Violette’s Bakery Cafe offers taste of Parisian life in Clarkdale, AZ
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CLARKDALE, AZ (Arizona State Parks and Arizona Highways TV) - Housed in a little red caboose parked on Main Street in downtown Clarkdale, there’s a true slice of Parisian life. Violette’s is an authentic French and Belgian café.
Owner Amber Godina loves French and Belgian cooking.
“I have French relatives, French DNA,” she said. “I thought it would be cool to learn the authentic ways to do things.”
She started cooking in her home and selling her pastries at the gift shop that used to be in the red caboose that is now her kitchen.
“I had a little case and I’d show up every morning and sell just in the mornings,” she said. “I got a following and the following kept getting bigger and bigger, and I started putting chairs and tables out.”
When the owner of the gift shop retired, Godina seized her opportunity.
“I asked the owner of the caboose if I could put a kitchen in there,” she said. “And a lot of people were like, ‘You can’t put a kitchen in there; that’s not going to work,’ and I was like, ‘Yes, I can!’”
Croissants, which take two days to make, are rolled out every morning. Brioche is kneaded by hand for 30 minutes.
“We really stick to old traditional ways of doing things,” she said.
The Belgian waffles at Violette’s started as something she whipped up for her kids. They were so good that they found their way onto the Violette’s menu.
And then there’s the Croque monsieur. She had one and a brasserie in Paris and was hooked from the first bite. The owner of the brasserie introduced her to the chef.
“I honestly didn’t think that they would ever allow me into their kitchen, but he brought me back in there, and the chef was so sweet and kind,” she said. “And I got to learn the authentic way to do the Croque madame and Croque monsieur. The madame is the one with the egg on the top.”
As soon as she got back, amber rewrote her menu, adding her new French discoveries.
“The food is absolutely delicious and unique for the area and authentic if you want to think about French food and European food,” said a regular of Violette’s, who happens to be French. She said Clarkdale reminds her of Provence in southeastern France. “You go to a cafe, you sit outside on the terrace. You enjoy your food, and you enjoy the slow pace of life.”