I'm sick. And it's not the type of sick with those cute little Derek Zoolander "black lung" coughs. (Click here for reference: Black Lung - Zoolander) No, I have some sort of plague, which tortures its victims with endless sniffling, mucus-filled coughing, and this constant feeling that your head is being squished like a grape and...it's terrible. Just take my word for it.

Now, normally, I would've cancelled all plans so that I could lay helplessly in my bed, surrounded by crumpled tissues, empty instant Ramen soup cups, and mugs filled with orange juice. But, I hate canceling plans, especially when they involve delicious food, and you know I hate missing out on a solid meal.

So, late Thursday, I got ready to have dinner with my friend Joe at Madame Claude Cafe in Jersey City. I put my big girl pants on, swallowed a cocktail of antibiotics, Dayquil and Zicam (Yes, that's legal.), and slathered on an inch-thick layer of Vicks vapor rub (This is what truly brings all the boys to the yard, people.). Although my mind was fuzzy from all the meds and my senses were slightly dulled, I think my positive feedback about the food and atmosphere at Madame Claude's still has some merit. On Thursdays, Madame Claude's has gypsy jazz night. I never experienced gypsy jazz before, and I'm glad I got to enjoy it with good company and food.

Filet de Porc sauce Soja et Miel 
(TRANSLATION: Pork tenderloin served w/ a soy and honey sauce)

La Belle Helene
(TRANSLATION: Baked pear and chocolate sauce crepe)

As I was trying to savor my food and breath from my mouth at the same time (NOTE: This is not an easy task, folks. It doesn't look very pretty, either.), my dining companion Joe mentioned how much it meant to him that I didn't flake out on dinner. "I was looking forward to this," he said. I looked up from my meal and smiled...then started to cough non-stop. "...or you know, we could've just rescheduled." 

Thanks, Joe. I hope I didn't cough on your food and get you sick, too.

- Go to Madame Claude Cafe! It's a gem in Jersey City. 
- If you're going for the first time, make reservations for a Thursday night to check out the gypsy jazz band. It starts at 8PM. 
- It's BYOB. Bring wine and pretend you're in Paris. 
- It's a really small restaurant. Be prepared to eavesdrop into all kinds of conversations. 
- Do not leave here without ordering a dessert crepe. DO IT.

RATING: My pants were unbuttoned. A sign of a great meal (and that I probably need to get bigger pants).

Madame Claude Cafe
364 1/2 4th St, Jersey City 
(201) 876-8800

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