Food & Drink

La Madeleine: If Panera Originated in France

Lately, I’ve been on a quest to find places that offer free wifi and numerous outlets for those productive days because come on, Starbucks gets old.. and I realized their coffee actually kind of sucks.  Not really knowing how to go about this, I just googled it, and yelp came to the rescue with plenty of suggestions.  La Madeleine came up, and I remembered driving by it a couple of weeks ago and thinking, “Hmm, I should go check it out sometime.”  Well, yesterday was that time.  After driving right past it on Rockville Pike because it’s kind of tucked away in a shopping center, I made my way inside finally and was immediately intrigued by the ambience.  It certainly had a very French country cottage vibe, which I thought was quite nice.  The staff was very welcoming.  I was offered a menu and looked at my options.  The only way I can really describe the menu here is if Panera Bread originated in France.  There are lots of sandwiches, salads, soups, pastas, breads and pastries–all with a French flare, and it’s all around the same price point as Panera or Cosi.

La Madeleine Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

This location has plenty of seating and free/fast wifi.  They even have coffee and espresso concoctions to satisfy your caffeine craving.  I got a duet (kind of like a you-pick-2 thing) of a 1/2 a croque monsieur sandwich with a side of pasta salad and a cup of french onion soup.  It was all very tasty and brought me back to France for a little while.

La Madeleine french onion

French Onion soup

La Madeleine1

Tomato-Basil pasta salad

La Madeleine 2

Croque Monsieur

Though I’ll admit, this place isn’t the most authentic French eatery by any means, I still appreciate the French inspirations on the food.  I’d recommend this place for a quick lunch with friends or something, but I wouldn’t go out of my way to eat here when I want a real French meal.  There are some, though pricey, alternatives for that in Bethesda and DC. Bon apetit!

La Madeleine Bakery Cafe on Urbanspoon

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