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Angry Frenchman Cafe offers hip lunch spot at Pendleton

Feb. 09, 2012 @ 12:00 AM

ASHLAND -- Hidden within the Pendleton Art Center lies one of the hippest lunch spots in downtown Ashland. First opening last November, The Angry Frenchman Cafe is a sandwich shop serving an assortment of pita pockets, croissants sandwiches and deli sandwiches. Despite the "angry" name, the diner has a low-key atmosphere with colorful chairs and tie-dyed table cloths.

"The art center needed someone to do food service. After the coffee shop closed, we decided to put in a deli," said owner Paul Runnels. "We wanted something a bit more in the art realm than the coffee shops you find everywhere. We wanted something a little more pliable than a coffee shop, as coffee shops struggle in summer months." Runnels also owns the Chimney Corner Café in Ashland and will be helping the Blackhawk Grill in Barboursville overhaul its menu.

"We do a little bit of everything. We do a little bit of coffee, and we do sandwiches, salads, coffee, etc."

He said it's a "fun" menu.

"The name is Angry Frenchman because I'm part French, and most chefs seem to be kind of angry," Runnels said. "We have croissants and French baguettes. We also use a variety of French cheeses like Port-Salut, Gruyere and Boursin. They aren't rare or expensive, but they are great on sandwiches. We make chicken salad and tuna salad. We have also brought in some quality Butcher Block ham, turkey and roast beef. We also have a hamburger and a bahama mama sausage on the menu. There are also soups, salads, cookies and brownies on the menu."

One of the sandwiches is the Port-Salute & Rosbif, a roast beef sandwich topped with Port-Salut, shaved lettuce, tomatoes and a red pepper horseradish served on a French baguette for $5. For bacon-lovers there's the BLT & Gruyere pocket, featuring shaved lettuce, sliced tomatoes, crispy smoked bacon, alfalfa sprouts, grated Gruyere cheese and a little mayo for $4.96. There's also the 6-ounce Anger Management burger for $6.95 that customers can customize.

Customers can enjoy an Angry Cobb Salad with mixed greens, turkey, avocado, tomatoes, artichokes, cucumbers, sprouts and asiago cheese for $4.95. A different soup of the day sells for $2.95 a cup while a cup of bean soup with corn bread sells for $3.95. For dessert, brownies and cookies are available for $1.99 each.

"We are currently only open for lunch Tuesday through Friday, but we are planning on expanding our hours in the summer when we have more foot traffic through downtown Ashland," Runnels said. "We plan on opening Monday through Saturday. We are currently open extended hours for each month's First Friday."

The Angry Frenchman Cafe is located at the Pendleton Art Center at 1537 Winchester Ave., in Ashland. It is currently open from 11:30 a.m. until 2:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday. Cash and all major credit cards are accepted. For carry-out orders or more information, call 606-547-6673.