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macaron delivery!

hippotatomus May 14, 2008 08:27 PM

wouldn't it be so awesome if a fellow TO chowhounder travelling to Paris could help me buy some pierre herme macarons *swoon*
one can only hope..

but anyway

has anyone had any remotely pleasant macaron experience in TO?
i've only tried the macarons at rahier, T&T (yes! they offered it for a while too.. but i haven't seen it since that one time), and some other place on yonge street...
i think la patisserie cigogne sells it too but i haven't trie it yet as they seem to only sell it in boxes.. and i don't want to buy an entire box of bad macarons..

rahier's macarons were hard and unsatisfyng.... i found when i left them overnight unrefridgerated it got a bit better because it was softer.. but still not great.. T&T's macarons i found were actually better than rahiers..

i know there probably won't be any amazing amazing macarons in toronto... but anything that can at least satisfy the craving for a decent macaron ???

intense perusing of foodie sites and flickr are not helping either.... .. help!

  1. a
    Aleta May 14, 2008 09:14 PM

    Try Celestin on Mount Pleasant, south of Eglinton. They don't have such a large selection of patisserie like Rahier. I've had their earl grey, raspberry, chocolate and mocha macarons. I can't believe that T&T had macarons! I'll have to go over there and check some time. Hate to make you jealous but I will be going to Paris next month and I plan to go to Pierre Herme, Laduree, Gregory Renard, Georges Mulot et al. Too bad macarons don't transport very well or I'd bring back a suitcase full.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Aleta
      hippotatomus May 15, 2008 09:27 AM

      it was just that one time when I went to T&T.. I'm not sure if they still have them because they might have just been trying it out to see how sales will go...
      gosh darn it i am SOO jealous you're going to Paris! I did try bringing back two boxes when I went last Spring, brought them as carry on packages and they turned out fine... how I wish I could go to paris again that soon...

      Happy eating a Paris!

      I'll try Celestin too... I've been there a couple times but both times they didn't have any.. I guess I have to go earlier in the morning? The Earl Grey sounds yummy! I love the light tea and fruit flavours

      1. re: Aleta
        c
        currycue May 23, 2008 09:34 AM

        Just tried the macarons at Celestin and was very disappointed. They look the part, but have very little flavour differences between them. Mostly taste of sugar. I had the pleasure of trying some Laduree macarons recently and WOW, talk about amazing!

        1. re: currycue
          estufarian May 26, 2008 02:19 PM

          I've been told that there was a 'family breakup' and that the baker changed a couple of months back. That could explain the drop in quality.

      2. m
        Mila May 15, 2008 08:39 AM

        I saw some at Jamie Kennedy's new Gilead Cafe. Didn't try though.

        -----
        Gilead - duplicate
        4 Gilead Pl, Toronto, ON M5A, CA

        1 Reply
        1. re: Mila
          hippotatomus May 15, 2008 09:31 AM

          Hmm.. thanks may drop by sometime if I'm in the area.. not anytime soon though.. unless someone has tried them and they're wonderful! =p

        2. wasabi_girl May 27, 2008 03:46 PM

          Just went on the La Bamboche site and saw lovely macarons being featured. They sell them individually so it just may be something you are looking for. The site also says they just introduced their spring flavours.

          www.labamboche.ca

          1. m
            merlot143 May 28, 2008 07:33 AM

            I haven't tried them but here's a link to their blog with pictures of their macarons (they also have macaron cakes and macaron trees)

            http://labambochepatisserie.blogspot....

            13 Replies
            1. re: merlot143
              u
              urbnmns May 28, 2008 07:58 AM

              I've had some excellent macarons at Sabletine bakery in Kitchener/Waterloo. I don't know if they are a "regular" item there, nor are there typically a number of flavours - I've sampled chocolate, coffee, lemon and raspberry, but they are wonderful (and compare very nicely with their Parisian counterparts - though even Parisian offerings are known to vary.) Texture is good - crispy meringuey on the outside, dense, chewy centre, fluffy, creamy filling, and flavourful. When I've seen them, they've been made in relatively small batches, and are sold individually. I can find out if they would be willing to ship (bearing in mind their high perishability).

