I first had a proper croque madame in Paris, and have been ordering them whenever they appear on a menu since.
The basic premise of Croque madame is melted cheese on top of ham on a toasted baguette and served with a fried egg. The salad on the side helps assuage the guilt of eating all the cheese and butter.
Ideally the egg yolk runs across the meat and cheese and into each nook and cranny of the baguette which should be crunchy.
I ate this one for brunch at Madame Claude’s Cafe on the fringe of the gentrified downtown in Jersey City. Madame Claude’s reminds me of a bohemian cafe, as if someone decided to just open up a restaurant in their kitchen. With just half dozen tables, its always crowded. Regretfully, this sandwich was served with only one egg, but otherwise was very satisfying.