I really enjoy the baked goods from Rene's. On a recent weekend visit, we picked up the best scones (Wild Berry!) that I'd likely ever had. Now, for full disclosure, these were not competing against very many experiences, and the bar was low, but for a change this was not a super-dry scone that begged for a drink after each bite. We also picked up some cookies, and we tried some of their macaroons.
Now, macaroons are really going up in popularity. And, they are a really... um.... cute food. The last time I was in NYC, I was kind of surprised to see how many people were carrying these clear plastic cases of assorted colored macaroons. Anyhow, the Better Half and I tried a mix of the 3 flavors they had. And, they were great. Light, sweet, flavorful. I think I liked the berry one best, but the pistachio was also very nice. Anyhow everything in the case seems to be good at Rene's.
While deciding what to get, I was talking to the owner, and he mentioned that they had now placed a Cafe Rene downtown. So, this morning I worked from "home" and stopped in at the Cafe. It is at 50 S. Meridian, and they share some space with the Ball State University Indianapolis Center at the corner of Meridian and Maryland. It is a pretty small location, with only about 3 soft chairs, and 2-3 tables with tall stools. They have the usual mix of the baked goods, but also have wrapped, prepared sandwiches. I didn't try a sandwich, but in the 90 minutes I was there, they had a nice trickle of business and several asked about the sandwiches. I usually don't get very excited about pre-prepared (is that redundant?) sandwiches, but... there is definitely interest in them. I had a very nice fruit tart, so I felt a little less guilty about the butter content of the crust since I was getting some fruit.
I was told that the Cafe Rene concept may get expanded to other locations. I wouldn't go back for the current location's ambiance, but the baked goods.... they always are worth a visit, no matter where you can find them.
The verdict: 4.5 out of 5 - high end consistency, and the owner is a warm, engaging fella.