Café 1912 is a frequent haunt for me and Paul. If you’re looking for great French bistro food in Memphis, this is the place.
We visited the cafe for brunch today and I ordered one of my favorites: the Croque Madame.
This savory sandwich of grilled ham and Gruyère cheese topped with bechamel sauce is toasted under the broiler and served with a poached or fried egg and frites or a small salad.
Pomme frites sounded too heavy to pair with béchamel and Gruyère, so I opted for the side salad. I also asked for an egg fried sunny side up. I sipped a sweet and refreshing Bellini while waiting for my order.
The sandwich arrived hot and crisp with an egg from a scalding hot grill which did not allow for the egg white to fully cook around the yolk. A sunny side up egg really needs a low to moderately heated grilling surface to fully cook the egg white without over-cooking the yolk. I am not squeamish about a runny egg, so I chose not to make an issue of it.
I lifted the egg on top of my sandwich and spread the yummy yolk across the egg and sandwich so that it dribbled down the sides. Pure heaven. The crunch of the toasted bread swimming in egg yolk, béchamel and Gruyère made every chewy bite of ham a delight in my mouth. The side salad tossed in a light vinaigrette provided a fresh green balance to the rich flavor of the sandwich.
A properly cooked egg would have merited 3 stars.