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Croissant? Where art thou?

  • f

Fellow Chouhound:

I have searched Boston high and low for a decent croissant. You all know what I'm looking for. That diet busting buttery, flaky delight that you can find in any street cafe in France. Not the heavy, poor imposters flogged by most bakers in the States (with berries, jam, cheese or other Bowdlerisations similarly inflicted on the bagel when they can't make a good imitation of the NY or Montreal styles).

No not those imposters and abominations but the kind that accompanies a bowl of cafe au lait while you gaze from your table at the world drifting by. THE REAL THING. Your mission - should you choose to accept it - is to help me find the real thing.

I did have a very good one in some little bakery (run be a French couple) on the South Shore (Cohasset, I think- I'll get the name and post it) but now I'm in Newton and really want to find a baker to regularly provision my weekend breakfast.

Any suggestions? Have apetite, will travel (30 minutes).

Thanks
Paladin

P.S. It would be great if they did a real baguette too!

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  1. Hounds:

    I remembered the Cohasset bakery its called "French Memories". Very good Croissant and wonderful pastries of all kinds. 60 South Main Street Cohasset, MA 02025 781-383-2216. Enjoy.

    Paladin

    1. Give Carberry's In either Cambridge or Somerville a try, I prefer the Somerville Location, a little more spacious than the one in Cambridge. I have had the crossiant there and it is very good,the one you describe does sound really good though,If you find another place let us know.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ScoobieSnack
        h
        Heathen & Spells

        A quick aside as it relates to Carberry's (cambridge )croissant. I work at a physics lab where we do research on weekends. A visiting researcher from france commented that the Carberry's Croissant that he tried was the first one he had found in america that reminded him of home!!!! ( by the way he was living in NYC as he was @ columbia ). I think that they are pretty good as well.

      2. Two thoughts:

        1) Flour

        a bakery on Washington Street in the South End.

        I once bought a croissant here and drove it three hours to my parent's home in Connecticut just so they could try what I consider to be one of the best croissants I've ever had. It fits your description of great croissant perfectly.

        2) Iggy's

        A little heavier than the Flour variety, but easier to find. Available at Iggy's itself (in Watertown maybe?) and at many gourmet shops like Formaggio Kitchen in Cambridge.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Simon

          Iggy's is off of Arlington St. in Watertown. Near the Arsenal Mall. They also have great bread. Grab a sticky bun too while you're there. Actually everything they do is great.

        2. The Savoy Bakery on Beacon St. outside of Kenmore Sq. has pretty good croissants but I don't think they bake as many as they used to and they sell out quickly. We sometimes order ahead for Fri. morning lab meeting. Clearflour in Brighton/Brookline has decent ones too. There's a French bakery in Brookline Village across from the new CVS and theirs look good but I've never had one. You still won't think you're in Paris tho.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Joanie

            I agree that Savoy has had good croissants in the past; their chocolate cakes were some of the best. Recently, however, the cakes have not been as good. I don't know about the croissants.

          2. Don't know if it's still there, but there was a great little bakery in West Newton square, just a couple of doors down from the movie theater, which had amazing (!) croissants.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Alan H

              West newton no more

            2. Famous for croissants:

              1. Garden of Eden at 571 Tremont Street (between Clarendon and Dartmouth) in Boston's South End. They are on the large side, but sooo buttery that if they put a wick in them they could provide light a third world country for a long time....

              2. Japonaise Bakery on Beacon St. in Brookline between St. Mary's and St. Paul's St. Classicly sized and rendered.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Karl

                Directly across Beacon street from Japonaise Bakery
                is a small French bakery (I can't remember the name)
                that makes very authentic croissant: plains are
                flakey but at the same time stretchy, tasting
                distinctly of sweet butter without being greasy.

                I found Japonaise Bakery disgusting.
                The pastry looks gorgeous (and I'm not against
                Japanaese Euro-style pastry: it's great in Japan)
                but all of the varieties I tried tasted of
                something akin to baconfat.

              2. I've been to Carberry's, Savoy, Iggy's, Clearflour, etc. I prefer Clearflour. They are the flakiest and most buttery. I even stocked up before a trip to Paris. But I do miss the croissants at Autre Chose in Cambridge. Does anyone remember? Clearflour makes them only on weekends, but while you are there, try their morning buns.

                11 Replies
                1. re: chuck s

                  Autre chose! Iwas hanging out with the owners, then they moved to Maine and the next thing I heard they Divorced and Nicole, the hostess?

                  1. re: mnimi taylor

                    I worked at Autre Chose during the late seventies. The owner was Maurice Leduc from Provencal France. Muarice was married to Veronica, an attractive Ginger Brit. Gerard, was the pastry chef and made ALL their crossiants. He was also Veronica's brother and spoke with a thick Brit accent. I waitered and cooked.

                    1. re: yellowdogfish

                      Do you realize this thread is from 2001?

                      1. re: catsmeow

                        It was a longshot reply that mimi taylor would read it?

                  2. re: chuck s
                    a
                    Ah...Autre Chose

                    The croissant at Autre Chose where the best.

