I’m really stubborn. After a long morning of trying to find this place without internet service and misunderstanding my map search while I had service, I arrived and discovered that 1- everything was super expensive and 2- the menu didn’t have anything that strongly appealed to me. After 5 minutes of waffling and indecision, I forced myself inside.
Spoiler alert: I’m glad I did.
First: my black coffee. I know a lot of places and people thought I was weird for constantly ordering coffee with what was essentially lunch, but I found it impossible to find a place that would just serve me coffee to start my day, so I had to order it often with my first big meal of the day. I love coffee in Europe, and I just needed to have it every chance I could. Anyway, Cafe Laduree as they called it was thick, creamy, and delicious – without any sugar or milk, of course.
I eventually decided on the Salade Laduree, which had dried tomatoes, thin potato crisps, asparagus… and these amazeballs mini burrata. They were described as mozzarella, but when I bit into them, they oozed the familiar cream of burrate. This salad, while ridiculously overpriced at 26.80 EU – yes, that’s right, I paid over $30 USD for this salad – was absolutely delicious. Was it worth the price? Well… yes and no. I found it filling, and I do really love salads, but the price? No.
However, it afforded me several things. A long, leisurely lunch at a lovely space – I sat upstairs – and free WiFi while I dined, which meant I could Whatsapp, Google Voice, Facebook, and Instagram to my heart’s desire. It’s the little things, you know?
Oh yeah: it also meant I could order a box of macarons without having to wait on the ridiculous line downstairs in the bakery.
I also ordered the pont neuf potatoes, which were hugely disappointing. Not crisp enough on the outside, they were like the worst steak fries I’d ever had. I don’t like steak fries. I ate most (maybe all?) of these only because they were potatoes, but I didn’t really enjoy them and didn’t understand the appeal.
I carbo-loaded on those potatoes and the bread, too – a regular baguette and a poppyseed baguette. That little twist on the left is cold butter, slathered liberally on really, a truly delicious baguette. I mean, just… every place in France does a serviceable baguette if you’re bad/okay, but good places do amazing baguettes. Geez. This was delicious!!!
I was ready to roll out of there, but I had to order one last thing.
A macaron, of course! I confess: I’m not a huge fan of Laduree in NYC. I’ve had them dozens of times now, and I find them OK. But this one… in Paris… was so much better. I could clearly taste the almond, the salted caramel, the texture was just better. These were… wonderful.
I get why people wait in line for these. I was glad I didn’t have to, and that this came at the end of a truly lovely meal. My server never rushed me, and in fact I had a leisurely 2 hour lunch (which I’d later find was the norm, causing me great anxiety)… and fully enjoyed myself before heading off to do some shopping at the Maille flagship store and at Fauchon, haha.
I was glad I stubbornly dogged my way to this place, and then forced myself to enter despite not finding the menu too interesting. It turned out that inside was a different, more extensive menu… so I called it a win.
16 Rue Royale