April 10, 2022

La Madeleine French Bakery & Cafe (Huebner)


"I have no memory of this place"

As I was walking in, I saw an outdoor table which had unfinished pasta just left there. Like Thanos snapped the patron away, leaving their items intact...fork still on edge. Or I don't know, perhaps they left to the bathroom not caring that their food was left exposed to the elements. Either way, I started to get a bad feeling about the place. You know, first impression is the lasting impression. I've seen where inattentive waitstaff will leave the place trashed for whatever reason. It says a lot. Especially if the place is void of customers (I counted 3 parties already seated and eating). Hold that thought.

The interior was quaint with wood & stone all about as well as spacious with lots of sunlight. I didn't hear any music but there was a fireplace situated close to the center of the dining area so you can hear that snapping and crackling.

Walked in, saw the small bakery to my right where a customer was small talking the cashier. Obvious also were the cafeteria trays and the rails to push your food along. I felt like I was at a buffet or the like. There were plenty of menus neatly located underneath a sign.

Clueless as I looked for some instruction on how to proceed (thought the place was a full service, sit & order type), I asked the cashier who proceeded to give minimal direction while maintaining a look of disappointment throughout our rather brief exchange. Akin to the look you receive from a police officer when you respond, "No sir, I didn't see the stop sign with the blinking red lights", after being stopped for failure to do so.

He said that the line started with him to place the order, take the tray and slide down to the cashier, while ignoring the items behind the glass in between his register and the next one. Okay...

I asked for the Country Potato soup and the Chicken la Madeleine. The actual cashier asked if I wanted cheese & bacon to which I said yes, not realizing until I got to the table that the soup was barely warm. It was brought to the attention of the original order taker/cashier (same guy that was disappointed in me not knowing how things work) and he was now further disappointed based on the look of surprise in revelation that not all was well with the food. We declined him re-heating the soup because the main dishes had been served and like what's the point. Oh by the way, before cashing out....I had to ask about drinks where you'd think an attentive cashier would inquire as to whether you'd like to order a fountain drink or not. It's a self-serve soda/tea setup. You get up and refill on your own by the way. So really consider how you tip if at all. Heard a manager speak with an employee with broken spanglish, and others walking around just socializing. Been there, done that.

My chicken was meh. A rather bland, 4oz. chicken breast with steamed broccoli and wild rice. No rolls or bread was served. I didn't find out until later (from the website) that I could have chosen sides. Damn. My plate with the soup and drink alone were roughly $20. The mango tea though....was great! It was very fragrant and had a sweetness to it that was refreshing. While the glasses provided did have fingerprints on them, I found some paper napkins to shine them up. I'm very particular about dirty glassware & cutlery.

Needless to say, I had a sweet tooth so stopped by the bakery on the way out. Grabbed a lemon tart amongst other goodies for the family and a bag of their french roast, whole-bean coffee. The tart tasted like the cream filling went sour (not lemon sour, but more sour cream like) and the French roast reminded me of a good old cup of community coffee 👍 Another customer was in front of us, raspily mumbling to the cashier about how bad things are while the cashier was talking about being over worked and under paid, rather loudly.

As I was walking out, the plate of unfinished pasta was enjoying some shade. A couple of fly friends were there, probably having the meal of their lives.

Good for you, flies...good for you.

I more than likely won't be revisiting anytime in the near future.

Review by Michael Rene Quintero

Chicken la Madeleine, Photo: ©2022 Michael Rene Quintero

Country Potato Soup, Photo: ©2022 Michael Rene Quintero

about the author

Mike Quintero is the owner and principal photographer at Texas Sport Shots, where he has been capturing the passion and excitement of sports for many years. With a keen eye for detail and a deep understanding of the dynamics of various sports, Mike has excelled in immortalizing athletes' achievements and emotions on and off the field. As a seasoned professional, he has covered a diverse range of sporting events, from high school and college games to professional leagues. Mike's dedication to his craft is evident in the breathtaking images he creates, which have become a testament to the spirit and energy of Texas athletics. When he's not behind the camera, Mike enjoys sharing his knowledge and experiences with fellow photographers, aspiring to inspire and shape the next generation of sports photographers.