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Croque Monsieur in Paris

Any suggestions for a cafe or bistro that make fresh croque monsieur? Last few times to Paris I have disappointingly been served what appears to be inferior reheated ones - just not the same. Anything in the Marais would be appreciated if possible. Merci!

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  1. Another website forum has collectively agreed that my choice of lunch at Bar des Theatres for that dish was excellent.

    1. croques monsieur are roughly the Parisian equivalent of a grilled cheese sandwich -- most of them are going to be somewhere between inferior and pretty mediocre.

      don't get me wrong -- I love croques monsieur, but I also don't have any delusions about its existence as a gourmet meal.

      3 Replies
        1. re: sunshine842

          I agree. It is "do" food here, which means "this'll do".
          "between inferior and pretty mediocre"
          Agreed. Not something that has us saying: "this fast-food café in the 17th is, in NYT vocabulary, the best Croque of Paris."

        2. My advice is to keep your eyes open. You're right that the main issue is whether the thing is freshly made or reheated -- better freshly made from supermarket crap than reheated from Dalloyau (though theirs aren't that bad but is not the real thing) or BE (theirs are that bad). The difference is visible, so just check people's plates.

          And for record, good croquemonsieurs are awesome and I would cross town for it. My mother used to make them with bread that was soaked in milk, proof that I have one good childhood memory.

          11 Replies
          1. re: souphie

            I love croque-monsieurs when they're properly made. The perfect snack on a busy day going from place to place through town. There's this small café on rue Gay-Lussac where you took me once - they should have good croque-monsieur there.

            Going to good, reliable big intersection cafés like Le Rostand or Le Canon des Gobelins, or, indeed, institutions like Bar des Théâtres, should also yield good results.

            1. re: Ptipois

              La bombonniere , that you speak of, has changed owner and let's forget about it.

              On bd montparnasse, next to bistrot du sud ouest, there is now a Maison du Croque Monsieur. Haven't tried it but loves the concept.

              1. re: souphie

                Now that's a great idea if I ever saw one. But they had better deliver, considering the name.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        OK, me too.
                        After we eat Balls of course.

                  1. re: souphie

                    I went as an éclaireur for the team a couple of times.

                    Bottom line: it's quite good, but it's no croque-monsieur.

                    We're talking grilled sandwiches, really. Quality ingredients inside thick slices of excellent Poujauran bread, and a choice of plenty of "croques", including vegetarian, breakfasty with egg and sausage, etc. Check out the menu here: http://croquemr.com/menu/

                    The one on the picture has ham AND roast poark and moutarde à l'ancienne and pickles and all.

                    They also have third party pastry such as this cronut from la Maison des Desserts -- quite the stupid idea if you ask me, but there's no major flaw in them besides that. A bit greasy, maybe.

                    1. re: souphie

                      I refuse to buy into the cronut thing on principle.

                1. re: souphie

                  Yes, that's how I remember croque monsieurs when I was a child visiting France. The bread reminded me of what we call French toast -- dipped in milk and/or egg.

                2. Oh OK I'll play in this sandbox.
                  Try the Terroir Parisien Bourse for a modern version and Le Marloe in the 8th for a post-modern one. http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                  1. While not in the Marais, the cafe Nemrod on Cherche-Midi, just a block from Bon Marche, makes a good one.

                    1 Reply
                    1. Café Français on the place Bastille @ rue Saint-Antoine... the croque monsieur is a bit pricey but very good.

                      1. In the same way that the US fell in love with onion soup, Germany fell in love with the croque. The best restaurant made croques I've had have been in Berlin and Hamburg, where you'll find sandwich shops that specialize in them.

                        Le Terminus at Nation makes them fresh, but is not any kind of a destination; only go there if you find yourself already at Nation.

                        1. TimeOut Paris lists the Croque Monsieur at Terroir Parisian one of the "50 best dishes in Paris." I can't speak from experience as I've yet to go, but I'm just being the messenger :) I can't figure out how to link directly to the Croque Monsieur slide but here's a link and just click on the photo of what looks like an Aztec Pyramid. It does look pretty tasty, if not quite traditional!


                          1. "Inquiring minds want to know"...does a croques monsieur qualify as a comfort food?

                            8 Replies
                            1. re: BlueOx

                              Just my opinion, but sure, why not?

                              1. re: John Talbott

                                So, if the truth be told, the last time I had one was October 26, 2012 at (7.1, my first of three meals there) Le Marloe, 14, rue du Commandant Riviere in the 8th (cnr Boetie, the ex-Piatti space) (Metro: St Philippe du Roule) and "it was astonishingly good despite being revisionistly prepared.

                              2. re: BlueOx

                                Only if well done - a bad one causes far too much stress...!

                                1. re: BlueOx

                                  No, not for me. A croque is for me "do" food, as in "this'll do". Pot au feu, congee, cassoulet are comfort food.

                                  1. re: Parigi

                                    My best was not in France but in Hong Kong, served in a little club with an anonymous black door in a market in Central. It was divine - true comfort food - its taste and texture enveloped you so much so that you fell in love with it (the Negroni(s) may have helped).

                                    But I do agree its not at the top of the list.

                                    1. re: PhilD

                                      With a few Negronis on the side, of course it qualifies as comfort food.

                                  2. re: BlueOx

                                    Yes for me, and in the US my comfort food of choice is grilled cheese.