(of course this is all in French)
Me: decaf with cream Monsieur and do you have a chausson aux pommes? (specific apple breakfast item)
Waiter: No, I think there is one chocolate croissant left
(he brings me the coffee and the pastry and all is fine)
(I decide to get creative and ask for pastry in general so I can potentially have more choices)
Me: Decaf with cream and do you have any patisseries?
Waiter: Patisserie or Viennoiserie?
Me: (not knowing the difference after being married to a Frenchman for 5 years) Patisserie.
Waiter: brings me a menu with nothing on it but lemon and apple tarts
Me: but do you have an apple or chocolate pastry?
Waiter: ah, you meant Viennoiserie! (he doesn't have any left but sends me next door to a shop where I can buy one and bring it back to the restaurant to eat it - this is a very nice gesture)
Me: Decaf with cream and do you have any Viennoiserie?
Waiter: Yes, we have a plain croissant or a chocolatine.
Me: I'll have the chocolatine.
I sat back, took a breath, surveyed the beautiful park next to the cafe, and felt like I had conquered a very small bit of the language barrier.
And the chocolatine was delicious!