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Petite Patisserie

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Last week I made the trek to Petite Patisserie on 18th St. in Potrero Hill. I tried the almond croissant and the carmelized walnut tartlet.

Prices here are breathtaking (expensive). The almond croissant (of small to average size)was $3.75, and the tartlet (less than 3" diameter) was $5.00.

In a word, both items were leaden. The almond croissant was only crisp on the outside tips; the rest was just that - leaden, not flaky - as though not allowed to rise sufficiently. The taste is overwhelmingly of BUTTER. Only a very faint almond flavor - almost not sweet enough, but definitely heavy and dense with BUTTER.

The carmelized walnut tart had a very thick (in proportion to it's circumference) crust; very short (the same overwhelming BUTTER flavor), not the flaky variety. The filling tasted mostly of carmelized sugar and BUTTER - very little walnut flavor. What walnuts there were were in tiny crumbs.

They had samples of their flourless chocolate cake on the counter - nothing special.

I won't be going back. Too expensive to risk trying more things.

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  1. >I won't be going back. Too expensive to risk trying more things.
    i agree:
    http://www.chowhound.com/topics/32428...

    who exactly buys pastry/bakery items that are under 1oz?

    i mean it's one thing if it's some super rich, rarified thing like a truffle.

    in the other thread somebody made a comment about having to pay for
    quality if you want to do better than mcd, but the issue is we're comparing to
    tartine, bay bread, or in this part of the city, philip patisserie. and it's not
    like petite pat provides a place to sit with free wifi etc.

    ok tnx.

    2 Replies
    1. re: psb

      What does your "under 1 oz" comment refer to? I also don't understand the reference to Patisserie Philippe--no kind words uttered on this board that I've seen.

      It's worth repeating that Petite Patisserie uses all organic ingredients. I've also noted elsewhere that their pricing seemed high but inconsistent. Some things seemed cheap-ish considering their pricing scheme/structure. I thought their stuff was pretty nice, but I'll have to go back and check again.

      Their cakes are pricey (I've never ordered one), but no more than some other bakeries I've priced for cakes (such as Destination). By that point, I usually decide to cheap out and make my own.

      The comments about butter remind me of my husband's first reaction to the danishes from Destination Baking. He said, "What is this weird oil?" I replied, "It's butter, dear." Their stuff is very, very buttery, but I like that. We now have a family joke about "that weird oil."

      1. re: Atomica

        Actually I've had kind words for Patisserie Philippe and so have a few others. Here's a recent one
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/43527...

        Anyway, since this isn't a post about Patisserie Philippe, here are a few other reports on Petite Patisserie
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/324285
        http://www.chowhound.com/topics/42769...

        -----
        Petite Patisserie
        1415 18th St, San Francisco, CA 94107

    2. I agree - it is pricey. I ordered a small birthday cake last week that came out to $35. That was about $15 more than I wanted to spend, but I wanted to try their cakes. I ordered a vanilla cake with buttercream that was filled with chantilly and strawberries. We were very hapy with it, although I thought one layer was a little dry and. Overall I was happy with the cake and it was definitely several notch above what I could have gotten at Dianda's, Schubert's and other birthday cake places.

      I picked up the cake at 6 and noted that all their breakfast pastries are half off in the evening.

      1. I tried a plain croissant from Liberty Bakery (photo on left) yesterday as well as one from Petite Patisserie (photo on right). Both are $2.25. (Plain croissant at Tartine, for comparison's sake, is $2.75--yes, they are big.)

        I've never made a secret of my general dislike of Liberty's output, though it's convenient to me and the goods are better than your average coffeehouse. My child likes the bread pudding.

        Liberty's croissant is dense and not really flaky at all. A croissant should have a little bit of a shattering quality. Theirs reminds me of an old-fashioned crescent dinner roll. In general, just the wrong recipe for a croissant. They actually had a second person working the counter! A brand new and completely untrained person, but a back-up person nonetheless. Maybe they have realized that people are waiting in line way too long. If you just want a muffin and everyone is ordering espresso drinks, it is a big bummer.

        I felt Petite Patisserie's croissant was near perfect. In no way could it be described as "leaden." Sure, it tastes buttery, but I really didn't feel it was overwhelming at all. In fact, it's nearly greaseless. It's just a great size, delicious, flaky outside/tender inside, and obviously made with skill.

        I looked over the prices of all that Petite Patisserie had in their displays. Their shop is lovely and all the pastries are gorgeous. I have to completely disagree that their prices are out of line for their level of artistry and skill, the quality of their (all organic) ingredients, and where they are located. There is an excellent price range for morning pastries, from $1.25 to $3.75. Mentioning one $5 tart is misleading. Most of the tarts are $4 or $4.50. I bought a walnut brownie--think it was $1.50(?) I don't usually like nuts in my brownies, but this was great, with a really vibrant taste and the walnuts were crunchy and chopped small so that a very nice roasted walnut taste complemented the chocolate. Also bought some plum jam, which is also vibrant and tart/sweet. I really wanted some marmalade, but the citrus they use is out of season.

         
         
        2 Replies
        1. re: Atomica

          Did the $1.50 brownie weigh more than an ounce?
          Again, the quince poundcake was 20.5g ~= .75oz [measured on lab grade
          equipment, not eyeballed]. Now I guess there is this newish [?] trend of mini
          cupscakes and such for a buck and maybe you can say "well if you are will to
          spend $1 for a crappy minicupcake, what's 50cents more for an buttery, organic
          quince cakelette" but i disagree. suum cuique.
          [i think something like a bay bread cannelle is a perfectly reasonable deal, so
          i'm not only defending mongo servings like the tartine bread pudding, or tartine
          almond croissant].

          1. re: psb

            Yes, the brownie definitely weighed more than an ounce. It was small, but not tiny.

            Delessio mini cupcakes are what, $1.75? But I'm guessing they weigh more because frosting is heavy.

        2. I''m not fond of their croissants, also finding them too heavy. But these folks make some of the best brioche I've ever eaten. I also quite like the little quiche, and have bought some of the tiny pastries for a mixed dessert plate at Thanksgiving. The ginger pear mini-cakes are very very good. Considering the quality of ingredients and all the skill here, I also do not find the prices too out of line.