Croque Madame

Buenos Aires, Recoleta

%

Overall Rating

  • Ambience 90%
  • Service 80%
  • Food 90%
  • Creativity 85%
  • Value 90%

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: $$$
Menu items offered: Breads and Pastries, Brownies or Blondies, Churros, Coffee, Croque Madame, Crêpes, Egg Breakfast Dishes, Espresso, Hamburgers, Ice Cream, Pasta, Rice - Risotto, Salads, Sandwiches, Scrambled Eggs, Seafood
Hours: Sun-Sat: 8am to 12am
Summary of Review

The Croque Madame location on Libertad received good marks after repeated disappointments at the locations on Uruguay and Callao, and now-defunct location in Alto Palermo. The Libertad location is worth a visit just to see the beautiful landscaping in the lawn behind the restaurant.

LATAM

Park Hyatt Palacio Duhau - The Palace Guards are waiting

Sony Alpha 9 Camera

The full review for Croque Madame

 

Review by: Ollie O
Rating: 3.4 stars
Review Date: 10/07/2018

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 Buenos Aires 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). And most recently, I’ve been on several occasions to a new location on Libertad, in Retiro.

I’ve rewritten this review in light of the fact that I’ve noticed a significant difference in the quality of the food, service and ambiance at various locations. There seems to be a trend in Buenos Aires for restaurant owners that have some small modicum of success, whether it be the result of an infallible location or a strong gust wind blowing their way carrying a heavy downpour of luck, to franchise their “concept”. Croque Madame is just such a restaurant chain.

I’ve experienced two less than average meals at the Callao location, one which included a Croque Madame, the classic French dish for which the restaurant is named. The décor is dated at the Callao location. The service was inattentive. The execution of the Croque Madame was substandard. The small lettuce garnish was wilted. A total miss. Not worth the effort of a review. I was later served a less than average risotto at a location in Alto Palermo that’s now permanently closed. The restaurant on Uruguay at Arenales is new with a clean, contemporary décor. But the service is lackluster and the Croque Madame, although slightly better than the one served at Callao, was still a disappointment.

The latest location I visited, the only one I can wholeheartedly recommend, is in a historic building in Retiro, housing the Circulo Italiano, a club, in existence for centuries, dedicated to the history of Italian immigrants and Italian culture in Buenos Aires.

This location is logistically a bit awkward. There’s a small café in the lobby of the building serving a couple of tables on the front driveway. But to gain access to the real restaurant you must walk through the lobby and a long corridor to the back of the building. But it’s a hundred steps well worth taking. Because the restaurant is a little gem overlooking an impressive garden.

Weather permitting, sit out back where there are a dozen or more tables seating 40 or so patrons. You can enjoy the beautiful view of the back lawn or grab your coffee cup and walk around the lawn. Beautiful acoustic guitar music creates an ambiance that’s got a zen-like feel.

On my first visit I had the club sandwich. Outstanding, quality ingredients, perfectly constructed. The photo says it as good as I can. It tasted as good as it looks. It will be one of the sandwiches in our feature on the Best Sandwiches in Buenos Aires.

I was so pleased with the sandwich I took one more chance at a Croque Madame on a Sunday morning a few weeks later. I upgraded the Croque Madame dish to one with Béchamel Sauce and gruyere au gratin. That Croque Madame, served on a beautiful day at a table overlooking that lush garden, was perhaps the best Croque Madame I’ve tasted in Buenos Aires. Whichever location you choose, if you order the Croque Madame, it’s worth the extra cost to get the dish with the sauce au gratin.

The service at the Libertad location wasn’t flawless. There seemed to be just a bit of confusion. Something I noticed on the evening visit as well. But it was still much better than average for Buenos Aires and superior to the service at the other two locations in Recoleta and Retiro.

Due to inconsistencies between franchise locations, we can only recommend the Libertad location at this time. The locations on Callao and Uruguay haven’t earned a review due to mediocrity of ambiance, service, originality and execution. We will add comments related to other locations in the future. I note that the Libertad location is easily within walking distance of the other two locations.

Our ranking is for the Libertad location only.

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