The saying “breakfast is the most important meal of the day” does not apply at Cafe La Maude, where brunch is key.
Located in Northern Liberties on 4th and Brown Street, this restaurant serves up exotic French-Lebanese fusion cuisine in an authentic European style cafe. There is not a single menu item available that is not both very complex and extremely interesting.
They offer exciting takes on all sorts of traditional brunch fares, such as the Caprese Benedict which consists of two whole wheat english muffins topped with tomatoes, avocado, fresh mozzarella cheese, poached eggs; all topped with a cream cheese based hollandaise sauce, basil oil and a balsamic vinegar reduction. Cafe La Maude also offers more traditional fairs spruced up such as French Toast stuffed with mascarpone cheese and pancakes topped with fresh fruits.
In addition to what we may consider “traditional” breakfast/brunch fairs Cafe la Maude offers options derived heavily from both its French and it Lebanese inspirations. On the French side of things we have options like Croque Madame: A split croissant topped with French ham, melted gruyere and fontina cheeses, a sunny side up egg; all smothered with béchamel sauce (a savory white sauce used in French Cuisine.) As for Lebanese inspiration, look no further than the traditional Lebanese dish of Foul Moudamas, which includes hummus, marinated lava beans, scrambled eggs, tomato, parsley and is served with Zaatar (a middle eastern spice blend) seasoned pita bread.
No matter what you’re craving Cafe la Maude probably has it, with an extensive list of omelets as well as sandwiches if you’re in the mood for lunch. For after your meal they also offer a great selection of easily the best macaroons I have ever had, but these sell out fast. Another great perk of Cafe la Maude, for those that are interested, is that it is a BYOB and of course that means one thing: mimosas!
The service at Cafe la Maude is amazing! I was seated by the owner personally, who will work the door seating people and greeting patrons. His wife, who is of Syrian descent, uses the inspiration of her upbringing in her work as the head chef, handling new menu items as well as training the cooking staff. Falling under the command of this wonderful husband-wife team, the rest of the staff is extremely nice and helpful.
Cafe la Maude does run a little bit expensive, a brunch between myself and three other people ran around $80 (and we were drinking water), but it is well worth the price especially for a special occasion—maybe a romantic brunch date. While Cafe la Maude is a relatively unknown gem of Philadelphia, plan on a wait if you’re going for Sunday brunch; but believe me it’s well worth it. The atmosphere, food, everything about this restaurant is perfectly summed up on their website: “it will feel like Paris and taste like Beirut.”