I really did not want to overeat this morning after getting stuffed at the wonderful Cosmopolitan lunch buffet yesterday. It is so easy to gorge at a fine Las Vegas buffet! Payard's breakfast menu is small and most of the breakfast business sales are fine French pastry.
I'm not much of a sweet pastry eater, so I ordered a menu item from the open kitchen. The small round shaped kitchen at Payard literally is located in the center of the dining room. The small kitchen has only enough room for one chef. If you ever wondered about how fast a cook has to be while working in a solo chef kitchen, then this is a great place to observe the hectic pace that a chef has to work.
I was in the mood for a light breakfast. I thought about ordering the eggs benedict or the eggs florentine. Then the Classic Croque Madame menu item caught my eye. A Croque Madame is a baked sandwich of ham, swiss cheese that is topped with bechamel sauce. A sunny side up egg is placed on top of the baked sandwich before serving. The sandwich is baked till it becomes toasted and crunchy. This is a sandwich that you eat with a knife and fork.
The flavor of the Classic Croque Madame was exceptionally good! The bread was fresh from Payard's bakery and it had a very nice texture. The modern trend of French bistro breakfast cooking has been leaning towards healthier cuisine. Instead of greasy grilled breakfast potatoes as an accompaniment, a small salad of mixed baby lettuce and a baked tomato was served with the Croque Madame entree.
Baked tomatoes were served with almost all of the menu entrees. Customers who sat at the table next to me ordered a full plate of the baked tomatoes. They liked the healthy tasting baked tomatoes that much! Many of my breakfast recipes have grilled tomato as an accompaniment, but not a baked tomato. I have always served baked tomatoes for lunch or dinner in restaurants, but never breakfast. The baked tomato for breakfast was a nice idea!
The Croque Madame was baked till it became brown and crusty. I don't usually like browned cheese or sauce on an entree, but for this traditional recipe it was very nice. The small amount of bechamel sauce kept the bread from becoming tough and chewy. The basic simple flavors of the Croque Madame are very appealing in the morning. There is also a masculine version of this entree on the menu called The Croque Monsieur. The Croque Monsieur has no bechamel sauce.
Croque sandwiches actually started as quickly cooked sandwiches. A croque sandwich is a French version of fast food. Fast food with a French touch!
If you are in Caesars Palace in Las Vegas, then Payard is worth trying. I highly recommend the Payard Patisserie and Bistro! Especially for breakfast. If you simply want a good quality pastry for breakfast, then Payard is a great place to go too. By the way, French is spoken by the staff of Payard! Yummy! ... Shawna