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chez maman bernal (somewhat long-ish)

cedichou | Oct 2, 2005 07:40 PM

We went to try chez maman for brunch today at the new bernal location. I've never been to chez maman before. It was a total disappointment.

The space is okay: did not like the tiles to much, but the copper table top and the (zinc?) bar was nice. Food-wise, we had three items: a prosciutto cocotte $6, a chicken crepe $9 and a croque-monsieur $9. We found redeeming qualities only to the crepe, the rest was very poor.

First, the cocotte: the menu is crafted-ly misleading, which I never appreciate. There is an explanation for what cocottes are (poached eggS), but the explanation is meant to be general, for the three dishes listed below, as there was a single egg in a ramequin on the dish we got. You have to parse the menu carefully, don't you. Cocotte, btw, in French, does not refer to any food, but it is a slightly tacky term of endearment. It was served with only a few bits of bread and no spoon, which was annoying as the portion was so small you had to find a way to eat the sauce. There must have been bits of crisp'ed prosciutto, but they were counted.

Croque-monsieur: It is basically served on a wonderbread toast. I kid you not. A bit too sweet to my taste, if nicely browned. Otherwise, there was very little. Not enough ham, not enough melted swiss cheese, a hint of bechamel.

The crepe with a mustardy chicken filling was the only thing I'd recommend.

Total: $30 for two with tip and no drinks (I did not see any bottom-less coffee cup, and did not want espresso), and we left hungry and disappointed. Went straight to tartine for a bread pudding (for $4 I had more egg in my serving than in the cocotte), saw the croque-monsieur there and went: dang. That croque was a big slice of a country loaf with a heap of ingredient on top, not the anemic chez maman version.

The servers at chez maman said it was exactly the same menu as the original. My question is: do the dishes look the same? I did not see anything at the bernal cm that would warrant making a chain of the concept.

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