French baguette in NYC?
- Charles Pehlivanian
Where can I get an authentic baguette in NYC? The usual problems I have with local versions:
1. they have a sourdough taste
2. they are "spongy" inside (like Italian bread) and
not flaky like the French versions
3. they are not crusty enough on the outside
The first violation really offends me. Can anyone find me such a loaf?
I think Amy's Bread and Tomcat make the best baguettes. Tomcat Bakery is in Queens, and sells only wholesale. Amy's has a few shops. I think Gourmet Garage carries Tomcat.
I'm extremely fond of the baguettes at La Baguette (that's University bet. 12 and 13). They make them fresh practically every hour, the crust is crisp, and, after the baguette cools, the interior gets very close to authentic Parisian. Just $1.75. But boy, if you buy one that's still hot, you'd better buy two, because you're going to eat at least one of them on your way home!
La Baguette also features very good dinner rolls, and various pastries, all of which look splendid (I'm not obsessed with pastry--more of a savory guy.) They have soups and sandwiches and coffee and a devoted following.
I am partial to the "a l'ancienne", super-crusty (you've got to have good teeth) baguettes from Le Pain Quotidien; they have branches now all over the city and I believe theirs are THE best baguettes in NYC. I would take theirs over anything from Gourmet Garage because they are way fresher - baked five or six times a day! These are great, great, great baguettes.