Le Triomphe

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triomphe croque

I've been taking French lessons in anticipation of a trip to Marseilles , Bordeaux and Paris this spring. I'm determined this time to be able to ask more than "Ou est la biblioteque?", which is basically what I've been able to say since I first took French in ninth grade and listened to the PLM Series One records. Actually, the problem isn't being able to ask the question in French, it's being able to understand the response. Working on it.

So I was pleased to find Le Triomphe, a small French cafe in Winter Park that took over the space previously held by Dylan's Deli. As I've learned in my French class, the name Le Triomphe translates to The Triomphe. (It's still early in the lessons.)

There is no table service; order at the counter and someone, likely the charming woman who took your order, will bring it to you. She won't have trouble finding you, there are only a few tables and chairs.

The menu is succinct, with a few crepes, quiches and sandwiches. I ordered the croque madame, which is essentially a croque monsieur with an egg on top. I suppose I can guess about the distinction, but I'd rather not think of my lunch in reproductive terms.

For the uninitiated, a croque monsieur is a ham and cheese sandwich with the cheese on the outside of the bread and some béchamel sauce to make it a bit more franco. Add a fried egg and wah-la, as they say in Paris, you've got a croque madame.

Le Triomphe's was nicely done, especially the egg, which was delicately fried so that the yolk was at optimal ooze. It was served with a small side salad on a bright red plate.

If you think it's difficult to screw up such a simple sounding sandwich, I should tell you that I've had bad versions, the worst, ironically, in Paris. (And coincidentally, in the small world department, the bistro where I had that sandwich was just a block or two from the offices of Charlie Hebdo.)

By the way, I know that it's not pronounced wah-la, so there's no reason to send me a nasty note, though of course I always enjoy hearing from you. And as long as we're at it, Je suis Charlie.

Le Triomphe is at 1198 Orange Ave., Winter Park. It is open for lunch and early dinner (until 6 p.m.) Monday through Saturday. There is no website; my sandwich with side salad was $8.50. The phone number is 407-622-0436.