Saturday, March 9, 2013

French Gourmet

Originally posted August 6, 2012

I remember when I first came here after returning from Italy.  I bought a couple of pastries, cup of coffee and juice.  My daughter was with me that morning.  I was shocked that it cost about six or seven dollars.  What an expensive place, I thought.

Well, as it turns out, this is one of the cheapest places for a croissant and cup of coffee.
 

And it's one of the emptiest.  Although, the place is large - it takes up two floors - no one but me is here.  A few have come in and ordered pastries to go.  That's a good thing.  This place has been here for, oh I don't know, at least 10 years (their website says "since 1973").  So, they must be making money.
 

Two times I've been here in the past month and both times I ordered a plain croissant.  Both times the server said "We have two small ones in the back."  Today I asked her if they just made two every morning.  "No, I just broke open a six pack."

Broke open a six pack?  Like, opened a package of them that's wrapped in plastic?  No way.  Maybe a six pack they made.  That  must be it.
 

Behind me is a viewing window to a part of the bakery where you can watch them bake.  There are carts of cookie sheets that hold cake pans.  But nothing is going on.  It was like that when I was here last time.  Maybe they bake at night or in the afternoon?  I don't know.

I remember as a kid going to the new Dunkin Donuts shop that opened in Columbia, SC.  Every day I would go there I would watch them through the glass window to the baking area making donuts.  
 

There is another part of the baking area where I hear noises like something is being baked.  Maybe the non-productive space is just for overflow work.
 

The croissant I have is ok.  I guess I'm expecting too much?  I sort of expect since this is, after all, a French bakery due to the name, this would be the go-to place for a croissant.  It is buttery - a fact that I can't say about any of the others I've tried elsewhere.  Flakey, yes.  Crisp?  No.

Maybe the fancy ones with almond or chocolate are better.  But, they are too big.

A gentleman just came in amd took with him about a dozen long baguettes.  Possibly for a grocery store.

The decor is pleasant enough.  The area is festooned with artificial sun flowers.  The railing on the stairs is reminiscent of the
 wonderful wrought iron railings you see all over Paris.  Perhaps the place isn't "hip"?  Maybe if they brought the decor up to date and played French Jazz in the background more people would come and stay.

Ah, a couple just came in and sat down.

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