Lunch at Moulin with Jean  /  Lunch at Moulin with Jean  
by glutenberg  

Lunch at Moulin with Jean

Jean and I started another lazy Sunday morning with the ever "difficult" decision of choosing where to eat for lunch. We wanted to go to Stacks in Irvine for some coffee and food but their line was ridiculously long. We then tried to go to Bosscat and that wait was also 40 min. plus. Ultimately, we decided to go to Moulin for some lunch since we had only previously been there for coffee and pastries.

Moulin is a order at the counter, self-seating style French bakery and restaurant. You can order their pre-made food in their displays, which includes sandwiches, salads, and a hot food bar, or you can order food from their menu. Jean decided to get the croque madame with a coffee and I ordered a chicken pesto sandwich with a french onion soup.

The croque madame was very good here. It was covered in a nicely grilled piece of gruyere and a perfectly cooked runny egg. The flavor was excellent and texture was crispy on the top and soft on the inside. The dish itself came with a small side salad with vinaigrette dressing that was light and fairly tasty. The chicken pesto sandwich was also very good. The baguette was fresh and delicious. Even though it was refrigerated, the baguette remained crispy on the outside and chewy on the inside. It held together well through the soaking of the pesto sauce. The chicken and pesto sauce were both also very tasty.

Moulin's French onion soup was also pretty good but it was light on the cheese and flavor compared to other French onion soups that I've had. It was nice that the baguette was cut into small pieces so that you could get a bite of bread with each spoonful of soup if so desired. The onions were slightly crunchy instead of soggy and soft, which was nice. Overall, a decent soup, but probably not my favorite French onion soup. Jean and I also shared an Alain Milliat vineyard peach nectar from Moulin's refrigerator section. We were enticed by the font and bottle, but unfortunately, the drink was overly tart and probably was not worth the $5 price tag.

For dessert, Jean and I bought a couple of chouquettes to eat. These tasted like a cream puff without the cream filling. Instead, it's covered with pearl sugar for flavoring. They were $0.50 a piece, which leaves me wondering about their cost to value ratio.

Overall, the food is good here if you're looking for a nice and relaxed French restaurant with a good selection of French pastries to boot.

Moulin in Newport Beach although it's right on the border of Irvine
Chicken pesto sandwich. $9. This was surprisingly good. The baguette was crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, and held the sandwich together well. The chicken and pesto sauce were both great too. Overall a good, and semi-light lunch.
Alain Milliat Vineyard Peach Nectar. $5. Moulin was selling these bottles of fresh fruit nectars that looked enticing. Jean and I decided to grab one to find out how it tasted. Turned out to be quite tart and probably not worth the money. Maybe a different flavor would be better but I would skip the peach.
French onion soup. Moulin's soup was quite good. They cut their baguettes into smaller chunks so that you can get a bite of baguette per spoonful of soup. They didn't use too much cheese and the soup was fairly light tasting overall compared to other french onion soups that I've had. If you're a big gruyere fan, I would probably suggest another chain's soup just because this didn't have that much on it.
Croque madame. The cheese and fried egg were great. They left the yolk runny, which always makes this sandwich that much better. The bread had a nice and crisp edge and was soft on the inside. It came with a side green salad with vinaigrette. It was a great tasting sandwich and I highly recommend it.