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The first of Loire Valley native Patrick Leon Esquerré's La Madeline boulangeries opened on Mockingbird Lane in University Park with the backing of famous retailer Stanley Marcus. To date, there are more than 60 locations, including spots in shopping centers, malls and freestanding operations. No matter where the outpost, all La Madelines exude the charm of the French countryside to the nth degree, at times reaching the gratuitous. The most popular mealtime is breakfast, where customers enjoy specialties like Egg Crêpe Champignon along with a Fruit Salade. However, it's the Caesar Salade that is the restaurant chain's most popular. Other signature items include the Croque Monsieur and Chicken Friand. The latter comes with a healthy dose of béchamel. Can't forget the tre magnifique Duet Magnifique. Oui.
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You can get a heart attack just reading about it: A baked ham and Swiss sandwich soaked in rich cream sauce. But La Madeleine's Croque Monsieur, which is French for "Mister, you're going to croak if you eat this," is worth the year or two it will take off your life. All the main ingredients work perfectly together; the ham doesn't overwhelm the Swiss, which co-exists peacefully with the sauce, which seeps just right onto the warm bread. Like most of La Madeleine's fare, the Croque is a... More »
It's all about payback, or so we've heard. Maybe that's why La Madeleine, wherein some of the best breads on earth are made, fills a handy yet surreptitiously placed rack with homemade slices or half-loaves several times a day. On a little shelf, the bread fairies also put out pats of butter and little bowls of fruit preserves. The preserves have earned the right to be called something other than jelly, since they appear to be real, fresh fruit that has been simmered with a bit of sugar... More »
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