                    1. re: Ah...Autre Chose

                      i second carberry's. does anyone remember where autre chose was located. i seem to remember mass ave near bowl and board, but it's been so many years and so many brain cells. thanks

                      1. re: lynn

                        Underneath Cafe Sushi in a space now occupied by Johnny's Luncheonette.

                    2. re: chuck s

                      I got a plain croissant at Clearwater today just to retest it for Chowhounders' files and it really is quite nice and flaky, costs $1.75. The apricot was what I really wanted but figured the plain croissant is the standard to test by.

                      1. re: Joanie

                        The sacrifices we make...

                        1. re: Joanie

                          Glad you enjoyed it. But did you mean Clear Flour in Brookline? If yes, try some of their breads.

                        2. re: chuck s

                          Oh, Autre Chose ... three kinds of croissants, and if you didn't feel like waiting for a table, you could just get 'em to go! I lived right down the street, and the weekend was what I lived for. I loved the ham and cheese, but the plain are the standard by which I judge all croissants. You say Clear Flour are an approximation? I will seek them out.

                        3. Try the $1 ones at Formaggio's kitchen on Huron Ave in Cambridge. It would be well above average for Paris, where average isn't what it used to be. Wonderfully buttery. (I was going to say "unbelievably buttery," but you wouldn't believe me.) I could be mistaken, but I believe that they bake them there. They're the best I've found, better than Japonaise and the rest. Forget Iggy's croissant, it's a big dud in comparison.

                          1. Try the $1 ones at Formaggio's kitchen on Huron Ave in Cambridge. It would be well above average for Paris, where average isn't what it used to be. Wonderfully buttery. (I was going to say "unbelievably buttery," but you wouldn't believe me.) I could be mistaken, but I believe that they bake them there. They're the best I've found, better than Japonaise and the rest. Forget Iggy's croissant, it's a big dud in comparison.

                            1. I found a little place on Galen Street in Watertown (between the Pike at Newton Corner and the Charles).
                              I got it via a friend. She got it from a former chef who has a French wife. Seemed promising.

                              Not bad. A 2.9 out of 5 and miles better then the rubbery fare usually offered. Not a destination but a drop in if you happen to be passing. Its a hole in the wall baker cafe called Lily's at 123 Galen Street.

                              1. There used to be a French Patisserie in Watertown, on Mt. Auburn Street that made the best croissants. I thought they moved to Cambridge but I can't find them.

                                Anyway, I manage to get my fix from Iggy's in Watertown and occaisionaly Quebrada in Arlington. I've never been to France, so I have nothing to compare.

                                1. I just found one of the better state-side chocolate croissants I've ever tasted at Wilson Farms in Lexington.

                                  Link: http://www.wilsonfarm.com

                                  1. You've GOT to try Quebrada in Arlington. They have a bakery and a cafe next door. Flaky, buttery. For some reason, they even have a whole wheat version (the place started as a kind of "crunchy" holdout from the 70s). While I always get the "regular" ones (appricot's my favorite, but the almond, raspberry, savory types are also fabulous) the whole wheat ones I've tried are surprisingly flaky and buttery too. I find Carbury's kind of dry, and have tried many of the other Cambridge/Boston area ones mentioned. None compares to Quebrada.
                                    They also have a shop in Wellesley.

                                    1. Croissants in America:
                                      Born-1975 (when they first came on my radar)
                                      Died-when Burger King started using them for their breakfast sandwich and their pronunciation became Crew- sant.
                                      Yuo can still find good ones around here @ better bakeshops for approaching $5.00 per but your pedestrian croissants has been so cheapened by lack of butter they are now closer to Pillsbury Crescent Rolls than to real croissants.

                                      5 Replies
                                      1. re: zackly

                                        You do realize this thread is 13 years old? :)

                                        1. re: foodieX2

                                          old thread your right foodie but i agree quebada in arl. is still great

                                          1. re: foodieX2

                                            Gee whiz, those years did evaporate. I feel like it is still 2001.

                                            Croissants are really good at Tatte. There are two Cambridge spots and also one location in Brookline, however I have only been to the one on Third Street in Cambridge.

                                            I guess some things stand the test of time. Croissants being one.

                                            1. re: foodieX2

                                              No I didn't Those croissants must be really stale by now!

                                          2. Was not around 13 years ago, but you know who has decent croissants? Pret.

                                            1. I don't think Iggy's croissants are bad at all. Maybe because I haven't been to Paris for a couple of decades. I used to Iive near Clear Flour, but I can't make it there now or to the Brookline farmers market.

                                              2 Replies
                                              1. re: Madrid

                                                I agree that Iggy's makes very good croissant. Not quite to the clear flour level, but very good.

                                                1. re: StriperGuy

                                                  do you know if they distribute the croissants to Whole Foods?
                                                  I like their bagels that I get there, and I am nowhere near the Boston/Cambridge area.

                                              2. mamadu's in Winchester on swanton street has top notch stuff. I live in the area and cant believe my good fortune to have the guy here.

                                                1 Reply
                                                1. re: rich patina

                                                  Agreed, Mamadou's has great croissants. Ma France in Lexington's are good, I think they ship them in from the Cape.