Admist the skyscrapers downtown, there are few breakfast and lunch offerings for worker bees. In fact, on a street filled with hotels catering to business clients and crowded with foreign consulates, La Provence has had quite the monopoly. Enter Maje Café, a restaurant that has quietly opened in the bottom of the 1110 Brickell Building, right across from the JW Marriott. Offering a similar array of French pastries, sandwiches and quiches, think of Maje as a less glittery version of the French Bakery chain, just a stone throw's away (La Provence is at 1064 Brickell).
The owner's name is Jerome and although he doesn't speak English very well, he is extremely accommodating, telling us "whatever you want, I make it for you." That's a very generous customer service policy. The menu covers all French cafe favorites, from croque monsieur ($5.50) to "crepes sarasin" ($8.50 - $9.95); the traditional 'buckwheat' pancake they like to fill with savory things like ham and brie. We just love the French.
Homemade baked goods include buttery croissants in both regular sized ($2.00) and mini versions ($1), in either plain or "chocolatin." Other danishes and various tarts rotate, and crepes can also be served sweet-style stuffed with Nutella or fresh berries ($2.50 - $5). Breakfast specials are a real draw here -- get a crepe or croissant, choice of coffee, tea or cocoa, plus a glass of OJ, for six bucks.
Although some items are decidedly un-French, like a "Caprese" panini
($6.95) or the empanadas ($2.25), we understand that Jerome needs to
appeal to a wide audience in order to compete. With salads ranging from
Caesar to Greek, and sandwiches, wraps, etc., this is an ideal lunchtime
spot offering seating both indoors and outside (on a little patio hidden
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along the side of the 1110 building). Of course, that's if you can handle the nicotine cloud from Euro's smoking ciggies with their café au lait.
1110 Brickell, Suite. 102, Miami