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Quick Croque Monsieur Question...

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mrsx Nov 3, 2008 07:16 AM

What's not to love about a croque monsieur? Crunchy toasted bread sandwiching savory ham and cheese, bathed in bechamel?

Well, egg fanatic that I am, the egg that turns the he into the she is about the only thing missing for me... Question, then, what do you think about asking, when a croque monsieur is listed on the menu, and when eggs in other forms are listed on the menu, whether it's possible to get a croque madame?

Am I being difficult by asking politely (Is it possible...?) or is this a simple request? I asked and was told it wasn't possible this weekend over lunch at Eastern Standard and I was a bit surprised... Now I'm wondering what you all think?

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  1. lissy RE: mrsx Nov 3, 2008 08:03 AM

    I don't think it's being difficult to ask politely for anything but if they say they can't do it, then that's that. That being said, ESK is usually extremely accommodating so I'm surprised. Also, I had the croque monsieur there yesterday and it was huge and tasty. I would certainly order it again.

    1. heathermb RE: mrsx Nov 3, 2008 10:23 AM

      Given that the switch from Monsieur to Madame requires bechamel sauce, if the sauce isn't made for something elsewhere on the menu it may be a little difficult. With ESK, they do bend over backwards to accommodate requests, but making a special sauce (I don't believe there is anything else on the menu with a bechamel sauce) might have been a stretch for the kitchen at that point. That said, I'd guess that if you were to call ahead with the request next time they might just do it.

      1. C. Hamster RE: mrsx Nov 3, 2008 10:46 AM

        Technically, the difference between Monsieur and Madame is the addition of an egg.

        Bechemel sauce (often it's mornay) is not the distinction between the two.

        Some places use bechemel or mornay sauce to make a Croque Monsieur as a sort of fancy addition, but it is not a requirement of the traditional basic sandwich.

        I would imagine anyplace that served eggs could figure out how to fry one and add it for you unless they were slammed.

        1. BobB RE: mrsx Nov 3, 2008 12:38 PM

          I'm curious - when you asked if they'd make you a croque madame, did they clearly understand that the fried egg on top is the only difference? Maybe, like heathermb, they thought it involved something else?

          I wonder if they'd serve you a simple fried egg and let you put it on top of the sandwich yourself. ;-)

          2 Replies
          1. re: BobB
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            mrsx RE: BobB Nov 4, 2008 07:57 AM

            When I inquired at first they thought I was asking what the monsieur was, and when I acknowledged that I was already aware and was wondering about adding the egg the server (who was a bartender as well) just said "No, I'm sorry, we can't do that" with a very neutral tone.

            I guess I was just surprised because a) they are indeed quite accommodating in many ways b) eggs in other forms were on the same menu c) I think of them as being sophisticated enough in the kitchen to handle the request, time/capacity permitting and d) they model themselves after french brasseries, where this would be a norm.

            In any case, they didn't appear to be particularly slammed but I didn't press further. Though I have, at other times and at other spots, ordered a fried egg on the side which with to top my burger... told you I was a fanatic!

            I will try the (naked!) sandwich next time though, based upon the favorable review above!

            1. re: mrsx
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              Wursthof RE: mrsx Nov 4, 2008 11:54 AM

              Reading these posts gave me a hankering for a CM. I took a look at the ESK menu online and it looks like it is only available there at brunch. Glad I checked.

          2. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: mrsx Nov 4, 2008 10:05 AM

            Why don't you just go to Marliave? Their Croque Madame is superb.

            1 Reply
            1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
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              mrsx RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Nov 5, 2008 05:16 AM

              I had one there a few weeks back and thought it was a bit dry, but I'd certainly give it another go. Plus, as much as I've enjoyed the cocktails, decor and staff at Marliave on my visits thus far, it's not quite yet up to Eastern's, um, standards.

              ;-)

            2. greygarious RE: mrsx Nov 4, 2008 03:01 PM

              I was confused by this post, which sent me to Wikipedia to look up Croque Madame - because I'd swear that when Julia Child did a French Chef episode on the Croque Monsieur, she said that if chicken was used in place of ham, that's a Croque Madame. No mention that I recall of either sauce or egg. Does anyone else remember this?

              2 Replies
              1. re: greygarious
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                anthonyd RE: greygarious Nov 5, 2008 07:48 AM

                According to Epicurious' dictionary, in France the difference is the egg for the Madame while in Britain and America the Madame substitutes chicken for ham. No mention of Bechamel.

                http://www.epicurious.com/tools/foodd...

                1. re: anthonyd
                  greygarious RE: anthonyd Nov 5, 2008 07:56 AM

                  Thank you, anthony! Nice to know I haven't lost my marbles....yet.

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                bear RE: mrsx Nov 5, 2008 10:14 AM

                I've had a decent brunch-time Croque Monsieur at Gaslight, and they have single egg sides so I'm sure you could get a Madame. Plenty filling, that's for sure.

                It's been a while, but I also enjoyed the Croque Madame at Brasserie Jo, if you're looking for more to try.

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                  hsquare2southend RE: mrsx Nov 6, 2008 01:33 PM

                  Croque Madame at The Butcher Shop (lunch menu) is divine.

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