I think this restaurant is adorable. It’s just lovely. From every thoughtfully placed doily to the curated French music playing, this restaurant takes the work of conjuring up a French bohemian atmosphere more seriously than you might think such a subject would warrant. La Fresa Francesa is not here to play games like some other restaurants that serve vaguely French food within the average white table cloth, dim lighting, and an otherwise style-less atmosphere. La Fresa’s decor shows such effort and attention to detail that even your boyfriend might actually notice.
What really made me want to shed light on this spot was that it’s not actually a traditional French restaurant; La Fresa Francesa bills itself as serving a hybrid of Cuban/French cuisine, and it’s located right in Hialeah on Okeechobee Road, no less. Of course, I didn’t hesitate to find out if someone was truly doing God’s work right in my own backyard and yes, La Fresa Francesa really is as amazing as it sounds.
First, let me state, I do have to take points off over their complete failure to offer vegan options. The only already vegan dish was one item from the sides menu: sautéed spinach. Listen, I am extremely lenient with who I levy this judgment against; I’m not about to go to a steakhouse and say the place sucks because there’s not a wealth of vegan dishes.
That just isn’t the case with La Fresa Francesa. Crepes could not be an easier item to veganize; these type of substitutions are Veganism 101. Make a vegan crepe, add fruit + sugar + agave syrup – voila! You now have a completely vegan, stand-alone menu option. It really is that simple. Considering the owner and chef spent time studying and working in L.A., lack of exposure to the needs of vegan diners just isn’t an excuse. Y’all should know better.
That being said, if you aren’t vegan, but vegetarian, or have no dietary restrictions, you’ll have a great experience. The menu is beautifully curated, taking a foundation of traditional French recipes and introducing traditional Cuban ingredients. It’s a wonderful formula that culminates in the type of addicting dish that makes you wonder whether these two cultures weren’t always meant to join: La Fresa Francesa’s Guava Creme crepe. Just the existence of this dish is an achievement in itself, but they manage to improve upon even this by sourcing their guava fruit locally; the guava they use in this recipe is grown right in Homestead, Florida.
They have a menu for savory crepes too, the Champignons dish was one that my sister loved and has ordered more than once. I would advise that you not waste your money on the bread. Two mistakes are made here when there should really only be one, at max. If you’re not offering a complimentary dish like bread, at least make the dish you’re charging for great. If you’re going to offer nearly inedible bread, then at least make that dish complimentary. La Fresa broke both of these rules. They will charge for what was arguably the worst bread I’ve ever tried to consume.
Disappointing bread aside, every other item I tried from the menu was enjoyable. They have enough variety that you’ll want to come back several times just to try different dishes. If you’re a tea drinker, they have a great offer of an entire tea pot of two different tea varieties for only about $4.50 (my preference is the chamomile but only over the green ginger by a bit). Regardless of what you decide to try, let me repeat, they have a guava crepe…guayaba in a crepe. It’s impossible to go wrong.
Have you been here before or are you planning to try it out soon? Comment and let me know!