              1. re: urbnmns
                l
                LTL May 28, 2008 12:03 PM

                What are prices like?

                1. re: LTL
                  u
                  urbnmns May 28, 2008 01:56 PM

                  I recall about $1.50 apiece (nomal-sized macaron).

                2. re: urbnmns
                  hippotatomus Jun 10, 2008 04:12 PM

                  WOW! I had no idea there was a bakery near the university! Will check it out soon.. maybe I should call before going to see if they have any macaron's... thanks!

                  1. re: hippotatomus
                    u
                    urbnmns Jun 10, 2008 05:38 PM

                    It's on King at John, I believe (not super-close to the U., but close enough...) I'd call ahead if you want macarons; I spoke with the owner and she generally makes them for orders these days, rather than as a display item.

                    1. re: urbnmns
                      hippotatomus Jun 11, 2008 02:23 PM

                      So I went today.... and there were no macarons out on display ( I did call before I went).. when I asked the guy (I'm guessing the lady that makes them wasn't there today) he said there were packs back in the refrigerator at 5 bucks for a package of 12. Overall a fair price for macarons. But the thing is they had no flavour. It was just a plain ol almond cream macaron with different macaron shell colours... meaning purely dyed macaron shells... no flavour.
                      I thought that a bit weird.... since I've been spoiled by Pierre Herme macarons and his were the first I've ever eaten.... having an "unflavoured" macaron is almost unimaginable.. a macaron that actually tastes like almond??? O_O

                      I didn't get to look at the macarons... the guy was going to bring them out for me.. then got lazy or something and pointed out the macaron shells on some of the small cakes they had on display. They were hideous and flat... I mean.. they did have feet.. but just not puffy enough and didn't look desirable to eat too.. neither were the little pastries..

                      I did end up leaving with a croissant and pain au chocolat... I completely regret it because it's the worst croissant and pain au chocolat I have had in a while.. It had the consistency of bread.. and not to mention they were teeny tiny. I thought they were mini croissants and pain au chocolat.. I know some bakeries make them small.. but I didn't feel like they were worth what I paid.. which is 4.55 for a croissant and pain au chocolat... If they were of Jules / Thuet's quality that is a decent price.. but they weren't! and I felt like I was being ripped off also because when I looked at the receipt there was some mumbly jumbly GST/PST on each separate item.. PLUS GST and PST on the total of the two... double taxation ????
                      Overall a rather unpleasant experience.... when I went there was only one guy working the place.. and he gave off creepy vibes... no other customers... I went late during the day around 4pm... they closed in another 2 hours so maybe that's why it was slow... but yeah.. sigh. I really hoped I would have found something worth returning to.. even if it wasn't for the macarons... but I guess my search continues.

                      1. re: hippotatomus
                        u
                        urbnmns Jun 11, 2008 07:22 PM

                        That is really disappointing! I've had lovely ones there - but never from the fridge - and very fresh. I feel bad that you had such a bad experience. I worked in Paris for a few months in the early '00s and a colleague of mine was obsessed with macs so we taste-tested a new bakery every Friday and I'd say that despite a very limited range of flavours (only about 4 - no inventive tastes like lavender), Sabletine's macarons matched the best of them. That's really a shame they're not a reliable mac maker. As for things to try if you dare to go back - her little cakes are terrif, the quiches also, she does a great pear tart and I LOVE her choc chip cookies. I agree the croissants are very very bready and I don't like them either (I am a Celestin (Toronto) croissant/pain au chocolat fan; flaky and buttery's the only way to go.) Sorry Sabletine was creepy for you!

                        1. re: urbnmns
                          hippotatomus Jun 11, 2008 08:38 PM

                          Hmmm.. I'll give it another try.. maybe I just went on an off day at the wrong time!

                3. re: merlot143
                  a
                  Aleta May 28, 2008 12:17 PM

                  Thanks for the info on La Bamboche. I went by there today. Everything is beautiful and there is even a macaron inspired by Pierre Herme's Ispaphan. Unfortunately, I found everything too sweet for my taste. The lavender, coconut or lemon macarons had good flavour.

