The Galloping Galette – A Taste of France in Braselton, GA
Some of the best dishes I’ve experienced I’ve had while traveling, whether a simple Margherita pizza in Naples, Italy, a sandwich heaping with Montreal’s famous mouth-watering smoked meat, or a flavorful, yet simple, galette complète while exploring the countryside of Brittany in northwest France. Lucky for me, I can enjoy that last dish right here in Braselton at The Galloping Galette, all without having to leave the state of Georgia.
Since opening The Galloping Galette in October 2017, Viviane and Yannick Fonfrede have shared a taste of their native France with lunchtime diners in Braselton. Located in the old Braselton Tile Factory, attached to The 1904: The Original Braselton Mercantile (formerly the Braselton Bros. department store), the restaurant features a patio overlooking Davis Street, from which I can almost image I’m dining in Nantes, looking out at the Château des ducs de Bretagne.
Viviane grew up in the Brittany region of northwest France, where galettes are a tradition. The crepe and the galette are similar—they’re both pancake-like flat cakes that are usually served with some type of filling. But where crepes are made with sugared wheat flour and are usually feature sweet fillings galettes contains buckwheat flour, are usually larger than a crepe, and are stuffed with savory fillings, such as the Galette complète, with ham, a fried egg, and Compté cheese.
After watching her mother make this dish every Friday night, Viviane pursued the tradition herself. “When friends and family came to visit us,” she told me, “we would make galettes and crepes for them.” Yannick had trained as a chef in France, but had been running his own home remodeling business. Seeking a change in their lives, Viviane and Yannick decided to move from France to Braselton and open a restaurant. Although at first they weren’t sure how local diners would take to their French dishes, they were soon reassured as diners flocked to try out their savory and sweet offerings.
Every couple of months, Yannick comes up with a new addition for their menu, such as the recently added savory crepe with smoked salmon, onions, goat and Swiss cheese, lettuce, and tomatoes with a white sauce that features dill, chives, lemon, shallots, and cream. However, the traditional dishes—La Bretonne with sausage, caramelized cinnamon apples, and mozzarella, and the La Jardinière with ham, creamed leeks, and Swiss cheese—remain customer favorites. Guests can enjoy a range of beverages with their meals, from French press coffee and herbal teas, to Champagne, cocktails, wine, and beer.
Yannick makes all of the ingredients from scratch, including the caramel—which you can purchase by the jar, and I certainly did!—and Chantilly cream found in the sweet crepes, like the La Banane, where it’s combined with butter, sugar, bananas, and house-made chocolate syrup. They do import buckwheat flour from France, because it is less sour than that locally available and imparts a more traditional flavor to the galettes.
My pick for the best galette: La Terroir, with its savory sausage, smooth mozzarella, and the umami-packed creamed mushrooms. And as for Viviane and Yannick’s favorite dishes? “I would say La Parisienne,” says Viviane, “and my husband would answer La Saumon.” She explains, “I’m a farmer’s daughter, so a good, juicy steak with mashed potatoes always makes me happy!” As for Yannick, she says, “A good duck confit with girolles [chanterelle] mushrooms and potatoes from Noirmoutier.” Maybe that will be his next galette creation!