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La Madeleine, a Dallas-Based French Boulangerie Cafe Franchise in Several Area Locations

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But there is not yet any truly big chain phenomenon of French cuisine as there is for the traditional culinary immigrant cultures, Italy and China. Bistro Jardin anyone? That's what worries me, aside from the fact that SM's celebrity aura is taking over a block next to where I work, and I would gladly spend money on something inventive, original, and good, regardless of its ethnicity.

La Madeleine would probably like to stake claim to status as a big chain French restaurant, and the two times I've eaten at one I've been pretty unhappy with the food as being sub par for even what I expected.

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La Madeleine would probably like to stake claim to status as a big chain French restaurant, and the two times I've eaten at one I've been pretty unhappy with the food as being sub par for even what I expected.

La Madeleine was quite good 15 years ago.

When I compare their croque monsieur of old to the inedible version I had tonight at Drafting Table, it makes me sad to think how far we've fallen as a dining town.

I have beautiful breakfast memories at the Tysons, Reston, and sometimes Rockville locations with Member Number One and our teeny-tiny young dining companion, being spread-and-fed his first tartines with butter, orange marmalade, and strawberry jam. Good coffee, decent tomato-cream and cream-of-mushroom soups, very pleasant Caesar salads (with or without grilled, boneless chicken breast), good, inexpensive French wines, passable omelets, tulip glasses of fresh berries and fruit - but that was long ago. It's still recognizable, albeit only as a silhouette of its former self.

This is back when Burrito Brothers (where the original Burger 7 is now) was good, with the wonderful manager, Jennifer, at the helm. She gave a damn, and it showed - the type of person you remember for the rest of your life, and think back fondly of - always doing the extra thing to help her numerous regular customers. Super Spinach Burrito with Pintos, Monterrey Jack cheese, Salsa Verde, every single time.

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Ate at the Silver Spring location during opening week and it was pretty bad. Had a salmon salad in which the salmon seemed like it had been dumped from a can onto the salad. I think it was actually fresh, or at least from whole salmon, but it had been shredded rather than just keeping it in larger bite size pieces. Amazing was that the kids barely touched their food, and when do kids ever not eat pasta. I can't even remeber what my wife had.

They were certainly trying and driving by, they clearly have decent crowds of people dining there.

My other previous experience was dessert at the Georgetown location shortly after moving here. However I soon realized that Citronelle was right around the corner and you could pop in to the bar area upstairs for dessert only, which I greatly miss.

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I used to be a big fan of the Due, always ordering a half croque monsieur and small onion soup. The croque monsieur was good or bad, depending on how long it had been sitting out there. The onion soup was pretty salty. I stopped going there (Georgetown or Baileys XRoads) once I saw the nutrition information regarding salt (outrageous) since my blood pressure was getting high. Nowadays, if I want a French food fix and I am in Georgetown, I go to Muncheez Mania and order a ham/cheese crepe to go. They cut it into bite-size portions for you and give you a fork. I walk down to the Georgetown Waterfront Park and have a nice al fresco lunch.

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I never particularly liked La Madeleine. Perhaps I didn't order well, but I typically found the food meh overall -- middling ingredients, sitting out too long and dry, or simply unseasoned except for salt (where are the herbs/sauces from French cuisine?) -- and expensive for what I got.

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Their food is/was decidedly mediocre but that waterwheel, hey now, that was impressive!

Now that Tysons is kaput, I patronized the Reston twice late last year. Not going back - ever. Don's wistful post above on B. Bros & LeM back in the day sadly comports with my fond memories. Whatever - they somehow managed to ruin a good thing.

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Burned into the part of my brain that loathes so-called celebrity food frauds is the $30 a day travel show that the unbearable Rachel Ray had about a decade ago. She began her wonderful day in Dallas with a delightful breakfast at Le Madeleine. Now, really, if you were in Dallas for a day, would you have breakfast at Le Madeleine? Not even at gunpoint!

