- xhotelie Mar 15, 2008 07:08 PM
I've been taking a Saturday morning class in Pasadena for the past several weeks and have stopped into Europane six separate times now for coffee and pastry. Not a hint of the attitude that I've read about on the LA board -- same two ladies behind the counter have been very polite and helpful. The only grief I've witnessed, and this was only once, when I stopped back for lunch, was some inter-patron strife over who was first in line. The results of some sensitivity training, or maybe there's a different, meaner spirited crew there weekdays?
I've got four more Saturdays to go and need to move on from my current standby of pain chocolat. The blueberry brioche a few weeks ago missed the mark. What else should I be trying? Roasted red pepper and goat cheese sandwich was good. Breakfast and lunch are both options for me.
Just remember if you order panini, unless the grill is already warmed up, they will tell you it will be 20 minutes. That being said, I was told the egg salad is great (not traditional) and I finally had it about a month ago and it is. I also love the ginger scones.
I basically catered a small shower from here last month. I did a cross section of sweets and savory, with the most memorable/commented upon being...
Marzipan Bear Claws
Cream Cheese Croissants
Custard Tart (I prefer the one from Tudor House personally)
Melting Choc Cookies
Egg Salad Sandwich on Olive Bread
Butternut Squash Quiche!!!
Baguette (add some butter and you're set)
And since you're there weekend time, try the French Toast!
I've posted about this before but my all time favorite dessert is the simple Custard Tart with Rasberries. Always wonderful but when I was lucky enough to have one a few minutes out of the oven- HEAVEN!!! Lots of the pastries are really good, the Meatloaf Sandwich is one of the best and the coffee is good.
Lovebirds Cafe and Bakery is right across the street -- if you want to expand your search for coffee and pastries.
The egg salad is justifiably famous. I go about once a month, after a Sunday morning class, just for that sandwich. It is wonderful. Their soups are often very good as well.
I used to live 4 blocks from Europane for the last 7 years and since moving I stop in on my way to work for a togo coffee and pastry every day. There hasn't been a generalized staff attitude problem for at least the last 4 years since Sumi stopped using culinary school students on the retail end.
Anyway in no particular order, here's what to get
-any pastry made with fresh fruit (especially the pear tart) b/c Sumi gets really amazing fruit and doesn't over-sweeten those pastries so you can still taste the fruit.
-caneles (wax baked egg custard pastries shaped like a salt shaker)
-sea salt and caramel macarons
-monkey bread (only if you're going to dip in coffee)
-homemade biscotti (see above)
-egg custard with dates (the raspberry is good too)
-egg salad sandwich (I recommend the half sandwich as it's pretty rich)
-beet and goat cheese tart
-kabocha squash and goat cheese quiche
-chicken salad sandwich (uses yogurt not mayo)
I am sure I missed a bunch.
It pays to ask the server if they are not too busy what is fresh and what is particularly good that day. Some of them but not all, can tell when one of the pastries may be overdone or something came out particularly well or right out of the oven.
I like the bread pudding, A LOT! I also like that very small dense chocolate thing that is wrapped in the brown muffin paper. Egg salad is very good...and recently had some squash fritatta which was REALLY good.
The attitude is in the past, and I'm personally thankful 4 that!
The customer service team there now is about as good a group as Sumi de owner has ever had. Let's pray she holds on to them as long as possible.
Maybe even 1 day the service will match the high food quality.
The house coffee is probably the best in Pasadena.
OP here. Thank you to all -- you've made great suggestions.
This morning I got an apple tart that was still warm from the oven -- absolutely delicious. Each substantial wedge of apple was perfectly browned and bursting with tangy, sweet flavor. How can that pastry shell be so crisp and flaky, yet clearly hold so much butter? Good stuff.
Seems to have been a bit of redecoration going on inside, and the two ladies who have always helped me on Saturday mornings past weren't in today. Staff still very pleasant and helpful. I have five more classes -- think I'll try the monkey bread and coffee suggestion next. Best.
Surprised that nobody mentioned the following must-haves:
pear tart-- frequently sold out
bacon, tomato, and avocado sandwich-- also sells out quickly @ lunchtime
hazelnut or pistachio macarons
I'm quite partial to the little lemon thyme cakes. The flavor is sophisticated and kind of a cross between sweet and savory. They're on the dry side but I think they are meant to be crumbly.
EuroPane is good enough that almost anything they make will have its passionate devotees. One of my passions is their ginger scones, although I find if you get their any later than 10 am on Saturdays you will almost certainly be out of luck on them.
The rosemary currant bread may be my favorite store-bought loaf in all of southern California. I prefer to take a loaf home and toast it with a little butter to having it on any of their sandwiches (although I'm reminded that I've never had it with their egg salad ...)
And as several others upthread have confirmed, their service and attitude have taken a decided turn for the better in the last couple of years.
This is an old post, but wow, I really gotta go back there. I work nearby, why don't I ever go in the mornings?
Hmm... dry my hair or use that time to pick up a pastry instead? what to do. what to do...