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Croque Madame

 Buenos Aires, Recoleta

%

Overall Rating

  • Ambience   75%
  • Service   80%
  • Food (Execution)   80%
  • Creativity   90%
  • Value   70%
  • Logistics   70%







Details for Location Reviewed
Croque Madame

Locale: Buenos Aires, Recoleta
Address: Av Callao 1569
Telephone: +54 11 4812-0777
Restaurant Type: Casual Dining
Cuisine: Coffee - Bread - Pastries, Eclectic
Service Type: Table Service
Price: $$$
Hours: Sun-Sat: 8am to 12am


Details and hours of operation are shown for the location reviewed. Refer to the locations map below and click on a location map marker to see details for that location, including that location's hours of operation.

Summary

Croque Madame is a successful chain of cafés in Buenos Aires. We’re just not sure why. Everything from décor and service to food and creativity are barely better than average.

Resumen del crítica

Croque Madame is a successful chain of cafés in Buenos Aires. We’re just not sure why. Everything from décor and service to food and creativity are barely better than average.

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Restaurant Review for Croque Madame

 

Review by: Ollie O
Rating: 3.4 stars
Review Date: 11/12/2017
My quest for a good place to have breakfast or brunch with an egg or two on the menu is no secret. That pilgrimage found me at Croque Madame. This restaurant has several locations throughout Recoleta and Palermo. You can hardly walk down any of the larger boulevards or avenues in BA without walking past one, the most prominent being the one located in front of the National Museum of Decorative Art on Avenida Libertador.

I’ve recently been to the restaurants on Callao in Recoleta, Uruguay in Retiro at the edge of Recoleta, and one on Aguero in Alto Palermo (now permanently closed).

With the name Croque Madame Cafe I assumed they’d offer the classic Croque Madame on their menu. And they do ... sort of. For those of you who are French or haven’t been to culinary school a Croque Madame is one of the most classic of all French creations. It is basically (and I’m oversimplifying this) a grilled ham and cheese sandwich (which by itself is known as a Croque Monsieur) with a cooked egg on top (which elevates it to the status of Croque Madame). Well the menu offering at Croque Madame Café is a couple of pieces of dry toasted bread (they left the butter at the creamery) with a little hole cut out of the middle of the sandwich and an egg poured into the hollow hole in the bread. It’s then toasted and the egg cooks in the center of the sandwich. Clever but not really a very accurate rendition of a Croque Madame.

That said. It is an egg. Better than a piece of dry toast and a cup of yoghurt, I suppose. And that purple flower in the undressed greens was a nice touch even though the greens were not edible, being wilted. I’m pretty sure that flower was inedible too. I didn’t try eating it.

Décor in the Callao location is mid-80’s boring. Service was adequate. Nothing more. Do yourself a favor. There is a Le Pain de Quotidien about four blocks away. Go there for breakfast.

I will give the restaurant chain credit for trying over the past year and half to update a few of their dismally dated restaurants. The new restaurant on Uruguay at the cusp of Retiro and Recoleta is clean and contemporary and they have updated a few of the other locations.

I gave the Croque Madame at the Uruguay location a second chance. Same dish, but on the second occasion the lettuce wasn’t wilted, and they switched a carved cherry tomato for the flower petals. Still acceptable. Not impressive.

Would Croque Madame achieve stardom in the evening hours for dinner? Not even close. I’d been searching for a single restaurant that could churn out an authentic dish of Italian risotto. I ordered the classic risotto Milanese. It’s looked pretty good, but once I took a bite it was obvious the chef knew about as much about how to cook Italian risotto as I know about yachting. The flavor was acceptable, but the sauce was a bit thick and the texture of the rice was as hard as undercooked long-grain rice. A mediocre risotto at best.

Croque Madame doesn’t need my approval. The restaurant has been highly successful despite everything from décor and service to food and creativity being barely above average. Consumer review sites seem to be in accord with our assessment of mediocrity, with consumer ratings ranging on various sites from 3.5 to 4 stars.

Success aside, there are many better options for breakfast, lunch, dinner and everything in between. The nicest thing I can say about this restaurant is that they offer extended hours, open 7 days a week, in most locations. We gave them the benefit of the doubt and based our ambience rating on an average of what we experienced in three restaurants.

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