A croque madame was one of the few food items on Ying’s short to-eat list. Regretfully, due to forgetfulness and a foiled attempt in Brussels (attention you Belgians, a croque is not just a grilled cheese sandwich), she did not end up with her heart’s desire. Which was this:
A open-faced sandwich the length of one’s dinner plate. A thin slice of Poilane sourdough bread topped with cooked ham, a mass of warm and gooey melted cheese and bechamel sauce, and finally a perfect egg, cooked sunny-side-up, with just-set whites and a wobbly yolk that oozes out and tints the rest of the plate a rich orange. Mmmm yum…
I ate this beautiful specimen of a croque madame at Le Petit Cler, where we’ve been a couple of times whenever we’re in the Eiffel Tower/Rue Cler area with no plans and reservations. Of course it is still better to call ahead, especially during the busy lunch hour, where the restaurant can be filled with tourists, shoppers and neighborhood people who come with their pets. And if you’re not that into all that grilled cheese (though in defense of Le Petit Cler, their’s was well-balanced and not greasy at all), the other menu items, from tartines made with the same excellent bread and salads to simply grilled steaks are not bad either. Nothing will blow your socks of, that’s for sure, but at Le Petit Cler, you are likely to be satisfied with your simple, well-made dinner in an unfussy environment.
Le Petit Cler – 29 Rue Cler, 75007, Paris