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Now that Tysons is kaput

FWIW, since I seem to be the only one that can half tolerate this place, La Madeleine opened up a store inside the mall.

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I'm with Hopsing. I haven't been in a few months, but i always thought the food was solid enough that it was worth taking advantage of a good deal in the "Duet Magnifique" -- Half sandwich, a healthy serving of pasta salad and a cup of soup for $8. Not to mention the unlimited bread/butter/jelly. What more, exactly, should be expected from a faux-French, mid-mall (or strip mall) dining option?

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There is a location near where my parents live in suburban New Orleans. It's crazy popular. Good luck finding a parking lot or a seat  any day at lunch, and all day on Saturday and Sunday. That place is a license to print money… And I don't understand it! 

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On 11/7/2017 at 4:32 PM, dracisk said:

I noticed recently that the Silver Spring location closed. I'm interested to see what replaces it.

On 11/7/2017 at 5:16 PM, SilverBullitt said:

The Rockville location (Pike & Rose) recently closed.

On 11/7/2017 at 8:25 PM, Mark Slater said:

I recently walked past the old Georgetown location. Demolished.

I'm going to look into trying to find a reason for this - maybe they're trying to stay closer to home in Dallas.

Twenty years ago, the Reston location (which I believe was the first in the area) was really good - I used to go there all the time.

Maybe the Georgetown location made one-too-many breakfasts for the old Latham Hotel. Oops, was I not supposed to say that?

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7 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I'm going to look into trying to find a reason for this - maybe they're trying to stay closer to home in Dallas.

Twenty years ago, the Reston location (which I believe was the first in the area) was really good - I used to go there all the time.

Maybe the Georgetown location made one-too-many breakfasts for the old Latham Hotel. Oops, was I not supposed to say that?

La Madeleine completes first refranchising phase - Bakery-café chain sells 26 restaurants to HZ LM Casual Foods, by Ron Ruggless | Aug 16, 2017 on nrn.com.

La Madeleine hopes re-franchising spurs growth - Bakery-café chain plans to refranchise most company locations, by Jonathan Maze | Mar 15, 2017, on nrn.com.

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On 11/7/2017 at 8:25 PM, Mark Slater said:

I recently walked past the old Georgetown location. Demolished.

That location was demolished as part of the Pike rebuilding plan and the franchise agreed to a spot in Pike & Rose -- which they've now left. So Old Georgetown to Pike & Rose is a move then a closure. 

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8 minutes ago, DonRocks said:

I'm going to look into trying to find a reason for this - maybe they're trying to stay closer to home in Dallas.

Twenty years ago, the Reston location (which I believe was the first in the area) was really good - I used to go there all the time.

Maybe the Georgetown location made one-too-many breakfasts for the old Latham Hotel. Oops, was I not supposed to say that?

The Georgetown location had uniformly terrible service and food, yet always had people in it.

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6 minutes ago, Kev29 said:

That location was demolished as part of the Pike rebuilding plan and the franchise agreed to a spot in Pike & Rose -- which they've now left. So Old Georgetown to Pike & Rose is a move then a closure. 

Kevin, Mark meant the "old, Georgetown location"; not the "Old Georgetown location." :)

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I think the Georgetown location was popular with tourists.  I used to go there but found their food increasingly bad over time.  Their onion soup was super (or should I say soup-er) salty.  My suspicion was that whatever leftover onion soup they had they included in a new batch resulting in extra saltiness.  Their croque monsieurs were dry and old - I think they "sauteed" them in advance and left them on the warmer for a long time until a sucker like me ordered one.  I am a regular at the Baileys Crossroads location and their food is much fresher.  Lots of French spoken there due to the North African patronage--adds to the ambiance.

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On November 10, 2017 at 9:20 AM, hopsing said:

 I am a regular at the Baileys Crossroads location and their food is much fresher.  Lots of French spoken there due to the North African patronage--adds to the ambiance.

I used to get to that Bailey's location much more than I do now, but I've always found the food and service pretty good when I've been.

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