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Vincent's Market Bistro: Lunch $10 & Under

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Vincent's Market Bistro is quintessentially French with its open air patio shaded by sprawling bougainvillea vines, soft classical music, an array of wooden tables with yellow-and-blue table cloths in varying patterns, a no cell-phone-while-dining policy and fresh, buttery croissants by the plateful with every order.

This is a place where things are as the should be, and, unlike it's higher-priced parent restaurant next door, it won't cost you a fortune to make them that way.

We grabbed a corner table next just inside the open doors to the patio on our recent visit, getting a nice breeze and taking in the view while also avoiding the street noise from outside.

Out of all the tantalizing options, everything from Vincet's Panini with grilled veggies, Prosciutto, mozzarella and pesto to a build-your-own-omelet (we had our eye on the gruyere and wild mushrooms), we settled on the Organic Vegetable Medley featuring selected veggies from Victory Farms served atop mixed greens ($6.50).

Within moments of placing our order, four mini croissants that resembled Pillsbury crescents appeared on a floral china plate with homemade raspberry jam. Seeing as they were free, we expected something akin to the pop, peel and bake dinner rolls. Oh no, not from the French. We should've known. Ten minutes of judicious self-restraint later, we'd limited ourselves to inhaling two of the four.

We were patting ourselves on the back when our salad arrived... at least we didn't order something else made primarily of butter. Plus, it had that rainbow-color mix of vegetables that just screams "Now, this is a salad!" Beets, carrots, celery, yellow and red grape tomatoes, squash, and green beans were over a bed of mixed greens with a healthy dose of basil vinaigrette dressing. All it needed was a handful of chopped or candied nuts, and it would have been golden. We did eat it all though, so it's not like it wasn't already tasty.

We managed to sneak another croissant in with our salad, so when the waitress came around to see if we wanted our complimentary dessert we did ourselves a favor and passed. So if you can show more restraint on the croissant front, you'll have to let us know how it is...

We washed everything down with an ice-cold unsweetened tea ($2.25), but for those of you not on the clock, they also have some pretty killer wine specials. Clear your schedule, grab a friend and treat yourself to a long lunch, you know you deserve it.

Vincent's Market Bistro 3930 E. Camelback Rd. East Phoenix 602.224.3727

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