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Come for the pastries, stay for the meal

Eddie Moore/Journal Cutline - You can find swan-shaped cream puffs and other pastries at Swiss Bakery Pastries and Bistro in Santa Fe.
Eddie Moore/Journal Cutline - You can find swan-shaped cream puffs and other pastries at Swiss Bakery Pastries and Bistro in Santa Fe.
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Santa Fe’s newest bakery cafe is off to a fine start. Located at the corner of Guadalupe Street and Montezuma Avenue, the site of the former Corazón nightclub, it’s an easy walk from the Rail Runner station. The white walls, lovely tin ceiling, judicious use of art and flowers, and a bit of a view of Guadalupe Street work together to create a lovely space to enjoy a meal. Walk through the front door to behold the bakery counter, beckoning with treats sweet and savory.

The restaurant’s enticing smells give your appetite a wake-up call.

In fact, it’s tempting to have a breakfast of coffee, fresh-squeezed juice and pastries here because the croissants, Danishes and other treats look so enticing. You can pick from eight varieties of pastries in both full and small sizes. But before you do, take a look at the menu.

Swiss Bakery Pastries and Bistro
LOCATION: 401 S. Guadalupe in Santa Fe, 505-988-1111
HOURS: 7 a.m.-2 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays for breakfast; crepes are served until 4 p.m.
NO ALCOHOL

Friends and I stopped in for breakfast, and each of us was pleased with the food and the service. Our waitress quickly brought coffee – an essential ingredient to my breakfast – and along with it a plate of freshly baked sugar cookies, each the size of a quarter. We studied the menu a bit longer than usual because you can have anything from the lunch side as well as the breakfast offerings. Choices include quiche, omelets, crepes, pizza, salads, hot and cold sandwiches, a Swiss pot pie, spaghetti and more.

Most breakfasts are $6 to $8, and lunches around $10 to $12. The chicken Vol aux Vent at $12 is the most expensive option. Four of us ordered from the breakfast menu and our other friend sampled the Swiss Croque Monsieur ($8.50), the classic European hot ham and cheese sandwich from the lunch menu.

We all liked everything but agreed that her choice was stellar. Served open-faced, the sandwich arrived with the Gruyere cheese still bubbling. Beneath it, the chef hid a hearty serving of thinly sliced, flavorful Black Forest ham and good bread. The meal came with a lovely fresh tossed salad.

The Signature Swiss Crepe ($8.50) made a lovely, delicious breakfast. The crepe, hot and cooked a light golden brown, enclosed two scrambled eggs with bits of lovely smoked ham and mild Gruyere cheese stirred in. We asked for green chile, and instead of incorporating it into the dish, it arrived in a little dish on the side, nicely warmed. The rich, flavorful béchamel sauce also was presented on the side. This crepe makes a filling meal, a Swiss version of our classic New Mexican breakfast burrito. It came with wonderful rosti potatoes, the Swiss version of hash browns with onions, sometimes served as patties but here closer to our American hash browns.

The Santa Fe Swiss Stuffed Croissant ($6) was another good choice. Like the crepe filling, the scrambled eggs had been prepared with bits of ham and cheese, but this time the chile was added too. The croissant that formed the outside shell was great: crisp on the outside, soft within, warm and buttery. It made a lovely edible container for the eggs. This dish came with cubed herb potatoes, good, but not as tasty as the rosti version.

The Omelette de Legumes ($8.50), a vegetable omelet, features an interesting twist. Instead of the eggs arriving as a blanket around the veggie filling, the vegetables had been chopped and mixed with the eggs. Onions, mushrooms, tomato, zucchini and green chile created a healthy combination of flavors. Visually, I prefer the less chopped approach where the ingredients are sliced, sautéed and used as a filling. But tastewise, I had nothing to whine about.

Our least adventurous friend had the two-egg breakfast, served with a broiled tomato and link sausage ($6.50). She liked it just fine. It didn’t come with toast, providing a good excuse to add a pastry.

Swiss Bakery serves the full menu until 2 p.m. and crepes only until 4 p.m. The menu features seven savory crepes and six sweet ones. The Santa Fe Sweet Crepe sounds especially intriguing: red chile truffle sauce, caramelized bananas and toasted pecans.

Restaurant chef and owner Philippe Müller came to Santa Fe 32 years ago and worked as a pâtisserie chef at the old Swiss Bakery and Restaurant, also located on Guadalupe Street. (The new restaurant also uses the talents of his wife and children.) Welcome back!

Our breakfast for five with five coffees was $52.45 with tax before the tip.

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