A Heights cafe has changed its name but still aims to be a great destination for sandwiches. Le Café Joséphine has replaced Neo Baguette at 201 East 20th St.
Opened in 2018, the restaurant's owners rebranded to eliminate confusion about it being a bakery that sold baguettes, a representative tells CultureMap. The new name pays homage to general manager-owner Noor Chaabi's mother.
"We are excited to continue our journey in this great city by sharing our family’s love for traveling and food-tasting around the world, one baguette at a time," Chabbi said in a statement. She's been running the restaurant since the departure of founder Karim Kasri in 2020.
Thankfully, most of the Moroccan-inspired menu items that earned raves are still present. That starts with the Poulet Classique Baguette hailed in the Houston Press as one of the city's best sandwiches. Citing its mix of sliced chicken breast, avocado, mushrooms, roasted bell pepper, and Manchego cheese, Jeff Balke writes, "Too often, chefs will force together ingredients that sound better in theory than they actually are in practice, but not here. Every bite offered a range of flavors that seemed familiar but new at the same time."
As for the rest of the menu, familiar favorites like the Moroccan merguez baguette are joined by new options that include a spin on a lobster roll, a French fig and brie sandwich, and the Moroccan burger, which is available as either meat or plant-based Impossible protein. New items on the brunch menu include a smoked salmon Benedict, Pain Perdu topped with fresh berries and caramel mascarpone, and avocado toast that's topped with a poached egg.
Salads, soups, and a fettuccine with garlic cream sauce and saffron round out the menu. Pair them with a range of non-alcoholic beverages including locally roasted Katz coffee.
"Culinary inclusivity, diversity, and belonging is our mission," Chabbi said. "We believe fresh, healthy, and authentic cuisine should be affordable, and this is what we are most excited to share with our community through Le Café Joséphine.”