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Bring Out Yer Bread Fendu Boulangerie Style

Columns Veg'n Out

March 9, 2014

Story By: Andy Beth Miller | Photos by: Nathalie Walker

Brave Knights of the Round Table! Come and join me,
On a culinary quest to Fendu Boulangerie!

“Run away!” from the mediocre, “Run away!” from the rest,
Join me at Fendu, for a taste of the best.

From fresh baked bread to soups and desserts,
You’ll be thankful you have arms, to reach for them first!

Join the knights who say “Ni!” to fake sugars and meat,
We’ll seek out a Frenchman, who bakes gluten-free.

Our Holy Grail dish — three secret recipes
(and you’ll be happy to know, not one has bunny).

When owner and chef Neil Koeps opened his specialty European-style bakery, Fendu Boulangerie, he knew that he had something to offer that was a prize beyond compare — hearth-baked creations that patrons — much like Monty Python’s knights — would travel far and wide to possess.

But lucky for us Islanders, Fendu Boulangerie is situated conveniently in Manoa Marketplace, so the journey there isn’t dangerous or dramatic like Monty’s movie, but in the deliciousness department — we may as well start rolling out the golden statues, because these patisserie performers are some Oscar-worthy eats.

Today, Koeps presents a meat-free masterpiece theatre for our dining pleasure:

• Japanese Eggplant “Lasagna” ($9.75 regular, $5.25 petit): Gluten-free and Atkins approved, this dish adds a twist to traditional lasagna by swapping out the usual carb-laden pasta noodles with nutritious and delicious eggplant. Cooked al dente, the eggplant is then layered between Fendu’s housemade marinara, fresh basil, sauteed garlic and a melt-in-your-mouth trio of fresh mozzarella, Ricotta and Parmesan Reggiano cheeses — a recipe well worth five stars.

“We are seeing an ever increasing amount of people looking for gluten-free options, so I stay mindful of that and am trying to offer more items for those avoiding gluten,” says Koeps.

• Vegetarian Special Panini ($8.50): Starting with its opening act of Fendu’s hearth-baked whole wheat bread, this savory sandwich then builds its palate-pleasing plot with additions of Japanese eggplant, Hamakua Farms mushrooms, bell peppers, sweet onions, fresh tomato, herbs, and fresh mozzarella cheese with Balsamic vinaigrette dressing. Grilled to order, one bite will have you bellowing out a “Holy hand grenade, is this grub good!” — and maybe even asking for an encore.

“We can also leave the cheese out entirely to accommodate our vegan customers — the dish is still as delicious,” assures Koeps.

• Shangri La Tea ($1.75): No British mockumentary metaphor would be complete without a proper cup of tea, and Fendu obliges with an impressive assortment of organic teas including Green, Jasmine Green, Black Currant Decaf, and more.

Well, knights, it appears as if our quest was a rousing success, and as I leave Fendu Boulangerie with a belly full of blessings, “I feel happy. I feel happy” — and quite alive.

Fendu Boulangerie

Manoa Marketplace
2752 Woodlawn Drive
988-4310
Monday-Saturday, 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m.
Sunday, 7:30 a.m.-3 p.m.

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