Like Home/Comme À La Maison is closed for construction this week and I miss them. So I figure now is as good a time as any for me to tell you about them.
I read about Like Home right after I moved back to St. Louis this past winter. Marie-Christine and Clémence Pereur, a mother daughter duo from France, own the café and run everything. When I started going to Like Home in the spring, they were the only two people working the front and back. Now they have extra staff in the front of house.
They need those extra people working the front because business is BOOMING, as it should be. Clémence is a trained pastry chef and her creations are as beautiful as they are delicious. I have a hard time deciding what to get every time I go in, but I usually come out with at least two macarons.
The macarons come in all different flavors. Since I started going to the café, I’ve sampled blueberry, mascarpone, hibiscus, lemon, and a new specialty, maple bourbon bacon, which combines a bunch of my loves into one, quarter-sized cookie. The macarons are so good that whenever I eat them, they remind me of France. I’m back in Orléans, hoarding piles of macarons from my local pâtisserie. The best part is, I didn’t even need to buy a plane ticket.
Like Home also offers other traditional French pastries like éclairs. One day they had a pistachio cream-filled éclair that was good, I started weeping. This is not an exaggeration. I hid my face from Marie-Christine and Clémence because I’m not sure how French it is to cry over your pastries.
Even though the sweets are a main draw at Like Home, you shouldn’t forget about the savory options. The menu is full of traditional French lunch dishes including quiche, tartines, or open-faced sandwiches, and “les croques,” or the French version of ham and cheese sandwiches.
My favorites are the vegetarian quiche and the tartine saumon, or open-faced sandwich with smoked salmon, cheese, and artichoke. Both of those come with a side salad that is always fresh and lightly dressed with balsamic. This also reminds me of France because unlike in the U.S., where side salads are often of the watery, bagged variety, the salads at Like Home are made from real greens. When I eat one, it makes me feel a little better about consuming my body weight in pastries afterward. Not that I felt too bad about it in the first place.
ANYWAY. If you’re in St. Louis and you want to experience the most authentic French bakery in town, I would highly recommend stopping by Like Home. Clémence is often out front (even though now, with the extra help, she stays busy making things in the back), and she is warm and friendly. The food is always fresh and delicious, and the pastries are vachement bonne, as the French would say.
Like Home usually has French music playing on the speakers in the café. Here’s a song that reminds me of eating there (and makes me want the construction to end sooner so I can get macarons).