Houston >la Madeleine
It's good for being not that great..
La Madeleine is fine for what it is. A decent, inexpensive, casual place with decent food that's fast and convenient. If you go with those expectations, it's a fine place. If you're expecting something that's better than average, you'll probably be disappointed. I'd say it's about the same as Cafe Express, a little quieter.
Madeleine is light years better than it was when they first opened it 20 years ago, although I really miss that awesome wheat milling water wheel that they took out. When it first opened it bordered on inedible. The desserts and free bread were literally inedible, and the menu was small and featured almost nothing freshly cooked for you, just things pre-made that you selected off the line like overly dry quiche. Later they improved the free bread so that now it's just lousy, not inedible. The desserts now are actually almost "OK." The menu has been expanded several times over the years and now it's pretty wide with more freshly prepared things, like the pasta with creamy sauce and the good turkey dinner and the freshly roasted rosemary chicken. The cappuccino is Ok.
It's a nice place, not too crowded, not too noisy, not too slow, reasonably clean. It's an average place that's good for meeting people.
French cuisine, specialty coffees, wines and pastries are available at this chain eatery..
Hardwood floors, tables and chairs scattered in front of a fireplace; the decor is reminiscent of a French countryside cottage. Orders are placed at the front counter and brought to the table. Full breakfast, lunch and dinner menus are available; however, patrons are invited to come just for a glass of wine or cup of coffee. No meal would be complete without trying the strawberries Romanoff--fresh strawberries topped with brandy cream sauce.
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