                  1. re: Aleta
                    wasabi_girl May 29, 2008 05:26 AM

                    Glad to hear you visited the store, it's my favourite cake shop in the city. I personally haven't tried the macarons at La Bamboche because I find macarons in general too sweet. Hope you visit again and try some of their cakes...I recommend the Mont Blanc!

                    1. re: Aleta
                      d
                      Degustation Jun 1, 2008 12:23 AM

                      Unfortunately, I found the macarons at La Bamboche to be quite disappointing. Fairly tasteless and some were hard, like they were around for too long. Perhaps they have improved since I last tried them? One can only hope...but I would rather eat what La Bamboche excels at (pastries) and save my pennies for my next trip to Paris for the macarons.

                      1. re: Degustation
                        hippotatomus Jun 10, 2008 04:10 PM

                        I also had some pastries from La Bamboche and they were too hard like they'd been sitting on the shelf for too long.. AND also too sweet.. I think the biggest mistake patisseries make is putting too much sugar in the dessert.. I haven't been back since.. and frankly don't care to try their macarons..

                        1. re: hippotatomus
                          b
                          Blueicus Jun 22, 2008 05:02 PM

                          I also had them and I have to say that they tasted like they were in the fridge too long. A little too dense though I really couldn't hate even a bad macaron. Adequate sugar is essential in the creation of a proper meringue so it's going to be quite sweet compared to most other pastries.

                  2. Merriam May 31, 2008 03:25 PM

                    yay!! macarons in Toronto at long last!!

                    1. b
                      budeeez Jun 22, 2008 02:28 PM

                      Saw some macarons for sale at Thuet bakery - approx. $12/box. There may have been 6 to 8 per box.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: budeeez
                        pinstripeprincess Jul 22, 2008 08:13 AM

                        they're not good.

                        if you like the taste and scent of raw flour then these babies are for you. the filling was great (tried a raspberry and basil one) but how it smelled and tasted like raw white flour is beyond me. the shell was also a bit hard and lacked that little bit of chew you should get. you can have your pick at $1.50 per piece.

                      2. b
                        bakerbots Jul 22, 2008 05:52 PM

                        ......a friend just brought me a box of 6 Laduree macarons and what a treat! The quality of the chocolate ganache in the chocolate macaron was unbelievable.

                        I've tried the chocolate and lime from pusateries and they were very dry and crumbly.
                        I make my own ;)

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: bakerbots
                          s
                          shamsham Sep 3, 2008 06:13 AM

                          ok, so after reading this thread I decided to go out and give a couple t.o. macaron spots a try:
                          1. Patachou - they had little button sized macarons for $0.90 each in lemon, mocha, raspberry, chocolate and pistachio and I tried all of them - the texture was pretty good and they were quite flavourful as well. Just wished they had more imaginative flavours..

                          2. La Bamboche - $2.25 for a medium sized macaron. I tried: blueberry, strawberry, chocolate, caramel/chocolate, lemon, green tea, japanese saki, red wine, peppermint & jasmine, black&white sesame, lavender and pistachio.

                          some general thoughts: Although the colours were vibrant and they looked authentic, I found them to be lacking in flavour, or very very mild. Also, some of the more interesting macarons were ruined (in my opion) by the cop-out filling of chocolate ganache (lavender, red wine) when a matching or contrast cream would have been better (lavender w/rose?)

                          winners: the red wine was still delicious, lemon, sesame, japanese sake had an interesting aqua colour and a neat looking clear jelly inside (although it was virtually flavourless)

                          not winners: green tea - could barely taste the matcha, blueberry, lavender again tasteless, pistachio (didn't compare to parisian ones, or for that matter, patachou's pistachio macaron)

                          The rest were alright

                          In conclusion, they make an impressive looking package but the flavour does not hold up to the initial presentation. Also, most of the macarons were quite dense rather than light and airy.

                          hope that helps!

                          1. re: shamsham
                            BokChoi Sep 3, 2008 11:23 AM

                            Thanks for the review. I guess we are still on the lookout for amazing macarons in the city. Cannot believe it can be that hard to produce something similar to Paris (or at least competent). I too have been quite disappointed in my search, trying Celestin's version. Too bad...

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