Fresh ingredients and big portions served in surroundings designed to conjure images of a French country home. Oh, and clever marketing.
That combination has led to the ongoing growth of the Mimi's Cafe chain, which now has 146 locations in 24 states (16 of them in Northern California).
Now you can get something new at all Mimi's restaurants. As in "40 new dishes across all menu categories," we are informed.
What caught our eye was the addition of 10 "small plates" or tapas ($2.99 to $6.99). They include crab fritters, hummus sampler and "potachos" (kettle-fried chips topped with bacon-cheddar sauce, green onion and diced tomatoes).
To check it out: www.mimiscafe.com.