Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Gaulart & Maliclet Café Restaurant, Charleston, SC

Simply Charming

Venture off the beaten path of the highly trafficked Charleston tourist crowd, turn on to 98 Broad Street and you will discover a local restaurant staple that has been doing business here for well over 25 years.

Gaulart & Maliclet, known to locals as “Fast and French” is simply charming.  It’s a small shot gun space that has bar and very limited high top seating.  If there is a space to be had there is a chair and some sort of make shift seating in place.  If you’re looking for something roomy, this is not the place!

We arrived on a damp and dreary day for lunch.  Although I didn’t know what to expect I did know that friends of ours actually met at the restaurant while having lunch and were married a few months later.  How romantic is that?

We were quickly seated in the back of the restaurant and perused the menu.  For a tiny, tiny place the menu is extensive.  Lunch specials, soups, salads, lunch plates, vegetarian options… you have quite the selection.

Panoramic View Of Fast n French
Our server stopped by quickly to see if we were ready to order and we actually needed a few minutes to decide.  It was the only time that we would have expeditious service as our service became spotty at best.  Be that as it may, we were ready to place our order.

My husband chose a simple Croissant with Turkey and Brie.  It was to be served with your choice of soup or salad. They offered two cold and three hot soup options and he landed on the lentil soup.  I choose the O’Rye which was toasted Canadian rye bread, pate, blue cheese and your choice of soup or salad.  Wouldn’t you know it, the day I order this they are out of blue cheese.  
Ham and Cheese Croissant

The server suggested that I either get two pates or a sampling of Morbier Cheese which she described as “stinky cheese”.  It’s actually known as the funny French cheese with a black streak running through it.  It sounded interesting, but I opted for the pates.

The kitchen is on their game here and our lunch arrived in no time.  Service is scant though as we never saw our server again except to bring us our check.
O'Rye
Lunch was good but not what was ordered.  My husband received a ham and cheese croissant, albeit tasty, not what he ordered.  We weren’t able to get mustard, etc. to add to the sandwich because our server remained MIA. This was disappointing.
Morbier and Bread
My lunch was good but the Roquefort dressing was thin and watery and not very flavorful, which surprised me.  The pate however was outstanding and quickly snapped up. I did finally flag down a server and asked for an additional side of Morbier cheese.  It was served with 3 slices of French bread and it did not disappoint in its’ taste or aroma. 

The checkout process can be a bit laborious. Your check is taken to the cashier at the front of the restaurant.  It took us as long to get our lunch as it did to cash out our bill.  This was a bit of a drag after a nice lunch.

All in all,  I’d recommend Gaulart & Maliclet.  I’m interested in trying their dinner offerings and will be sure to go back there soon.


We gave Fast And French 3 out of a possible 5 plates.



Gaulart & Maliclet French Cafe on Urbanspoon


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