Le Croissant – a delicious blast from the past – awesome omelets – how’s the pie?
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This restaurant really is as good as reported on Chowhound. It deserves its own post and shouldn’t be buried in these other posts.
This is like stepping into a 60’s type of breakfast spot / diner /coffee shop ... in a very good way. Everything is house-made and prepared fresh daily like the fresh baked French bread, pies, puddings and huge baked goods.
Two questions for those who frequent this place.
- How’s the pie? Which is better apple or berry?
- How’s the corned beef hash?
Breakfast dishes come with a choice of hash browns, home potatoes, cottage cheese or tomato slices.
For bread there is a choice of: English muffin, raisin toast, bagels, house-baked French bread (add 50 cents), croissant or muffin (add 80 cents).
I ordered the creamed spinach and cheese omelet. These are wonderful fluffy omelets that the menu says are made with three large eggs ... it looked more like four and could easily serve two people.
I have been looking a long time for a fluffy omelet. There was a place in San Jose that once served omelets like these and until today nothing matched them.
The omelet was filled with perfectly melted cheese (your choice) and topped with a thick blanket of house-made creamed spinach.
I love any type of creamed corn. I’ve never had creamed spinach before that had the sweetness of creamed corn. It was very good.
The home fries were plain and simple ... chunks of skin-on potatoes with crisply browned, crunchy exteriors and soft creamy interiors. That’s it.
Thanks to hints from Chowhounds I ordered the thick slab of homemade bread grilled rather than toasted. This lovely bread is lightly buttered.
The jam jars are filled with Dickinson’s strawberry, apricot or blackberry jams. I never was a fan of those little jars of Dickinson, but in a larger size, the apricot was very good with large pieces of dried apricot and deep flavor.
There are lots of omelet options and standard breakfast dishes. A little odd note on the menu. If you order the eggs poached it is 20 cents more. Omelets can be ordered made with egg whites only or with nulaid low cholesterol eggs.
Sausages include: breakfast, chicken apple, Italian, Polish.
Near the ceiling There is a specials board. At about 11:30 breakfast specials get replaced with lunch specials. Today there was a chorizo, cheese and mushroom omelet.
They have Belgium waffles, French toast and pancakes. How are they?
They have a Joe’s scramble
Another breakfast item is the “creamed spinach favorite” It sounds like an eggs Benedict using creamed spinach ... 2 poached eggs served on a large bowl of pureed creamed spinach with an English muffin.
Classic diner sandwiches include: BLT, Club, grilled cheese (American, Jack, Cheddar or Swiss), tuna melt, patty melt, burgers and more. Sandwiches come with a choice of French fries, cole slaw, potato salad, green salad, soup or cottage cheese.
I’ll bet that grilled cheese would be spectacular on the house-made French bread.
Salads come with house-made salad dressings ... the standards and anchovy dressing.
A decent mug of coffee is $1.50 with two refills. They have standard espresso drinks including café au lait. Steamed milk is on the menu ... regular or soy.
The iced tea is fresh-brewed. The lemonade is fresh-squeezed. There is an Arnold Palmer on the menu that combines both.
There are chocolate and vanilla shakes and Café Alaska – espresso shake with whipped cream.
Besides the pie there were some really good-looking house made custard and rice pudding
Other baked goods ... all giant sized:
Scones: apple, blueberry or cranberry
Sticky Buns, bear claws, fruit Danish
Croissants: plain, almond, chocolate, cinnamon, cheese or apple.
These are impressive ... big enough to cover a dessert plate. They are tasty but not in a true croissant way ... they are more soft and bready though very buttery.
It is very coffee shop décor. There are nine comfortable seats at the counter and tables scattered about two window-lined rooms. In warmer weather there is an outdoor patio. It is in an industrial area with lots of day workers lining the road. However, it is an easy off the freeway. The staff is pleasant.
Happy 2007 and beyond ... chow ... Krys
150 Bellam Blvd # 210
San Rafael, CA 94901
Excellent post, rworange.
My wife usually gets the French toast when we're not splitting an order of something else. She does this because they serve a half-serving on request., which itself is a full meal for many people...or should be. (g) The French toast is thick and well-coated with egg. She's also had the Belgian waffle which was very good.
I tend to shy away from the griddle cake end of the menu looking for something with a bit more protein and veggie. I've only had the spinach omelette and mushroom omelettes, and of late have been having "lunch for breakfast"...their great sandwiches with a bowl of soup. The soups are a meal in themselves, and stand up well to my habitual deluge of tabasco sauce.
A couple of weeks ago I sat at the counter right next to the kitchen and got to see all the great food passing by. The breakfast burrito with red and green chile looked very interesting, but is a meal for two. I'd suggest grabbing a counter seat near the kitchen to better scope out the range of food being served up.
Those almond croissants are absolutely tempting.....one of those and a latte would fix me up for a couple of days. ;)
Glad to hear you appreciate our secret little breakfast and lunch hidden treasure, RW!
Although Le Croissant changed hands a while back, the current owners have kept the concept and quality standards intact. It restores one's faith in the culture to be able to patronize a place which does everything right.
I have been looking a long time for a fluffy omelet
Do you mean egg whites whipped then yolks folded in like a French omelet, or the whole egg whipped? Huge diff in result.
Fluffy eggs and omelets (whole egg whipped) can be had at Marvin's in Novato. Fair to good chow; lively crew steeped in semi funk. Local breakfast favorite on Grant St.; inside seating or tables on the sidewalk.
If Le Croissant's fixin' French, I want some....labor intensive but excellent chow, I haven't seen this in the Bay Area, yet.
Does Le Croissant have another location? There was a second downtown, but haven't mangé there in quite a while.
Don't know. Maybe someone else can answer. My only reference was a joint that I frequented weekly for years called Mini Gourmet in San Jose. Went back about a year back and the MG omelet was horrid. While still fluffy (I believe baking is involved), it was drenched in less than fresh-tasting ... I hesitate to call it butter. Le Croissant is making what MG made at one time. I'll give Marvin's a try sometime. Thanks.
I believe the original Le Croissant was on 4th St next door to the corner market @ B Street. It was opened or taken over by Clyde, the guy that used to own Art's Cafe on Irving & 9th in San Francisco, back in the 80's. Please correct me if I'm wrong. I hate giving out wrong information.