We went out to brunch to celebrate me turning a year older. While I am always in the prowl for something new, the first meal of the day is one I don’t like to gamble with, the food has to be great and the coffee strong and bold.

On any given Sunday, you will find us at Cafe Patachou, or its sister restaurant, Petit Chou. On this given Sunday, this is exactly where we headed…. however this was the Sunday when I wandered out of “my usual” and met my new lady-friend – Croque Madame.

Croque Madame at Petit Chou

Croque Madame at Petit Chou

I am close to finishing Julia Child’s, My Life In France. With every word, I have sensed being right there with Julia. Having had limited exposure to French food has kept me from being able to make the connection to the food she so pasionately writes about; that was until my encounter with the Croque Madame.

A Croque Monsieur is a traditional ham and cheese sandwich, adorned with a creamy bechamel sauce. Top that with a fried egg, and you have a Croque Madame. One of the things I loved the most about this sandwich, was the light, yet rich in flavor French style bread. The proportions of bread to ham and cheese, in this case gruyere, we just perfect. The bechamel was creamy and provided the perfect amount of moisture required by a sandwich designed to eat with a fork and a knife.

And what else did I learn while at Petit Chou? That its Clay Terrace location will start serving dinner on April 8th. Even better, a few days ago I got the chance to sit down with Martha Hoover, owner of Cafe Patachou and get some great insights into her food philosophy and even got a sneak preview into the dinner menu. Check back next Sunday for the full scoop on that, and some mouth watering photographs!

p.s. in case you wonder what “my usual” is – Omelet of the Day, egg whites only w/ toast. Yes, I couldn’t have deviated more in the calorie spectrum. But it was soooo worth it!