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I’m Mari.
On Marivelous Me! you’ll find recipes, food gifts, food I’ve traveled for and food solutions. Poke around, maybe you’ll find inspiration for something you’re working on. Enjoy! 

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Wednesday
Oct242012

la maison du croque monsieur

Located in a small two-story building on East 13th Street sits La Maison du Croque Monsieur (I'll call it Mr. C), a restaurant primarily selling one thing: grilled cheese sandwiches. Whatevs, you might say but these aren't your standard American grillers. These are French grilled cheese sandwiches. What separates a good ole US of A one from a French one? The answer's simple: Sauce. Béchamel sauce: a white sauce made of butter, flour, milk, salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Kinda like a white gravy but made with butter instead of meat drippings. Ooo, butter.

The downstairs to Mr. C is teeny tiny, with just enough room for a couple café tables and a counter to order your food - to stay or to go. My suggestion is to stay and take your tray upstairs. All around, you'll find literally references; from the menu - sandwiches named after writers: Mr. Gore (Vidal), Mme. Anaïs (Nin) - to vintage typewriters and faux card catalog drawer pulls on the tables. You'd think they'd have kept the French theme going with French writers, but whatevs.

Mr. Mari and I both ordered the traditional croque monsieur: Mr. Henry, which comes with Jambon de Paris (wet-cured ham), béchamel sauce and your choice of cheese. Mr. C also has signature and sweet dessert croques as well as some vegetable sides and pastries.

Taste:
Mmm, one side is pan-griddled, buttery, delicately crisp and occasionally you'll come across crispy fried cheese bits along the edges; the other side has crunchy grilled lines; the cheese was mildly funky and had really good roller coaster stretch; the ham was moist and provided a nice salty layer. 

Verdict:
1) The croque was seriously tasty and fun but I could have eaten at least another half, even after having a side of carrot salad.
2) The concept may prove to be a bit niche-y but the prices are reasonable and the atmosphere is very nice. I know espresso machines are expensive but it would help draw in an afternoon crowd. 
3) We made a pact that we're only allowed to come here on special occasions, when we need a lunch treat. Otherwise, it's too close by and convenient for us not to be tempted by the siren call of melted cheese. Ooo, melted cheese. 

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