Macarons at Paris in a Cup, Orange (OC)
Well, we were talking about macarons in OC on this thread ( http://www.chowhound.com/topics/467520 ) and I had them at Pascal's Epicerie and Paris in a Teacup today.
Paris in a Teacup surprised me. They have a lovely tea salon in the back and a cute little shop up front. The owners used to own a tea shop across the street called Someplace in Time. In fact, they still apparently kept on the gal who did the scones for Some place in Time.
They said they had three flavors of macarons but when they checked, they found only had the lemon pistachio. So they gave me their last two macarons of the day. Apparently they don't make these in-house but have them made by a French person somewhere. They are not imported. The taste and texture were great. Loved them. Teeth sunk in like they should and my eyes kind of rolled back into my head when I had them. I finished them in the store. The feet were a little flat but hey minor quibble.
I checked out their other stuff in the little shop up front. They have a limited selection of Michel Cluizel chocolates, including the packaged champignons and a couple of bars. Also, they had these great caramels, I wrote down the name but can't find the paper. The chipotle was mjy favorite. They also have french teas (alas not Mariage Freres) and T-Sacs. There was other stuff, but this is what I mostly remember.
I went to Pascal Epicerie afterward. Wow, I remember when they used to be the shiznit. Now everything looks so tired every time I go. The macarons are no different. They never were the best, but now they're even more bubbly and amateurish looking than ever. Also, my teeth have never sunk into their macarons the way they should. I was glad I had the Paris in a Cup ones first.
I would call before you decide to go to Paris in a Cup. I stopped by yesterday and asked if they had macarons and they said they do not.
They are in the process of finding baker or someone who sells the macarons.
Just thought I would give you a heads up. Let me know if things change.
I just went to Paris in a Cup today (around 1:30) and they had pistachio, raspberry, and almond. Pistachio was the best and then raspberry but almond wasn't all too great. They are actually cheap at 75 cents in comparison to the other places I've been to where they cost $3 but they were bigger there. The macarons here were actually small: they were like 2 bite macarons and I think the major problem with having a smaller macaron is that the crunch to chewy ratio is thrown askew but nonetheless, these macarons are quite decent and I certainly will be returning.
Update: Paris in a Cup changed their macaron maker. The new guy is well, inferior. The new macarons are really tiny, about 1/2- 3/4 inch in diameter so they don't have the delicious crispy outside texture with a chewy interior. The filling (buttercream) may be a bit tastier in these but they aren't as satisfying as the old ones- also, they are now $1 each- that's right, they got smaller but now charge 25 cents more: weird. I wish they could bring back the old guy.
The tea service at Paris in a Cup is good. Good food, atmosphere and tea.
However, you should know that they have ALOT of strict rules for parties. They are not flexible for a group (and everyone knows that big groups sometimes require flexibility) They are also not hospitable. It is a business. They serve you tea, and then they want you to get out.
When we called to set up a party there, they did not make us aware of all of their rules in advance.
So, in case you are planning an event there - it is important you know that they do not allow babies or toddlers. Period.
And they are not flexible about adding an extra place setting, in case someone extra shows up to your party -- or if you were off by 1 in your RSVP count.
They literally refused to seat an additional placesetting at our table. We had to plead with the staff to avoid sending someone home.
They are also strict about the length of time you spend there. Our party was allowed 2 hours, and we had to leave at that point.
Read every page of their website before you plan a party there - all of the fine print, etc. When you call, ask a lot of questions, and get everything in writing, so that they cant refuse to accomodate you on the day of your big event.