There is hope in Pickering!!!!
This is long overdue, but I've been meaning to post about a lovely Belgian bakery located at Hwy 2 and Whites Road. The place is called La Decadence and is owned and operated by a lovely Belgian family. The matriarch of the family says that everything is made in-house, and from what I've been able to try out so far, it's a very very welcome addition to the Pickering scene.
They have traditional pastries like croissant au beurre, pain au chocolat, croissant au amande, eclairs, and various tarts and moussecakes. I've tried only the croissant au beurre and pain au chocolat, and while they don't quite reach the standards of, say, Thuet's or Rahier (not as buttery and flaky), I am more than happy to enjoy them for what they are in what is otherwise a culinary wasteland.
They also serve lunches and brunch on the weekends. You'll find standards like quiche, croque monsieur, les oeuf benedicts, etc. The portions are very generous and all are served with a small side salad in a baked phyllo cup. They are not, however, done in a traditional way... the croque monsieur is done with slices of multigrain sourdough bread instead of a brioche, and the eggs benedict are not served on slices of toast (rather, with a really lovely crusty roll on the side). Perhaps what I'm referring to as non-traditional is simply a difference between the French and Belgian interpretations of these dishes?? I've not eaten in Belgium so I can't say for sure.
Their chocolate pastries are done using Callebaut chocolates. They also sell a small selection of Callebaut chocolates. They serve their coffee with a couple of these chocolates on the side -- unusually charming Euro touch for Pickering.
They have a good selection of breads available for sale as well. Great breads... rivals Fred's Breads in downtown for taste and texture. Definitely infinitely better than whatever you'll find at the local Dominion and/or Loblaws...
You can eat-in or take out. If you eat in, just note that the service is spotty... the kids are cute but definitely not what I would consider "attentive".
Anyway, long story short, I don't know that it's necessarily worth the trip to Pickering to try this place out, but for those who live in the vicinity, this is something that residents here have been wanting for so long so please support them!!!
It's a fine bistro, and a welcome addition to the neighborhood. I find the breads pricey, sometimes a little dense and over-crusty (heaviness alone does not pass for artisan, but they use the term!) and I go across the tracks to the Breadhouse for superb baked goods at decent price levels.