Max café, the trendy spot installed one floor up from ground level at the BCBG store, 14 boulevard Madeleine, satisfies in terms of ambiance and on the scale of chic-ness I’d give it a 6 or 7 which I think is pretty decent. Service was friendly and accommodating, but then it wasn’t a very busy time when we reserved, (don’t you love how when we receive decent service in Paris we automatically assume it’s because of other reasons!). The lighting is lovely and the venue seems light and airy. You sit comfortably and are off the crowded streets in a cool and quiet atmosphere. Thank god they were not blasting techno music.
The brunch however seemed like something your sister-in law who is just learning to cook would make.While you may not leave hungry, this meal looks like it’s made to please an anglo-american-unrefined palette. There was a café and a large fresh squeezed orange juice (that part I enjoyed), then there was une assiette salée with a mini-burger, some kind of creamy mayonnaise potato salad with ham strips on top, grated carrot salad with a hash-brown topped with two mini sausages, and a sort of omelet club sandwich. It all looked very heavy and I only ate the carrot salad and the sausages which didn’t sit well with me anyway.
This was followed by une assiette sucrée which was a slight improvement from the first plate : A large glass of fresh fruit salad, berry purée and cream, baguette, and cupcake. I ate the fruit salad and some baguette.
The café is situated inside the store, but you might want to do your shopping before eating so you can fit comfortably in the clothes. Or perhaps after, so you don’t purchase anything… if you would rather leave without an extra hole in your wallet. I browsed a few racks of the supposed chic brand, and saw “Made in china” everywhere. Yuck. That’s like that mayo-cream ham potato salad, not worth it.
The café itself is worth a visit, but no need to eat there. Have an espresso or iced tea in the afternoon, but don’t waste your taste buds on their fare or your budget on their fashion, especially when you can get their clothes at discount stores everywhere, including their OWN website!