M Express at the Citronelle Lounge
The omelet at M Express at the Citronelle Lounge. The options feel like stuff you'd find on the breakfast bar at the Holiday Inn Express in Des Moines: omelets, yogurts, pastries, cold cereals, bagels, eggs any way you like them. The utensils are plastic, and the butter comes in little plastic containers. It's not until you take a bite of croissant that you taste something that remotely hints of your surroundings: The roll's full, rounded richness almost challenges you to embrace a philosophy in which fat remains a daily joy, not a butter-based depravity. Its caloric content also suggests that a real Frenchman lurks behind this mostly grab-and-go operation. That Frenchman is chef Michel Richard, whose celebrity status needs no elaboration. The only respectable way to order at M Express is to select the pre-made or quickly prepared items made in-house, such as the croissant or the raisin Danish or the omelet (fluffy and stuffed with good things). The coffee, of course, is quality stuff, too, but it's not French. It's Kahwa from, ahem, Florida.
Menu sampler: omelets, $13; yogurt, $2; croissants and other pastries, $2; two eggs served your way, $12. (3000 M St. NW, 202-625-2150, www.thelatham.com.)
Our take: the food, 2 plates; the coffee, 2 cups
Photo and text by Tim Carman
The Washington Post