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La Boulangerie?

s
Shiloh Sep 27, 2007 11:42 AM

passed by La Boulangerie on Magazine yesterday and was saddened to see a "For Sale" sign in the window and a vacated interior. I hope they've just moved and not closed up altogether. What's the deal?

  1. j
    JPeterman Jan 29, 2009 06:27 PM

    After reading the reviews of this place prior to my trip to NO, I was pretty excited as we don't have any authentic French bakeries in Tampa. I'm sad to report that New Orleans does not either. The bread was the quality that one can buy from a grocery store and before anyone calls me too crtical, I'll let you know I've eaten at the best bakeries in Paris and some good ones in New York and LB simply isn't good.

    A proper French baguette is crispy and crusty on the outside due to a steam injection oven. The inside has air bubbles due to the usage of proper yeast, rich gluten flour and fermentation. It's a science and an art and there are no artists at La Boulangerie. The croissants weren't any better. Just doughy bread, A proper pan au chocolate should leave your lap full of flaky crumbs when you break a piece off. This chocolate croissant from LB was sad indeed. A pity, I had thought with NOLA's French heritage that there would be a true French bakery but alas, c'est pas exist. C'est la vie, go for a muffaletta at central Grocery instead.

    3 Replies
    1. re: JPeterman
      h
      Hungry Celeste Jan 30, 2009 04:08 AM

      Hey, I'm on your side.....the only bread I really, really like at La Boulangerie is the small ciabatta sandwich-size bread. LB provides it to several restaurants around town; come to think of it, I haven't seen it for sale inside the bakery, but I'm not a regular, so perhaps it was just out of stock on my (infrequent) visits.

      1. re: JPeterman
        Lyonola Jan 30, 2009 06:00 AM

        People focus to much on exact replications. This has led to a nation of McDonald's and Applebees. Sure La Boulangerie does not compare with the best bakeries in French. But then again it shouldnt.

        1. re: Lyonola
          j
          JPeterman Jan 31, 2009 12:13 PM

          I disagree. The owner of LB has a beautiful store and location, the only thing missing is an excellent baguette. And they're not difficult to make, they only take love and a concern about giving your customers quality and authenticity. I've found high quality baguettes in DC, NYC, and Montreal and I'm sure they exist in cities all over the country and having made them myself, I can tell you that it is very possible to bake them. The humidity here in Tampa is difficult to work with as I imagine it is in NO but it can be done. LB should go that extra mile to have their products match the quality of their attractive shop.

          The French as a culture, reject mediocrity especially when it comes to food, they call themselves "la boulangerie" they should live up to it. I also tried the French bakery in the Quarter though I forget the name. It has the dingy courtyard with the little boy p'ing fountain statue. It's croissants were even worse though they did have decent coffee.

          "How can a nation be great if its bread tastes like Kleenex?"
          Julia Child

      2. malenky Oct 4, 2007 01:16 PM

        do they still have the goat chesse bread??

        3 Replies
        1. re: malenky
          s
          stlmark Oct 5, 2007 09:20 PM

          Malenky, they sure do. It's still delicious. Actually, the offerings haven't changed at all, really, as far as I can tell.

          1. re: stlmark
            malenky Oct 6, 2007 11:20 AM

            Oh, thank you. I actually have never got it, but my boyfriend used to talk about it all the time and I've been meaning to try it.

          2. re: malenky
            j
            JazzyB Oct 9, 2007 04:16 AM

            Actually, I've had the bleu cheese bread but was unaware of a goat cheese bread.

          3. i
            Isabella Sep 29, 2007 06:38 PM

            Well, since we have established they're still in Biz . . . .

            What are your favorites at La Boulangerie?

            I go solely for the Olive Bread! That stuff is wonderful!

            I bought a croissant a couple of times, the chocolate one was good!

            I would like to try more items you'd recommend.

            15 Replies
            1. re: Isabella
              j
              JazzyB Sep 30, 2007 08:06 AM

              Plain, almond and ham and cheese croissants. Orange-cranberry muffins, little chocoate cakes (they look like muffins, can't recall their name). Excellent "French" king cakes during carnival season. The French baguettes are as good as the olive bread. Didn't care for the bleu cheese bread ( almost all the cheese is on top), nor did I care for the eclairs (not an eclair fan anyway). These have a chocolate filling.

              1. re: Isabella
                k
                kmnola Sep 30, 2007 02:26 PM

                I will second that the croissants are excellent. I have yet to try more of the baked goods, but I absolutely love the blueberry muffins and the baguettes. The ciabatta is also very good.

                1. re: kmnola
                  a
                  anteeks Sep 30, 2007 03:55 PM

                  I find the breads at La Boulangerie to be very good. But, the most delicious croissants are at Sucre. They are to die for..

                  1. re: anteeks
                    e
                    eat2thebeat Oct 1, 2007 06:07 AM

                    I've found Sucre's croissants to be on the stale side and a bit doughy. To me, the best croissant's are at Hi-Do Bakery or La Boulangerie.

