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    Nov 2014 · Karen Elowitt

    I was not actually expecting much out of Fournos, since it is a chain bakery in a mini-mall. But I...

    I was not actually expecting much out of Fournos, since it is a chain bakery in a mini-mall. But I was pleasantly surprised.

    Located in Benmore Gardens, a small retail center in Sandton (which includes a drug store, grocery store and numerous fast food joints), Fournos is a bakery, cafe and deli all rolled into one. At first glance it looks like a simple lunch spot to pop into while you’re shopping, but after a quick walk around you’ll discover a full-scale bakery on one side of the establishment, a cafe on the other, and a deli in the middle. The bakery has all manner of cakes, pies, breads and pastries, while the deli offers pre-made sandwiches, platters, cheeses and other on-the-go-items. The cafe has an a la carte menu, or you can use the self-service buffet.

    I chose to have a proper sit-down meal at one of the clean, simple, uncluttered tables. Seating is inside or outside on the adjacent patio. The vivid multi-page menu, which uses bright colors and large lettering to get its point across, consists of an array of breakfast favorites such as omelettes and eggs Benedict, soups, salads, crepes and wraps, burgers, fish dishes, pasta, and more. Their sandwiches, which they call “toasted treats,” are served on artisanal breads made in-house. The drinks list is worth mentioning as well, as it includes not only standard soft drinks, but also dozens of coffee drinks, speciality teas, smoothies, milkshakes, “freezos” and “crushers.” (Don’t ask me what the last two are, but they sound delicious.)

    I chose the butternut and halloumi salad on mixed greens, which proved to be very tasty, and the portion was giant. I also tried the stir-fry vegetables, which were hot and well-seasoned, but could have used some rice. However, I am not complaining, as I inhaled them in five minutes. Not all branches have this, but I was also able to order a freshly-squeezed blended juice drink. Mine was called “Pink,” and consisted of beets, carrots, ginger and oranges. Delicious. The smell emanating from the area where the juicer was located was positively intoxicating.

    So to say the least, Fournos won me over despite my initial hesitance.


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