Quick Bites in Gables

On the Paris/Gables Border 

Gables Quick Bites
Mussels at Frenchies Diner

It is off the beaten path, hidden away on Galiano just south of Valencia. But for its devotees, Frenchie’sDiner offers a truly bohemian Paris café experience, with standard fare that includes quiche lorraineCroque monsieur, escargots, and duck confit. While their menu offers no mercy for lunch vs. dinner, you can still walk away full by splitting one of their huge servings of mussels. From curried to marinieres style (they change daily) at $25 they come with – and we’re not trying to be cute here – the best French fries in the Gables, bar none. Great coffee, too. 

Aussie Faves with a Pint 

Chicken Parmi at Bay 13
Chicken Parmi at Bay 13

When it comes to local brews, nothing beats the beer at Bay 13, where drinkers can imbibe inside by the great copper brewing tanks, or outside under canvas awnings by a sparkling fountain. We have wondered about the pub grub, however. Since proprietor Nick Sharp is from Melbourne, Australia (where Bay 13 is the rowdy section of the local cricket stadium), we decided to stay with the “Aussie Favourites” part of the menu, with its meat pie, fish & chips, lamb burger and the surprisingly good Bay 13 Chicken Parmi. The secret to the latter is a slice of ham – and an Arvo Pacific Ale to wash it down. 

Other Italian Delights 

Gables Quick Bites
Prosciutto at Salumeria 104

When word “salumi” is the Italian umbrella for all cured meats, from salami to prosciutto. Naturally, then, you would expect Salumeria 104 on Miracle Mile to excel at such sliced edibles – and they do (make sure to order some melon with yours). But what impresses us more are the pasta selections devised by chef Angelo Masarin. These are not your sloppy, red-sauced spaghettis, but sophisticated dishes like ricotta cheese cavatelli with porcini mushrooms, and black ink house-made tagliolini with shrimp, garlic, and Calabrian chili. At $18 to $24, molto benne! 

Nueva Mexicana 

Gables Quick Bites
Ceviche Acapulco at Maia House

For fans of Mexican cuisine, the only game in town has been Talavera on Giralda. For the last six months, however, chef Hillary Fernandez has been challenging that monopoly at Maia House in the Aloft Hotel on Le Jeune Road. Fernandez takes Mexican food to a new level, with inventive dishes like her ceviche Acapulco (with curry ketchup and avocado mousse) and her shrimp al pastor quesadilla (catch of the day with Oaxaca cheese). She also uses a Josper oven for her wonderful citrus roasted whole snapper and corn-crusted sea bass. Now, if they would only stop playing the pounding house music at night…