You can't even imagine how happy I was to have this place open up in my neighborhood. Judging by the steady stream of customers from day one, I'm not the only person who felt this way. It's especially busy on weekends when lots of families and couples stop here for lunch or brunch.
I had been to the Fremont Essential Baking Co. during dump runs and knew I could make this place a habit if only it were closer to home. The Madison location lacks the charm of the warehouse in Fremont, but it does have more of a seating area.
I really enjoy their rotating menu of cold and hot sandwiches and salads. I especially love that they serve cornichons with their sandwiches. It's a small thing, but not to someone who loves cornichons! All the ingredients they use are fresh and taste great. I'd recommend you get a side salad with your sandwich because it only costs marginally more, but you get lots of bang for your buck.
Their balsamic vinaigrette dressing is perfect. The sandwiches are just a hair too expensive because they're really not that big. Their crepes are a little skimpy on fillings, but otherwise good. The boutique-y selection (ginger beer, Honest Tea, etc) in the drink cooler is fun, but a lot of people just have coffee drinks with their meals. It's also fun to pick out dessert (gourmet chocolates, tarts, or cookies) while you're waiting in line to pay. Their cookies are big and wonderfully chewy, but we've had stale tiramisu (which they happily exchanged).
The place is small for the amount of business it gets, but tables turn over steadily. After you've ordered, just hang out and wait because a table will open up before your sandwich is ready. If you've dressed warmly, the tables on the patio are often open, especially on rainy days.
Also worth mentioning: I've noticed a distinct (yeasty?) smell clinging to my hair and clothes when I leave. It's pretty strong, so hopefully you can head home right after to shower and change.