                    1. re: eat2thebeat
                      a
                      anteeks Oct 1, 2007 07:16 AM

                      Funny you should mention Hi-Do's croissants which I have tasted. They have a few great pastries as well. Although, I find that the croissants at Hi-Do and La Boulangerie look and taste like they bought them and baked them. They do not have that artisan touch like they do at Sucre.

                      1. re: anteeks
                        h
                        Hungry Celeste Oct 1, 2007 11:18 AM

                        I think the croissants at Chez Pierre in Kenner are the best around, with Maurice in Metairie as a close second.

                        1. re: Hungry Celeste
                          i
                          intraview Oct 1, 2007 01:07 PM

                          I haven't had a bad croissant at Sucre yet... but i think they should be under glass rather than sitting out by the register where they can be sneeezed on :-0

                          1. re: intraview
                            a
                            anteeks Oct 2, 2007 03:48 AM

                            I asked them several months ago about covering them and they finally purchased an inclosure with a sneeze guard. It's my daily stop for coffee on the way down town and IMO Sucre has excellent coffee too.

                            1. re: anteeks
                              Adrienne Oct 12, 2007 05:41 AM

                              That's a little longer than it should have taken, but nice that they take suggestions. I actually told them they needed wine glasses so people could byob and they bought them. I always like it when a place (or its owners) really listens to its (their) customers.

                        2. re: anteeks
                          k
                          kmnola Oct 3, 2007 06:42 PM

                          "They do not have that artisan touch like they do at Sucre."

                          Can you honestly say this about La Boulangerie?!

                          1. re: kmnola
                            a
                            anteeks Oct 3, 2007 06:57 PM

                            The croissants at La Boulangerie do not have the artisan quality or taste like they do at Sucre.

                            1. re: anteeks
                              h
                              Hungry Celeste Oct 4, 2007 09:11 AM

                              What, exactly, do you mean by "artisan" touch? I'm not being snide, I'm genuinely interested in your perceptions of the two baked goods.

                              1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                k
                                kmnola Oct 4, 2007 07:25 PM

                                I'm not meaning to sound snide either, but I think of food from La Boulangerie as wonderfully handmade and having great taste. You can tell that the baked goods are skillfully made.

                                That sums up an "artisan" touch for me.

                                1. re: Hungry Celeste
                                  a
                                  anteeks Oct 7, 2007 08:10 AM

                                  Celeste, I will do my best at putting this into words. When you look into a display and see that each one is not perfect.

                                  Layering of the dough, variation in the baking process and finished color.

                                  I guess its just the experience of eating many of them over the years in Europe and the US.

                                  1. re: anteeks
                                    Adrienne Oct 12, 2007 05:44 AM

                                    I agree that pastries at Sucre are different - - I don't know if I would call it "artisan" because I also found that word kindof vague, but I do get the feeling that they're using European recipes (not shocking, their chef is not American), which do have a somewhat different taste... to me this difference is mostly that the flavors are more delicate -- they're slightly less rich and sweet, which I prefer.

                  2. c
                    cor Sep 28, 2007 08:00 AM

                    Yeah..the new one looks bigger and better. It is hard to miss.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: cor
                      k
                      kmnola Sep 29, 2007 06:30 PM

                      Right down the street! The colors and everything are the same. LOVE love love La Boulangerie, and I am so happy they have taken an opportunity to move into a larger space.

                      1. re: cor
                        s
                        Shiloh Oct 1, 2007 09:40 AM

                        yeah. i drove by again a couple days after posting and saw the new location. felt like an idiot. it is hard to miss, but i was driving toward downtown when i first saw the for sale sign. the new location is a block or so on the uptown side of the old. anyway, it's quite a relief and i apologize for any fear i may have caused.

                        1. re: Shiloh
                          k
                          kmnola Oct 3, 2007 06:41 PM

                          No, I understand. You should have seen my face the first time I drove by and saw the sign in the window! It wasn't until I drove past the store again, heading Uptown, that I saw the new location. I have yet to visit the new location, but a run this weekend is definitely in order.

                      2. j
                        JazzyB Sep 27, 2007 12:03 PM

                        I really hope they've moved and not closed.

                        4 Replies
                        1. re: JazzyB
                          j
                          JazzyB Sep 27, 2007 12:22 PM

                          Just called La Boulangerie. Answering machine states they will re-open Sept. 29 at their new location 1 block away.

                          1. re: JazzyB
                            malenky Sep 27, 2007 12:29 PM

                            the new space looks wonderfully bigger.

                            1. re: malenky
                              f
                              Frolic Sep 27, 2007 04:19 PM

                              And the new space has A/C, which is nice for their employees and, with the lower humidity, good for the baking. The bread's already good, but maybe it will get even better.

                            2. re: JazzyB
                              j
                              Jackpot Sep 28, 2007 05:19 AM

                              Thank goodness. My heart skipped a beat when I read Shiloh's post.

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