Tag Archives: pate

Pâté de Campagne.

1 May

I entered Cafe des Amis looking to enjoy some roasted bone marrow on toasted points and a cool terrine of trotters. It would be savory, delicious, and perfect paired with a nice glass of white on this warm, rare sunny San Francisco day. But alas, Cafe des Amis had failed me. My dream dishes could not be found on their brunch menu, which apparently replaces their lunch menu on weekends. How ridiculous – the French don’t even brunch!

Determined to begin my blog despite the little hurtle, I settled for something still slightly odd from the every day chicken and rice/meat and potatoes: an order of pâté de campagne.

For many, the word pâté calls for the famously creamy, liver-based pâté de foie gras. Though, pâté really just stands for a mixture of ground meat and fat minced into a spreadable paste, with optional addition(s) of herbs, spices or wine. For pâté de campagne, it is of the French farmhouse variety, usually made of coarsely chopped pork with garlic and herbs. Also known as country pâté.

The pâté de campagne at Cafe des Amis was made of pork shoulder. It came with pickled onion, small florets of cauliflower and dill pickles, ready to be spread on slices of warm, buttered toast.

The pâté, topped with sprinkles of green chives, was rich and meaty. Tiny white specs of garlic visible within the pink. The taste by itself was almost savory sweet instead of salty. The fat made it perfect to be paired with the pickled goodness.

I ate the dish two ways: with pickled cauliflower, then with pickled onion and a small dollop of mustard.

The cauliflower provided a soft, al-dente crunch. Paired to the tiny florets of tanginess, the pâté came to life on top of the buttery toast

The pickled onion, on the other hand, was some of the best pickled onions I’ve had. Equally tangy as the cauliflower but with a subtle sweetness, the little pink slices of heaven (likely pickled with red wine vinegar) packed a nice punch. Topping the pâté with a bite from the mustard, it was a simple yet lively ballad. Oh yum.

This sort of made up for the lack of bone marrow spread. Though now, as I write, I recall my last encounter at Zaré at Fly Trap: towering roasted bones arrived with a long silver spike that helped you poke out this rich, dark, savory marrow to be spread on crunchy toasted points with a sprinkle of fleur de sel…


Cafe des Amis: 2000 Union Street | San Francisco, CA 94123 | 415.563.7700