I was excited when Mimi’s Café invited me in to have the opportunity to come in to check out their newest dish, the Honey Lavender Pork Chop! Mimi’s Cafe spent the entire summer going through 175 guest-submitted recipes in order to find the next great recipe for Mimi’s to debut on their menu! Ellise Pierce, aka Cowgirl Chef was the lead guest judge for this challenge. Ellise Pierce, author of “Cowgirl Chef: Texas Cooking with a French Accent” and CowgirlChef.com, an American chef and writer living in Paris, definitely found the perfect balance of America and France in one single dish.
An original recipe for Honey Lavender Pork Chop, submitted by Michael Watz of Evanston, Illinois created a dish jam packed with American comfort food along with a French influence. For the winning recipe, Watz and his wife won a trip to France, where the Mimi’s parent company, Groupe Le Duff, is based in Rennes, France. Congratulations Michael Watz!!
This dish will be available nationwide on September 19 in Mimi’s Café Restaurants all over the nation and will stay on the menu if it grows in popularity! We went in to check it out this weekend and we were pleasantly impressed! 🙂
Yesterday, Peggy and I went to enjoy this dish along with some of our other Mimi’s classic favorites! Mimi’s Café has 97 locations within 18 different states and I happen to have quite a few locations in my near vicinity. We decided to visit the Lake Forest, California location and we were so happy we did!
We were pleasantly greeted by Chris upon arrival and introduced to the manager, Robert and our fabulous waitress, Margaret! We selected a lovely booth by the window for our lunch and we were ready to check out the newest dish, the Honey Lavender Pork Chop!
To start our meal, we opted to get the pumpkin muffin which was loaded with pumpkin seeds and cream cheese! This decadent muffin was full of flavor and made me super excited for the upcoming fall season.
Along with our muffin, we had our fresh baked basket of bread which included my favorite, the ever so famous Mimi’s carrot raisin nut loaf bread! Yum!!
We also got my favorite appetizer which is brie cheese prepared with granny smith apples and fresh apricot chutney to serve on French baguette. I have had this appetizer before and as a cheese lover, I must say the blend of flavors go together perfectly. This was the first time Peggy tried this dish and she was excited to do so & loved it just as much as I do.
Next we moved on to main courses. Margaret our server, along with the fabulous manager, Robert checked in with us to see how we were doing. I must say, the service at this Mimi’s was extraordinary and I had a great time socializing with the staff, not only about our food, but also about my upcoming trip to Germany, being a Disneyland annual passholder and more. Both Robert and Margaret took great pride in their place of work and it was easy to see! See photo of us below. These guys are surely to give you the best dining experience!
For lunch, we obviously got the Honey Lavender Pork Chop, created by Mimi’s fan, Michael Waltz. This dish was a center-cut pork chop lightly glazed with honey, herbs de Provence and lavender and it was paired with a mixed green salad. The salad included green apples, cranberries, goat cheese, toasted walnuts and roasted potato croutons tossed with balsamic dressing. We loved this dish and Margaret even shared with us that the lavender used in this dish actually was shipped from France! There was so much flavor and the pork chop was cooked just right. Sometimes I struggle with pork chop when there is a consistency issue, but this one was so moist and juicy. The flavors blended in a way that made my taste buds happy and the salad had a really nice touch with the added potato. I had never had potato on a salad but it was so delicious, especially blended with the goat cheese!
We also got the Tuna Melt. This one was an old classic favorite of my grandma’s and when I ordered this dish, it instantly brought back memories of Saturday lunches with my grandma and all of the good times we used to share. A new touch to this sandwich that was not around 10-12 years ago when I used to go with her is that the bread is crusted with Parmesan cheese. This did add delicious flavor and I was impressed with this dish.
Lastly, we ordered the pumpkin cheesecake, as I had seen photos of this dish online and it looked really good. Margaret explained to me that it was handmade and when we took a bite, we could tell it was made with care. This cheesecake was special in that it was similar to a mousse instead of a super-rich “cheesy” cheesecake. We were surprised to be able to finish half of the slice after our huge meal, but we did.
Our bellies were full and after an afternoon of great conversation and delicious food, I was ready for a nap, but next I was to prepare for an all day concert, but that is another story for another time. 🙂 I seriously want to recommend that you head into Mimi’s Café soon to devour this pork chop! I truly believe you will be pleasantly impressed! Please share your thoughts below in the comment section if you had a chance to visit Mimi’s Café recently. What is your favorite dish?
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