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Best almond croissants?

curiouscactus Jan 6, 2008 08:37 AM

Anyone have any tips for GREAT almond croissants? You know, the kind that uses real almond paste and is very almondy? I have been disappointed with Premiere Moisson and Au Pain Dore, and even Patisserie Belge's version is not very almondy. Seems that the custard version is all the rage these days. If you know of any that are on the west side of downtown that would be particularly great, but would love to hear all recommendations.

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  1. carswell RE: curiouscactus Jan 6, 2008 08:48 AM

    JQReid has declared Froment et de Sève's to be the most intense: www.chowhound.com/topics/433260#2919305

    You'll find other candidates in this post and the replies to it: www.chowhound.com/topics/420121#2739991

    Le Paltoquet on Van Horne might be worth a shot. Duc de Lorraine's aren't bad either.

    1. f
      foodismyfriend RE: curiouscactus Jan 7, 2008 07:38 AM

      I'm with you--Premiere Moisson and Patisserie Belge both go in for that custard type croissant and are way too sweet for my taste. While I would never recommend it otherwise due to the snooty service and pretentiousness of the place, La Croissanterie Figaro on Hutchison serves my favourite almond croissant. No custard there, just a nice flaky almond treat.

      1. h
        hanleman RE: curiouscactus Jan 10, 2008 07:17 AM

        I think that the almond croissants at Bench & Cie (corner of Queen Mary and CDN) are stunning. I crave confirmation of this opinion.

        1 Reply
        1. re: hanleman
          carswell RE: hanleman Mar 14, 2008 03:09 PM

          Finally got my hands on one this afternoon. It was my fifth try. I now know that the store is closed Saturdays and Sunday -- though they don't post that fact or their hours on the door or in the window -- and, in reply to a query in another thread, they appear to be kosher (didn't ask but noticed a couple of kosher cookbooks on a shelf). The other two times I'd dropped by, they'd sold out.

          Anyway, yes, it's a lovely pastry. Not a classic croissant but very flaky and light, filled with a mildly-flavoured custard or custard-like creme, spangled with sliced almonds and dusted with icing sugar. Not very sweet. The almond flavour is subtle and in no way artificial. Preferable to the heavier and sweeter offerings from Duc de Lorraine, Au Pain Doré and Pâtisserie Belge (sold at Boucherie de Paris).

        2. hala RE: curiouscactus Jan 10, 2008 08:24 AM

          I don't usually like almond because most places go real heavy on the almond extract which makes them way too bitter for me. But there's this nice guy in Verdun who makes the best croissants ever. His chocolate croissants are heavenly. His almond ones are also very good. They do have almond extract but not too much.

          The place is called L'art du pain and it is on Wellington between hickson and lasalle, not sure of the street address. If you are there make sure you try his other almond desserts they are worth the trip but only if they are fresh. His fridge is a bit old and they tend to taste like freezer burn if they have been in the fridge for longer than a few days. My favorite is an almond cookie shaped like a rose. I wish i hadnt eaten yet. i would have gone there for lunch :(

          1 Reply
          1. re: hala
            BLM RE: hala Jan 12, 2008 01:27 PM

            Too bad, L'Art du Pain has closed for good. I tried to check them out today,

          2. s
            Sophia Liberty RE: curiouscactus Jan 10, 2008 03:21 PM

            'Fous Desserts' On Laurier East at St. Hubert!! These are simply incredible. I felt... well I felt I had just indulged in a pastry unlike no other. Fous Desserts has quite a few amazing options actually, including their regular croissants! You have to try them!

            6 Replies
            1. re: Sophia Liberty
              swissfoodie RE: Sophia Liberty Jan 12, 2008 04:31 PM

              I would venture a few blocks lower on Laurier E and go for one at the Fromentier - and at the same time sample the other baked goods they have (like the fig, orange and almond danish)

              1. re: Sophia Liberty
                moh RE: Sophia Liberty May 24, 2008 06:23 AM

                The Fous Desserts one seems to have a healthy dose of almond paste in the center, and might qualify as a good choice for the OP.

                Fous Dessert remains my favorite place for croissant in the city.

                1. re: moh
                  marblebag RE: moh May 28, 2009 02:43 AM

                  I left an almond croissant from Fous Desserts sit in the bag for 2 days and the alcohol (or whatever similar) turned.

                  1. re: marblebag
                    moh RE: marblebag May 29, 2009 09:06 AM

                    Ah, one should always eat their products on the same day or the next day. They really are best the first day. I don't mind them the next day, but they lose some of their magic.

                    I know one of the other CH likes to freeze their croissants, and they say it is fine, they keep very well that way. I myself have never done this, because anything I buy from there gets hoovered immediately.

                    1. re: moh
                      cherylmtl RE: moh May 29, 2009 02:47 PM

                      That's because certain CHs don't live near Fous Desserts, and only get there on weekends (sigh...) (same with Cocoa Locale - and her cakes freeze beautifully...). And because some of us like to have croissants every day for breakfast, it was Fouis Desserts' recommendation to freeze them, kept in the paper bag they give you them in, and place that in a plastic bag (like a grocery bag). You take them out in the morning, about an hour before you want to eat them, and they're every bit as good as they were bought. Mind you, I've only ever frozen plain croissants, never the almond ones (I only buy those to eat fresh - while they would probably freeze okay, I've never tried it)

                      1. re: cherylmtl
                        MrPernickety RE: cherylmtl May 30, 2009 07:49 AM

                        Regular croissants can be easily frozen, but I would not suggest freezing almond croissants because they are frequently made with older plain croissants and are often frozen.

