La Madeleine is one of my favorite places to stop and eat when I want something quick but not necessary fast food. I passed La Madeleine often when there was a location in Rockville, but never went in to try it.
A couple of years ago when I visited Louisiana with my aunt one of my cousins took us to lunch at La Madeleine. It reminded me of Panera, but better. For some reason Panera always gives me anxiety, but La Madeleine is laid back and they offer a variety of options that go beyond soups, salads, and sandwiches.
I have tried a variety of different items off of the menu and found them to be solid. On this particular visit to the Bethesda location, I was in the mood for a sandwich so I went with the Croque Monsieur, a cup of mushroom soup, and a slice of lemon cake. The sandwich was a bit disappointing because my first experience with Croque sandwiches was in Harlem at Maison Harlem. The sandwich at La Madeleine had the cheese on the outside as opposed to the inside of the sandwich so it took away from the complexity of what would be a really good Croque Monseiur. Everything else I ate was solid. The desserts always tend to be so-so despite the appetizing display case at the front of the store.
There is plenty of seating at La Madeleine and even during the busiest of times you will have a satisfactory experience.
La Madeleine is located at 7607 Old Georgetown Road Bethesda, MD 20814