I'd never been to Cafe Madeleine, although I had seen "action" around the Palm House in Tower Grove Park. I was fortunate enough to partake in a brunch there this past Sunday.
Parking was surprisingly easy and so was seating. We arrived just prior to 11:30 with no reservation and were seating outside. They have a white tent that protects you from the sun and a potential interaction with any one of the many birds flying around. Fortunately, we had a nice breeze and a wonderful view of the park grounds as well.
The food is amazing. There are several types of salad and fruit, and then at the other end of the buffet provides all of the more substantial offerings. They had an amazing breakfast casserole, which was sitting next to some of the best bacon I've ever tasted! I went back for seconds.
I also tried their roast beef and their chicken. Each were very flavorful and so tender; rare for a buffet setting.
There is also a breakfast set-up with made to order omelettes, waffles and bread pudding. The chef had trouble keeping the waffles stocked in the heating pan, as they were gone as soon as he made them. I was questioning why they didn't have more than one waffle maker, but I digress. BTW... I'm not a bread pudding fan, but this stuff was pure pleasure. Try it!
Last, but not least, was the dessert area which sits in the middle of the buffet. It too was a feast for the eyes. I didn't try all of the desserts, as I was full. Of course, you have to try the madeleine!
I gave this a very good rating, as I thought the price of the buffet was a bit high at $25.50 per person. While it was delicious, I don't know if I would return again at that price. Also, several times we had to remove our own plates, so that we could return to the buffet, as the waiter was absent most of the time.
Lastly, I was a bit put off by the fact that the payment process required you to stand next to the register and THEN, you are provided the option of a tip of 18%, 20% or 25%. I felt a bit pressured to tip above 15%, even though I didn't think the service was that great.
However, it is a nice way to celebrate, share a brunch and soak in the amazing space in Tower Grove Park. They have indoor and outdoor seating. If it's nice out, I would suggest sitting outside so you can enjoy the view as well!
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