Bon Appetit!

Indulgent and delicate French flavors abound in the Great Lakes Bay Region.
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Thinkstock Photo of Eiffel Tower in Paris France
Photography courtesy thinkstock

Decadent art and glorious galleries are pleasantly tucked into this area’s inviting neighborhoods, too, and with a little creativity — inventivité, if you will — French experiences can be yours, no passport required.

Savor French Sweets

For a sensory explosion of sights and smells, you need travel only as far as Saginaw’s Patisserie (921bake.com).

Baked fresh daily, Patisserie’s croissants deliver both a delicate crunch and light, flaky layers. If you’re looking to enjoy chocolate-filled croissants commonly found throughout France, order the Chocolate Danish — oh-so-similar (and oh-so-good!). Sample Patisserie’s ham and cheddar quiche, common in France, or the broccoli ricotta option.

And don’t leave without trying the Éclairs, filled with vanilla pastry crème and dipped in luxurious chocolate.

Cozy Up in a Parisian Café
Patisserie cupcake
Photography by Jen Wainwright

Owners Matt and Renee Crimmens were smitten with the crepes they’d tasted while traveling in Paris: Savory and sweet, served hand-held-style in the streets of Paris just like hot dogs served in downtown Chicago. The couple brought the authentic Parisian fare to Frankenmuth’s River Place Shops with La Crepe du Jour (crepe of the day) (facebook.com/lacrepedujour), and offer over 30 made-to-order crepes.

For a savory option, try the Murano featuring grilled chicken, red onion, mozzarella cheese, fresh spinach, roasted tomatoes and pesto. Dine on a sweet crepe with the Banana Fosters, made with butter, brown sugar, bananas and pecans then, try the Strawberries and Chocolate, Grand Marnier and Sugar. Bon appétit!

Enjoy a Slice of French Life

Do as the French truly do: Hit the market for wine, cheese and bread. Eastman Party Store (eastmanpartystore.com) in Midland offers authentic French choices; fresh breads and baguettes from Michigan-based bakeries are available every Tuesday and Thursday.

Purchase French brie or possibly Chaumes, a semi-soft cheese made in France (similar to brie but more pungent), or even Delice de Bourgogne, a triple-cream from the Bourgogne region.

Try a full-bodied red wine from France, Chateauneus-Du-Pape, or a white Sancerre from France, as well.

Uncover other global flavors and fun at gogreat.com.

— Jen Wainwright, Michigan BLUE Magazine

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