              2. Em24 RE: curiouscactus Jan 17, 2008 05:05 AM

                Had the almond croissant from Co'pain d'abord on Mt-Royal street yesterday. It was delicious and not custardy. Only almond-y!!!

                1. c
                  chilipepper RE: curiouscactus Mar 15, 2008 11:34 PM

                  Olive & Gourmando's some kinda tasty...

                  1. anachemia RE: curiouscactus Mar 16, 2008 01:12 PM

                    When I lived in Cote Saint-Luc, I used to get great almond croissants from Patisserie de la Gare at the corner of Sherbrooke west and Westminster. Only problem is, they frequently run out early in the day, especially on weekends.

                    Recently I've tasted even better ones from Lescurier (1333 Van Horne, across the street from Outremont metro). This is a serious bakery with some of the best-quality plain croissants I've had in Montreal. Can't 100% confirm their almond ones are filled with marzipan as I only tried a nibble, but can tell you even that bite was amazing. If I wasn't on a diet I'd have bought a dozen on the spot ;-)

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: anachemia
                      mrbozo RE: anachemia May 25, 2008 06:59 PM

                      Second Patisserie de la Gare. My sister lives around the block and when I'm in town I make it a point to stop by the shop for butter and almond croissants (paste, not custard) and a random sampling of their baguettes. My tastebuds and stomach thank me.

                    2. m
                      MaeveH RE: curiouscactus Mar 18, 2008 06:45 PM

                      I'm partial to the ones at Kouign Amman at Mont Royal and Drolet. I'll admit I rarely buy them elsewhere as it's close by, but they are better than the bigger chains' ones. Not custardy... pretty almondy... mmmm... I debate myself often if they're better fresh and warm or cool and slightly crisp.

                      1. m
                        MTLjam RE: curiouscactus May 24, 2008 02:02 AM

                        I grew up in the west end of Paris and am a huge fan of almond croissants. You can almost measure the quality of a French patisserie by the quality of its almond croissants, they are pretty hard to make and there is a huge variation from place to place, perhaps owing to the fact that the croissants themselves are unique from place to place (almond croissants must be made from day-old croissants.)

                        The best I've had so far in Montreal was from that pastry shop near the Sherbrooke metro station, just east of St Louis Square. I'd give it an A-.

                        The ones from Premiere moisson are not bad, solid B+.

                        The ones at Olive et Gourmando aren't authentic at all. They might be good on their own merit, but they aren't really croissants aux amandes.

                        I haven't been to the smaller places in the Plateau mentioned here, I look forward to trying Froment and Bench.

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: MTLjam
                          carswell RE: MTLjam May 24, 2008 07:07 AM

                          «that pastry shop near the Sherbrooke metro station, just east of St Louis Square»

                          Do you mean the one next to the east entrance to the station, in the white apartment building on the east side of Berri? If so, it's St-Louis de France. Haven't been since I lived on Berri, many, many years ago and was disappointed to see a less than enthusiastic comment or two on this or the other board. Glad to hear it's not gone down the tubes.

                          1. re: carswell
                            MTLjam RE: carswell May 25, 2008 06:42 PM

                            Yes indeed carswell, that must be the name given that it's just off Carre St Louis.

                            Their almond croissant was huge and a bit pricy for a "vienoiserie", but it was very good. I can't vouch for the rest of their product line or consistency as that was my only time there.

                          2. re: MTLjam
                            kchen RE: MTLjam Sep 23, 2008 06:56 AM

                            "that pastry shop near the Sherbrooke metro" -- could you be more specific? I am a pastry cook looking to find an authentic pâtisserie in Montreal with goods made in-house. Thank you for you suggestions.

                          3. i
                            immaterialgirl RE: curiouscactus May 26, 2008 09:21 AM

                            I'm don't eat a lot of almond croissants because I find them too sweet, but Paltoquet (1464 Avenue Van Horne) have the tastiest ones I've ever experienced and their plain butter croissants are to die for. Honestly!!! Mmm...

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: immaterialgirl
                              Antoine Doinel RE: immaterialgirl Sep 23, 2008 09:17 AM

                              My current favorite for croissants: "Mamie Clafoutis" (1291 Van Horne). They have this incredible half almond-half chocolate croissant... They also have this Nice tea room upstairs that just opened. Really cool place.

                              1. re: Antoine Doinel
                                buttie RE: Antoine Doinel Sep 24, 2008 09:10 PM

                                The best almond croissants are the chocolate ones located at adar on westminster in csl..Its a kosher take out which has the best YOu wont be disapointed but call first they run out so fast...

                                1. re: 1Capricieuse
                                  1Capricieuse RE: 1Capricieuse May 27, 2009 04:31 PM

                                  I wrote something recently about "de Froment et de Sève"
                                  I really think they make the bestest croissants aux amandes and chocolate

                            2. Alyson777 RE: curiouscactus May 28, 2009 07:41 AM

                              My favorite Croissants in Montreal are from Cafe Figaro - The Croissanterie on the corner of Hutchinson and Fairmount. The Almond Croissant happen to be my favorite. They are always fresh! I think the croissanterie is the closest one comes to a more authentic french style desserts and pastries. Sitting outside on the weekend sipping a late with my Croissant or Croque Monsieur I feel like i am in Paris. The food is very good too!


                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Alyson777
                                everyonelovessushi RE: Alyson777 May 29, 2009 04:21 PM

                                My wife went through Figaro's almond croissants at an alarming rate when she was pregnant 5 years ago. They were very tasty whenever I could get a bite. That was 5 years ago though. I know from recent experience that their baguette is awful now but I don't know if that's true with other items. I live close by so maybe I'll do a taste test.

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