What could be better than Paris in the springtime? A small French café in a strip mall on an overcast pre-fall day in Iowa, perhaps? I didn’t know what to expect from Croissant du Jour’s unassuming location as I dodged customers from the True Value Hardware. But when I pushed open the lovely wooden door I was pleasantly taken aback. On the other side were gleaming glass cases filled with delicious-looking pastries, clean white linens and well-polished silverware. Nice silverware, too. None of that fast food plastic nonsense or even the thin, rough-edged cafeteria metal.
I enjoy this type of lunchtime scenario, a small menu of eight or so sandwiches, some salads, a few interesting soups and a little board on the counter with the day’s specials. I love the limitation! Every now and then I like to put my dining experience into an expert’s capable hands.
You’re right, adorable French lady behind the counter, I would enjoy the croque-monsieur sandwich and a cup of lobster bisque. Thank you for cradling me in your loving gastronomical arms and feeding me your premium selections.
The bisque was a smooth, creamy soup with just enough bits of tasty lobster so as not to be too pretentious yet highly satisfying. The croque-monsieur, a very traditional French sandwich, is basically toasted ham and cheese on French bread. The bread was chewy and crisped perfectly and the cheese was melted just so.
To complete my journey I had to try a pastry. Drawn to anything chocolate, I chose a chocolate éclair. Another tradition done just right with velvety chocolate pudding inside an egg-y, light pastry, covered in a gooey chocolate frosting.
I’ll be back. Afterall, “We’ll always have Paris.” And with winter coming, I need to get a new furnace filter from True Value anyways.
Details: 3531 Mt. Vernon Rd. S.E., Cedar Rapids; 6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Closed Sunday, lunch daily from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; call (319) 363-7767 or go online to www.croissantdujour.biz
Where’s your favorite Corridor eatery?
Want to send Andrea to your favorite restaurant? E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org