In South Florida melting-pot fashion, the small crew at Charcuterie Too, situated on the second floor of Broward County’s Main Library, hails from three continents: Dominican owner Ymelda Singh, her Indian-born husband and helper, Rajiv Singh, and Hungarian baker and chef Rosalyn Klime.
The Singhs moved to South Florida in 1994 with plans to buy a motel, but found the library café was for sale and bought it instead. They kept the French-sounding name and revamped the menu. Dishes are served cafeteria-style for quick bites in the casual, sunlit space with an outdoor terrace. Early arrivals can choose fresh-baked scones, banana bread and muffins.
At lunch there are sandwiches, soups, salads, a pasta and quiche du jour and daily specials that are printed on a monthly calendar and announced on a menu phone line. The day I visited there was a creamy pumpkin soup lightly sweetened with coconut milk and brown sugar, broccoli-Cheddar quiche, a hummus platter and melt-in-your mouth crab cakes. I also sampled torta rustica, a big layered pie in puff pastry crust stacked with spinach, roasted peppers, ham and cheese, cut in wedges and pooled in marinara sauce. And I couldn’t resist trying a duo of chicken salads, one with celery and parsley tossed with sour cream and mayo and the other in a grainy Pommery mustard dressing with toasted almonds and grapes. A friend dug into the roast turkey plate with all the fixings (available three times a month). On other days we might have found Kashmiri chicken in tikka paste, meatloaf, stuffed cabbage, baked rosemary chicken or mushroom barley soup.
Many customers come for the outrageous cakes (try strawberry with cream cheese frosting or German chocolate). The chewy oatmeal raisin cookies have a devout following. The Singhs’ 6-year-old daughter, Puja, is a big fan, and you will be too.
Charcuterie Too, Broward County Main Library, 100 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale; 954-463-9578, menu line 954-463-1443. 9 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Mon-Fri. Soup $3.77, sandwiches $6.50-$7.50, specials $7.95, cake slice $4, cookies $1.27
FYI: Corporate catering available.
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