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Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Madeleine's Cafe & Patisserie

Today, it was especially fun .  I went with two friends who, along with me, set out on an urban excursion.  We actually walked from a downtown apartment through the streets of Spokane, marveling at the architectural creations, statues, bus stops and pretty gardens planted in from of big high rise business buildings along our way.  We felt the wind in our faces, the sunshine on our hair and heard the pitter-patter of our bustling feet, as we made our way to our destination, 707 W. Main Ave...  Madeliene's Cafe. 

The first time I ate at this busy little downtown "patisserie," was this summer.  I ate the Ruben, which was a great sandwich if I may say so.  In fact, it was so great that  I think I now have a new sandwich addiction!  I have had it several times now in different places around town and I can only say, I love the Ruben!

I didn't order a Ruben today, I was in for trying something else on their menu.

It's not just the food that I like here at Madeline's, it's the lovely decor.  I also like the experience of sitting outside in the pleasant summer weather, watching the busy world go by.

I like the sound of brakes on buses, looking through the crowds to see if I know anyone passing by, and I usually do!  I enjoy watching the little little birds that sit on the fence hoping for a morsel to eat. There is just something I like about being downtown in the middle of the city environment, relaxing as the rest of the busy, moving, world goes by, doing all the things there is to do.  It's a moment to stop and reflect on life, to feel the movement of  life in the city all around you, and eat some good food..

This is one of those restaurant management methodologies that  I don't like too well.  It's a method whereby the customer stands in line for a while, ogling at the menu on the wall and the items in the cooler case, trying to decide what they like before their turn comes up and the time is over.  Finally, you step up to the register and place your order.

You pay, and take a number to your table and then the server comes and finds you when your order is ready.  Meanwhile, you self-serve your own water and utensils, even find your own place to sit.

It's not my favorite way to dine in a restaurant by far.  In fat, I wonder if the servers like it.  Do they make more or less tips working this way?  Do they really serve more people?  I do not know, but I wonder if it is something cultural; something I missed learning to accept?  It seems to be an increasingly popular way of doing business serving food.  I think it to be worse when there is a crowd, but since "variety is the spice of life!" and dining is often more than about food, it's about experience, sometimes, it's an acceptable way to dine out..  Today it was not too long a wait in the line.. there were tables available and my friends helped pick the food.

Even when busy, Madeline's is a terrific place to enjoy French food, particularly sweets.  They have  éclairs, crepes, tartlets, brioche and napoleons, as well as cookies, some of which are quite large and.croissants.  There are some seriously nice food options as well.  They serve salads, paninis and French dishes like coq au vin, beouf en daube, honey rosemary butter salmon, quiche and vol-au-vents.  Here are some of the colorful things they offer in their cold case.

  We were smitten by the welcome sign, inviting us to try the Sliders...

There were three of us, and three of sliders on a plate, so the special worked quite nicely for us.
We could also choose three salads with that... so we did.  In fact, the The Caprese Salad looked so good we ordered two of those and the Antipasta Salad too.

Then we ordered some desserts!

 The server brought out our desserts first... saying that the reason he did it was because the food might take a while... 

Farthest in this photo, is our Lemon Meringue Pie, to the right of that the Napoleon, and the chocolate treasure in the forefront is the Cigle...  my personal favorite by far.  It is a thin, crunchy, curled-a round cookie filled with chocolate mousse. We tasted them all!  And just so you know, we didn't eat our desserts first... we waited until we finished eating our food. 

It did take a while for our food to come, and it was also quite a wait for the people at the table next to us, which we a bit of an opportunity to make friends... waiting.  ( This is obviously not a place to go if you are in a hurry.)  It's a place a lot of people like to go, I understand that sometimes the line, waiting to come in.  Sometimes it even circles out along the street.. 

I am glad a little bird told me about this place. 

Madeleine's Cafe & Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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