Before it became cool to call the French “cheese-eating surrender monkeys,” they ran a pretty hardcore empire — they were the greatest culinary imperialists the world has known. Penn kids stumbling back from New Orleans last week got to see some of that French influence at Mardi Gras. For those looking for a more sedate experience, Philly’s got you covered.
Cafe Sud is a charming little place a few blocks off South Street. Cakes, tarts and other delicious pastries lure party planners, sweet-tooths and comfort-food seekers from afar. If you’re really that lazy, go to sudcakes.com to get an idea of the beautiful and tasty cakes made by co-owner Deborah Kaplan. Then get off your ass and go there.
Bring a few people, so that everyone can try different things. The chocolate hazelnut torte ($7) is so rich you’ll feel like you’re high, while the raspberry mousse ($7) with fresh berries is also a great pick. Cafe Sud serves a full breakfast menu with fresh waffles ($7.95), French toast ($7.95), pies ($11.95) or eggs ($6.50). Topping it off is a selection of fresh fruit jiuces that are a real treat.
The pastry shop setup closes at 2 p.m., but if you’re so assed-out that you can’t get there in time, Cafe Sud becomes a Moroccan dinner restaurant after 5:30 p.m. with small tables, cute silverware and colorful artwork on the walls. If the French desserts are too je ne sais quoi for you, then the Moroccan dinner menu will spice things up.
Try the pastilla ($12.95), kefta sandwich ($15.95), one of the soups ($6.95) or the kebob ($15.95). Everything on the dinner menu is interesting and absolutely worth the $15 to $17 per entree.
Cafe Sud is BYO, so bring a bottle and some people and enjoy. When you’re done, walk a few blocks over to South Street and blow the rest of your cash at Condom Kingdom.