La Petite France: A Charming Bistro With the French Answer to Pizza

Of all the regions who have their own names for the Alsatian dish flammekueche, I enjoy the rest of France's best: tarte flambée, which translates as "pie baked in the flames."

Mm, no wonder it's so famous.

Not flambéed, as the translation would suggest, it is cooked in an oven, traditionally served as a first course or an appetizer, and oh-so lovely.

For those who wish to experience this French answer to pizza, you should order the flammekueche at the family-owned La Petite France, but don't stop there. A menu of reasonably priced regional specialties awaits, including scrumptious dishes of German-influenced Alsatian cuisine. And despite its Scottsdale address, the unpresumptuous La Petite seems to have gathered all the charms of their laid-back, scenic homeland into a single neighborhood bistro.

Here's an excerpt from this week's cafe review of La Petite France:

"Also called tarte flambée in the rest of France, La Petite's version arrives on a wooden paddle the same shape and size as your placemat, its ultra-thin crust crispy and tinged with brown around the edges. There are five varieties, but I enjoy the classic version the best -- its toppings of cheese, bacon, onions, and crème fraîche melted together into a cheesy and smoky bubbly layer of goodness that is perhaps most reminiscent of the homemade dish pulled from wood-fired ovens by farmers in the region centuries ago.

"Ah," owner Denis Michel might say after serving you the dish, "you will not be hungry after this, no?"

No. The flammekueche is a dish best shared. But if that isn't an option, Michel will give you instructions on how to prepare the leftovers (one minute at 350 degrees)."

Hungry for more? Read the full review of La Petite France here.

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