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Keto and Low Carb Thickeners
Chocolate Fudge Mug Cake
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Celery and Cucumber Salad with Herbs
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Avocado and Walnut Salad
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Berry Scones & Tennis Balls

Everyone has off days.  And, I suspect, given the endless rave reviews about Madison Park Cafe, that today was one of theirs.  There’s days I can’t shoot a decent image to save my life.  There’s days when my typing might make you wonder if English is my first language.  Heck, there’s even days when I simply can’t make a decent glass of chocolate milk.  But that’s on a *really* bad day.

I don’t know whether Madison Park Cafe rock dinners (the reviews indicate so) but not so much on breakfasts, or whether it was just a bad day all around.  Given all the raving I feel compelled to return sometime in the hopes that I too can rave about this little place.  It certainly is absolutely charming in terms of the building, the decor & the ambiance. 

Open fire, fresh wild flowers on the tables, pretty blue cottagey tablecloths.  It is the perfect spot for a leisurely weekend brunch.  We sat by the window & it felt like we could be in a little cottage in the Cotswolds or somewhere in the French countryside.  Except the French countryside would probably have had sunshine & we certainly didn’t have any of that. 

So if the environment was all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips, what was wrong with the grub I hear you cry?  The eggs.  The eggs were baked to death.  I could have successfully played tennis with them had they been round.  And the cheese, it died right there along side them.  You know when you overcook cheese & it goes kinda hard?  Yeah, like that.  I literally had to cut the cheese with a knife.  No using the side of my fork to just scoop it up.  This was some seriously tough cheese.

Now, I hate writing less than glowing reviews (but I have to be honest), so I asked Martina, my breakfast buddy, for her thoughts.  Here’s what she said: “Breakfast was nice but nothing about it screamed eat me again.”   She went on to comment: “The bacon was nicely done, and I was impressed that they asked me if I wanted it medium or well done.”  And furthermore…”I have to tell you the mixed berry scone was just to die for. Crispy on the outside and very soft and berry like inside. You could really taste the berries, certainly one of the best scones I have ever had. I will be back for it.” 

So, there you have it.  Bit of a mixed bag all round.  I’ll go back for a re-run.  And I’ll make sure to buy Martina another one of those scones while I’m there.

Looking forward to a great breakfast next time, Madison Park Cafe!

 As you can imagine, when Martina and I went our seperate ways after breakfast, I wasn’t ready to call it a day in the eating department.  I wondered where the nearest Bakery or Patisserie was.  Then I remembered a cute-looking little place tucked in the corner of a row of stores just off Madison Avenue, near Luc, Voila & Cafe Flora.  Would they be open?  Surely on a Sunday morning they’d be hopping?  Only one way to find out.

Ines Patisserie was open, but they certainly weren’t hopping.  When I walked in the display case was almost empty, and not because they had sold out…because it hadn’t been filled up yet.  I guess Madison Park gets a later start than other ‘hoods.

The lovely French Lady who greeted me told me that they had been open just a month.  Her accent and the countless bags & bars of Valrhona chocolate under the work bench gave me hope that this would soon turn into a gem of a pastry shop.

For a start, they really know how to make great Hot Chocolate.

Since the selection of eats was restricted to a few items of croissanterie, I decided to just go with a chocolatey kind of day & have a Pain au Chocolat alongside my cup of {seriously} hot, Hot Chocolate.

 My Pain au Chocolat had a lovely flavor and the texture wasn’t half bad.  Flaky on the outside, for sure, but a little doughy in the middle.  I am sure ingredient & equipment wrinkles were still being worked out though, so I just sat in the window enjoying all the chocolate-y-ness & playing with my new toy.  Again.

I will most certainly be back to Ines Patisserie in a few months to see how things are going.  I really hope that this works out well.  I could do with another great pastry place to frequent.

Fingers crossed & good luck, Ines!

Madison Park Cafe on Urbanspoon Inès Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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