to me. Of course the pastries looked incredible…but at lunch time, I’m always craving savory.
It didn’t take long at all for me to decide what I wanted. I was sold when I saw a build-your-own salad option, with an ingredients list that included some of my favorite creative salad best ingredients!
I love the casual setup of the coffee prep table!
I ordered a mixed greens salad with prosciutto, goat cheese, roasted red peppers, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and balsamic vinaigrette. I couldn’t believe that the salad was one price, meaning I could add a ton of ingredients and get a more-interesting-than-chicken meat option, for a completely affordable price! The salad also came with a crusty piece of baguette.
This salad was so, so wonderful. The prosciutto was out of this world and the dressing was one of the best balsamic dressings I’ve ever had. The baguette was perfect, nice and crusty just the way I like them, and the veggies were abundant.
Of course, seeing as we were at a cafe, we had to get our caffeine on. When I saw that LPF has mugs for their coffee and espresso drinks, I was even more excited!
Jealous of Kelly's cute mug.
I selected my usual nonfat cafe au lait sprinkled with cinnamon, and Kelly got a cappuccino, which looked perfectly foamy.
I would love the chance to come back to La Petite France and do some studying sometime. The atmosphere is exactly what I work best in.
The cafe is also very active on social media. We’ve been known to trade a few tweets, and they even linked to my post about the croissants on their Facebook!
I will definitely be back to La Petite France Bakery & Cafe. A welcome addition to West Hartford Center!
When was the last time you pushed yourself extra in a workout?
Have you ever been to a French cafe – or France?!