Cafe Campagne

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We chanced upon Cafe Campagne on our way down to Pike Place Market on a Monday night in September 2005. The little bistro looked cute and informal enough from the street. It had a busy dining room in the front, and a small dining area in the adjacent alley - a much less busy dining room in the back provided a good setting for us and our two tired and cranky kids. The largish room was decorated with framed posters and it had that casual-chic feeling you can find all over Paris.

The menu featured Bistro classics at reasonable prices ($14-20). They also have appetizers, soups and salads, but given the mood of our children, we realized that this had to be a quick dinner. Fortunately, our waitress understood that as well - and while she never appeared hurried, she was extremely efficient in getting bread, butter, drinks, food - and most importantly the bill - into and out of the table. She was also polite and accommodating without being too familiar, a true professional.

I decided to go with the steak frites ($20). The only other place where I ever order this dish is Cafe Rouge in Berkeley, and I'm afraid that it suffered in comparison. The meat was tasty but on the fatty/chewy side, and while the Roquefort butter was good, it easily overwhelmed the taste of the meat. The thin fried potatoes managed to be crispy outside while soft inside, my only complaint is that I prefer skinless potatoes. Still, they were quite good.

Mike was even happier with his merguez (maghrebi lamb sausage) served with a potato and mustard salad ($14). The merguez tasted exactly as merguez should taste, meaty, slightly spicy and delicious. The potato salad wasn't as remarkable.

We couldn't stay for dessert, but this is a place I'd certainly go back to when I visit Seattle again, preferably with less tired kids.

Cafe Campagne
1600 Post Alley
Seattle, WA