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Jul 10, 2009 08:52 AM

Astoria Bakery Choice

I have been to a few that have rave reviews and they were anywhere from very mediocre to poor.
So, I would say people who do/did live in the 'hood are very biased and thus, please do not waste my time with "THE BEST BAKERY EVERY" nonsense. You need to get out more.
However, if someone might plausibly give me one that is just GOOD, that is fine. Comparisons to bakeries elsewhere are possibly one way. Also, I find Italian bakeries these days to be pretty awful for the most part.
Flame on.

Have sampled:
Artopolis-A few pretty good items, some meh, overpriced and Greek American cheezball wedding decor is never encouraging. Not bad, not good, OK.
Rose and Joes(I think)-Complete joke, if you think that is fresh baked greatness, well.......
St Honore-Lovely girl working there, unfortunately, the quality is very not so great. Definitely no reason to go there.

So, if something is significantly better than the above from my following choices or nearby, please advise.

La Guli

Any particulars, singluar specialities,etc. welcome. Oh, no cannolis, liquor cakes and such.
Bread, cookies, maybe pastries.

Also, will be grateful for any warnings against these if they are no better than the rest.
Thank you for not naming every single establishment in the area and proclaiming it the best.

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  1. for a simple italian or semolina loaf, parisi on 31/broadway. best when warm, like most bread, and i'd steer towards smaller loaves since they don't stand the test of time well.

    joe abd rose on 31st street near ditmars. sicilian pizza in the back, more than the bakery itself. homey and very old-country.

    there was a french bakery on broadway near 34th -- petit prince? -- that had nice cookies but i am not sure if it is still there.

    and no, none of these are best ever (though i do miss parisi now that i am living in fresh-bread deprived jackson hts)

    3 Replies
    1. re: david sprague

      Ok, thanks. At least you realize that because you are somewhere with nothing that does not make something else that is an improvement great.
      I had heard about the slice at Joe and Rose, not what I purchased there, what I did was...hmm. NOT GOOD. Underwhelmed is an understatement.
      Might try Parisi's or one of the others. Parisi has poor rating on Yelp and I do not see too much around here. Not sure if that is a plus or minus.

      1. re: david sprague

        Oh, david, Cannelle has some excellent fresh baked breads, and I count it as Jackson Heights, though it is a bit of a walk...

        1. re: abee

          true about cannelle's is JH, but i guess crossing northern blvd so often intimidates me :)

      2. In Astoria, I think Titan has some very good baked items. Their feta and spinach pastries the round ones are good. Their christmas cookies Melomakarona, which they have year round, are amazing. Their greek pastries, the chocolate drizzled baklava, and round pistacho topped greek pastries are great, as is their walnut cake, and several other things in the bakery. Stick with the traditional Greek stuff, the chocolate stuff isn't nearly as good. While there, they have the best selection of feta and other cheeses, as well.

        At Artopolis, they make delicious chocolate chunk when you first walk in, but it's expensive. Best bakery in Queens is Cannelle Patisserie in East Elmhurst area, if you're very picky as you sound, you would do well to head there--lots of great stuff, do a search and read about them.

        Let us know how you make out.

        3 Replies
        1. re: janie

          Thank you to those who responded but, unfortunately, it was the usual disappointment.
          Honestly, I could not even bare to sample all of it. I have been through so many of these "great neighborhood" runs and know better yet continue to entertain the thought. When I can visibly see specifics while inspecting the goods that do not measure up, why waste my money, time and calorie count?

          Specifics will only create more venom so I will leave it there.

          NOT GOOD, is how I made out in short.

          I would still try Canelle with an open mind if I was in that area sometime . Somewhere has to be as good as people say, doesn't it?
          Actually, it does not, I guess. Back to basics.

          1. re: dietndesire

            You didn't like the cookies nor any of the greek pastries at Titan? You didn't go to Cannelle? So, exactly where did you end up besides the aforementioned places in your original post?

