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Address: 4242 Fowler Lane, Suite 101, in Diamond Springs
Hours: Open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
“Oh, my gosh, you’re going to Allez? They have the best snails.”
This was the reaction from a co-worker when she found out that I and another co-worker were going to have lunch at the newly relocated gourmet French to-go restaurant called Allez.
The snails she is referring to are identified on the Allez menu as escargot a la Bourguignonne, roughly translated as the Burgundy snail. And while I have Google Translator up, Allez means “go.” Makes sense, as Allez! Good Food on the Go was originally established in the town of El Dorado and garnered a ton of praise and repeat business from the locals.
Owner/Chef Christian Masse, (with the help of Michael Masters), served gourmet sandwiches, salads, soups and specialty dishes that quickly became the stuff of legend.
The demand soon became too great and Masse made the tough decision to move to a larger location where the needs of his rapidly growing customer base could be met.
A friend of mine works in El Dorado and tells me that many of the employees liked walking to Allez and even though they cannot walk there anymore, have remained commuting regulars. That’s loyalty.
The menu is delightfully sparse, a great sign, and contains quite a few items that are unique to El Dorado County (if anyone knows differently, let me know), such as chicken picatta (scaloppini of chicken breast, sautéed with lemon butter and capers over pasta), house made sausage, and a Niçoise that I have heard is to die for, and described on the menu as “Albacore tuna, green beans, tapenade, hard-boiled egg, red onion, garlic herb dressing, tomatoes and lettuce, in addition to Niçoise olives.”
OK, so I had to try the snails — oops, pardon et moi — the escargot a la Bourguignonne. The last time I partook of the delectable little mollusk was at least 20 years ago, so I had to admit I was looking forward to this.
They were served on a hot plate, each of the six little beauties bathing in a steaming hot basil garlic butter bath, surrounded by fresh slices off a French baguette.
Oh, man, if you’ve never tried escargot I would highly suggest you do it at Allez! Amazing.
For my main course I ordered and quite enjoyed my crab cake sandwich, which came served on a (what else?) baguette with a conservative amount of dressing, a tomato and crisp lettuce. The cake itself was loaded with crab, as it should be, and the outside crust as fried to perfection. Not greasy in the least and flavorful to the max.
My lunch associate was one of those regulars I mentioned and ordered the Niçoise salad (you can get it on a baguette as well, if you’d prefer) this time around. As with everything else she has had at Allez she told me that it was “par for the course amazing.”
We ended our lunch by enjoying two homemade tarts. I got the lemon and she the mixed berry custard. It was a sweet ending to a wonderful lunch.
Allez also has a good selection of French and California wines to choose from, many of which are from good old El Dorado County.
Allez is now located at 4242 Fowler Lane, Suite 101, in Diamond Springs and the phone number is 530-621-1160. It is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.
As they say in France, “Laissez les bons temps rouler!” (“let the good times roll!”).