by Allison Jarrell
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A genuine

French café experience
At Ô Gourmet French Café & Bakery, you won’t find any Danish pastries or Americanized dishes. Rather, co-owners Benoit Jussaume and Eric Djomby offer up something far more unique in San Juan Capistrano—a genuine French café experience.

For Djomby and Jussaume, teaching their customers about true French cuisine is part of their philosophy. Their approach is quite hands-on—creating and serving French pastries, bread, breakfast dishes and lunch items seven days a week.

The café opened about eight months ago and has garnered a loyal customer base—especially on the weekends when diners can leisurely enjoy the café’s all-day breakfast and array of espresso drinks indoors or out on the terrace.

Both Jussaume and Djomby originally hail from France, and between the two they bring many years of international culinary experience to San Juan. They pride themselves on not only baking and cooking everything fresh in-house but also using high-quality ingredients that are often imported, such as the French ham in their popular Croque Monsieur.

Djomby and Jussaume said patrons can look forward to the holidays at Ô Gourmet as they roll out their seasonal menu, featuring a week of pumpkin-filled dishes around Thanksgiving such as quiche and crème brûlée, as well as specials later on in the holiday season such as Bûche de Noël (Yule Log) and Galette des Rois (King Cake).

offer warm bread &

warm welcome
Djomby and Jussaume have enjoyed their time becoming part of San Juan Capistrano’s tight-knit community. Djomby said they strive to not only offer warm bread with an authentic taste, but also a warm welcome to each person who walks through their doors. They encourage patrons to sit, relax, and share their experiences with one another—all while enjoying a café au lait and a fresh-baked croissant.

by Allison Jarrell, published on The Capistrano Dispatch


Paris arrives in SJC

by ROBERT MANNIELLO

Serendipity is fickle.

Come see for yourself

Serendipity is fickle. She smiles at the right people only at the right time. This writer offers the latest happenstance treasure find for our SJC community – it’s a rare and delicious French varietal. Kudos to my daughter, Robyn for scouting out this gem.

When I noticed the cozy O Gourmet Café & Bakery in Plaza del Rio across from Albertsons with patrons lining up to experience a novel taste of France, my 1960’s oldies mindset kicked in.

Legendary crooner, Sam Cooke was right. I had to confess not knowing much about the French I took, but I did know one and one equaled two. Fortunately, that simple sum would translate into delicious homemade café delights courtesy of imaginative creators, Eric Djomby Enywa and Benoit Jussaume. Both Frenchmen have certainly contributed to that Wonderful World classic rock song now that their unique gastronomic offerings exist in SJC.

A feast for the senses greets customers after entering the petite colorful establishment with an array of pastries, baguettes, handmade sandwiches and other mouthwatering temptations. The menu contains a number of special treats for the palate that lucky patrons may choose to experience. Enticing the onlooker to sample their talents, friendly hosts, Eric and “Ben” are eager to welcome visitors as new found family members.

new pleasure indulgence

For the true foodie

Enjoy your petit dejeuner (breakfast) served with complementary mixed green salad or luncheon sandwich entrees on Panini bread, cereal baguette or croissant – all made to your stated preferences or as a salad. A Kid’s Amazing menu for breakfast sparkles with omelet, juice and mini bakery treats. Lunch for the tykes allows a choice of sandwich, juice and compote or yogurt. Different delights for both meals make being an adult special – try the bruschetta (scrambled eggs, tomato and feta cheese).

For the true foodie, caramelized onion, anchovies and black olive tart (Pissaladiere) or other “Frenchie’s” – various quiches, stuffed crepes or Croque Monsieur (French ham and Swiss cheese on a French loaf) might be a new pleasure indulgence.

Passion

for the right things, done the right way

While savoring a cappuccino, enjoying a mixed fruit tartlet I spoke with Eric who smiled as he related his initial career as an attorney in France and the love of baking leading him to earn various cooking diplomas in his homeland. Twenty years dedicated to hospitality, fast and casual foods form his keystone. Passion for the right things, done the right way was easily felt as his unspoken mantra. Ben complements the team having obtained a Master’s Degree in Management and Business Catering Industry (Strasbourg, France) listing a number of international restaurants under his expert supervision. Together, they ventured forth, answered serendipity’s on line ad and last March opened their local dream to share with SJC. En voila une idee ! (What an idea !).

Ponder Eric’s poignant observation and O Gourmet French Café & Bakery mission statement. ”Gluttony is through the sight of a beautiful piece of pastry, the smell of good warm bread and an authentic taste, but also by the warm welcome to customers.”

Come see for yourself how these essential criteria are met under Eric and Ben’s watchful eye.

This writer predicts the French word, “merci” will be part of your vocabulary after your first visit.

by ROBERT MANNIELLO