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Jan 19, 2009 01:01 PM

Le Croque-off

A few months ago I started a Croque Monsieur crawl because I wanted to see what made a good one.

A little way through, I switched to the Croque Madame because I thought it would add another layer of interest … how the egg was handled.

Due to the richness of a croque … egg … butter … sauce …cheese … I needed to pace myself or run the risk of croque-ing.

The crawl continues. I figured I’d post once I made it to Bouchon, guessing they would make a good version. Well, yes … but … so far no one has been perfect. I have no favorite yet.

There are components of each that would go into making my perfect croque … the ham from either Post Meridian or Cafe Saint Honore, the egg from Le Garage, the oozy cheese and the nicely browned béchamel from Rendez-vous Café, the bread and lightness from Bouchon.

If I had to choose one, it might be Rendez-vous in Albany of all places. It was the best whole rather than the components … good value, oozy cheese, lots of grilled ham, the béchamel nicely browned and a little salad to make a complete lunch. It wasn’t the fanciest but it was satisfying and nicely made.

Anyway, I haven’t had a croque in SF yet. I’m hoping to get some suggestions for greatness there … or anywhere. I wasn’t going to include Cafe Saint Honore’s but after reading about the sandwich, it qualifies.

Croque monsieur and variations

Here’s what I’ve tried to date in no particular order

Le Croque-off un: Yountville – Bouchon

Le Croque-off deux: Sausalito – Le Garage

Le Croque-off trios: Albany – Rendezvous Café

Le Croque-off quatre: - Post Meridian

Cafe Saint Honore

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  1. Very cool idea, will follow along.

    1. If your crawl gets to Los Gatos, I suggest Fleur de Cocoa.

      Please keep us updated.

        1. re: Scott M

          The croque monsieur and madame my partner and I had at Cafe de la Presse this past July were both exceptionally executed.


        2. I assume you're going to La Note?

          1. In SF, I recall enjoying the croque at Cafe Claude.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jeff

              Yup, that's probably the best I've had in the city. Went back and it was more like eating a mushy ham sandwich, so I guess there are off days with it. There are a couple other interesting sounding french places within the area, like Cafe Bastille.

              Chez Maman, and Chez Papa might be worth a try if you're a fan of their places.