            1. re: dietndesire

              > unfortunately, it was the usual disappointment. ... Specifics will only create more venom so I will leave it there.

              dnd, the one indispensable specific is which place disappointed you. That isn't clear from your post.

          2. There's an italian bakery on 30th Avenue and 45th Street that I'm very fond of. I don't remember it's name, but it's always crowded and I think it's very good. There's a great new wine store next door and my favorite pork store across the street, so I'm fond of that block. It's a little out of the way, but I think it's worth the hike.

            Then if you like French Bakery fare, I really don't think you can do better than Cannelle. The quality is top notch- I brought their croissants and pastries to a brunch once and they got rave reviews.

            La Guli has a decent gelato, especially seeing how there's no other ice cream in the vicinity, but I've never had their pastries.

            Parisi makes a decent loaf of bread and it always smells fantastic.

            1. I agree that it's a bit thin in Astoria. I'm not a big fan of most of Artopolis' bread, although they have about the best baguettes in the area (only fair by any other standard), and some of their desserts are great, as is their espresso. I don't like Rose and Joes' cookies, except the Black and Whites, and most of their bread is boring, except the "club rolls" which are great but they often sell out of them early. Haven't tried their pizza. Big fan of La Guli's carrot cake, but not much else stands out to me.

              Anybody out of a job and want to start an artisinal bakery in Astoria? Lots of empty storefronts right now...!

              4 Replies
              1. re: Harlan

                dietndesire, i feel your pain. try victory bakery on steinway, just north of ditmars on the east side of the street for good greek pastries without the empty, overpriced showiness. my guess is that you won't dig cannelle's. i find it anemic and flat and i find the staff, in their silly uniforms, to be uninformed and kind of chain/mall-like. i've tried the croissants and raisin rolls and a few other bfast items many times and always find them disappointing, though i haven't had the cakes. others will disagree, but that's my opinion, and i'm not trying to convince anyone to agree with me.

                1. re: yussdov

                  I tend to believe you are right on, sadly.
                  It has happened so often in the past.
                  And in short for the others,
                  La Guli, was going to try the gelato, one lady working taking forever to do some nonsense for a customer, I left. After seeing the cookies and such, I doubted this was a huge miss.
                  Gian Piero, just the usual, poor bread found at most "great local bakeries". Yes, I do doubt that any of the other choices in the area would be such a huge improvement.
                  Complete waste.
                  Titan's pastries(Greek) do not even pass the look test. Yes, my eyes know a few things. Not saying they are terrible but doubt any better than Artopolis and certainly too small and expensive for the rent they pay.

                  1. re: dietndesire

                    Having recently discovered Cannelle I'd note that your eagerness to write it off in advance is simply your loss. The cakes, tarts and pastries are exceptionally good. They evidently have plenty of business so I suppose one less person in line is everyone else's gain. Hey - thank you!

                2. re: Harlan

                  Harlan, Rose and Joe's pizza (the sicilian stye, in the pan) is really very good, and definitely worth a try! I like their "lemon drop" cookies - basically a simple italian cookie base with a lemony white frosting on top. They used to make pignoli cookies that were ok, too, and their melomakarona are good. They also make a sandwich that is bread, maybe a bit of olive oil, fresh mozz and tomato, which I love for its simplicity and tastiness. Sometimes they have chocolate croissants that are wonderful.

                  La Guli has nice gelato (hazelnut is best) and I also like their carrot cake; I'm sorry to say I've not had much else. Gian Piero's carrot cake is good, too. The now defunct Dolce Italia had some great cannoli, and I miss them - the Astoria Bakery II is a sad replacement - totally uninteresting pastries.

                  I recently has a baguette from Artopolis and it was good. It was a bit later in the day post-purchase, so I plan to try one that is a bit fresher. I am used to the Semifreddi/Acme (Berkeley, CA) style of artisan bread baking, and am quite biased; I've not found much bread in NYC that lives up to my standards, but again - I'm pretty biased.

                  I must try this Cannelle.