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Awesome bakery between Sunnyvale and Los Altos??

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You Bay Area Hounds have been very helpful thus far and I hope that I may lean on your expertise once again.

We have been invited to a BBQ at a friends' place in Los Altos and we have been assigned the task of bringing dessert. Thus, I'm looking for a good European (would French or Viennese be too much to ask?) bakery somewhere between where I am in Santana Row and Los Altos. I'm not opposed to driving a few miles out of the way for a good lead though.

It would be great if we could pick up a clafouti or fresh fruit tart or something along those lines. Something richer than that wouldn't be bad either, but I think the group that will be assembled at this dinner would probably prefer something fruity. I would like to avoid mousse-based desserts because I have a personal texture phobia of mousse that is too gelatinous.

Thanks in advance for your help!

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Santana Row
355 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128

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  1. Olson's sometimes have cherry pies, but since it's just before bing season I'm not sure about their supply. You can call and ask. And the local Brooks cherries I got there today (from Morgan Hill) are scrumptious, so you could get both pie and fresh fruit there.

    Sugar Butter Flour in Sunnyvale has yummy chocolate desserts, but I haven't tried any of their fruit offerings.

    Michael

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    C J Olson Cherries
    348 W El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

    Sugar Butter Flour
    669 S Bernardo Ave, Sunnyvale, CA 94087

    2 Replies
    1. re: mdg

      Yummmmm.... cherries..... I'll definitely have to give them a call to see if they have any cherry pies available.

      I was doing some additional research and came across Le Patisserie in Cupertino. Does anyone have any experience with them?

      1. re: Juniper

        Olson's will have out-of-season cherry pies with frozen cherries, but the quality is still excellent, so don't hesitate to ask them. Whole Foods' fruit tarts are good, but I like the ones from Draegar's better, but call the one in Los Altos and ask them to hold one for you.

        Le Patisserie in Cupertino is hit-and-miss: some things are great (chocolate cakes) and some are awful (princess cake tastes like Crisco). It is reviewed extensively on this board, so just search old threads. Have fun!

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        Draegar's
        Los Altos, Los Altos, CA

    2. http://www.parisbaguetteusa.com/ its of el camino and lawrence, its an asian bakery but with european pastries, and the pastries don't overwhelm you with sugar

      1. Sugar, Butter, Flour is the best without a doubt!

        1 Reply
        1. re: openhelix

          a little out of the way, but how about fleur de cocoa in los gatos?

        2. I've seen Sugar, Butter, Flour recommended often; however, if you want something a little more accessible, get the fruit tart from Whole Foods. CANNOT go wrong with this dessert but do call ahead. One location on el camino in Los Altos, the other in Cupertino not far from 280/85.

          1. Esthers comes up a lot for something different. I can't make specific recs but I will see if i can pull up a thread or two.

            http://www.esthersbakery.com/

            1. Margaret's French Bakery in Campbell does excellent fruit tarts. They are available at the Sunday Mountain View Farmer's Market. They do not have much of a retail store front, so definitely call ahead to reserve a tart if you're going there.

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              Margaret's French Bakery
              240 Dillon Ave, Campbell, CA 95008

              1. Thanks for all of the recommendations. I think I'll hit up Draeger's since it's very close to our destination. I'll report back!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Juniper

                  Since you're heading to draeger's supermarket, you might enjoy taking a look at satura cakes. It's just a short walk from draegers and the Los Altos downtown is nice for windowshopping. I can't really recommend one over the other but this gives you more options.

                  http://www.chow.com/digest/2010/05/ov...

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                  Satura Cakes
                  200 Main St, Los Altos, CA

                2. We attempted to call Draegers to have them set aside a 9" fruit tart, but we never managed to get through to them. When we arrived there they didn't have any fruit tarts available so we just opted for a chocolate cake with buttercream frosting.

                  The cake was very good -- not overly sweet, chocolate-y enough, and dense and moist. I wasn't as much a fan of the icing, though. Seemed a bit oily to me but then, I've never been one for icing. However, the cake passed the 2-year old taste test as the 2-year old at the table pretty well devoured a huge slice of cake by herself, while managing to look like she was wearing a kabuki mask (white icing all over her face).

                  We also picked up some cookies from Satura, which were nice and buttery. The cookies passed the 4-year old taste test as the 4-year old at the table scarfed down the cookies and proceeded to jump up and down a lot and talk really fast (the sugar got to him, I guess).

                  The locals were very impressed by our knowledge of the good bakeries in the neighbourhood. I just nodded and smiled, and thanked the Bay Area hounds in my head. :)

                  4 Replies
                  1. re: Juniper

                    Glad it all worked out! As you've seen there are lots of nice choices in the area.

                    If you like cherries, you should try to get to Olson's before you leave. Before this was Silicon Valley, it was the stone fruit capital of the country, especially for apricots and prunes. You may not be here long enough for those, but in a good year the sweet cherries here are the best in the country - and Olson's Bings from their Sunnyvale orchard are the best of the best. Even the early season Brooks we have now from Andy's Orchard in Morgan Hill are outstanding; the Bings are probably coming in another week or so. Given the cold winter this should be an outstanding year for cherries and other stone fruit. There's a branch of Olson's in the San Jose airport, but I don't know if they stock fruit; they haven't been open in season before.

                    Michael

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                    Andy's Orchard
                    1615 Half Rd, Morgan Hill, CA 95037

                    1. re: mdg

                      Olson's cherry pies are terrific, and they get deliveries on Tuesdays and Fridays, and they sell out quickly.

                      I doubt if they'll have fruit and/or pies at the airport, since there is no refrigeration, no weighing scales, and the employess work for a third-party concessionaire. Heck, they don't even sell chocolates nor chili peanut brittle at the airport, but maybe that's a good thing...

                      1. re: mdg

                        I'll be leaving SJ on Wednesday, but my partner will most likely be staying into July so he will be very happy to hear that he's in a good area for stone fruit. He loves fruit (and I mean LOVES -- he can eat 2 or 3 kilos of fruit by himself in one sitting) and is always looking for good sources for fruit. I'll have to let him know about some of these growers/sellers.

                        1. re: Juniper

                          Just south of Santana Row, near Campbell, is a grocery store named Cosentino's (a local Italian family), and it buys from a lot of small, local fruit sources at great prices during the summer - tell your partner to keep an eye out during the season. They have many unadvertised specials.

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                          Cosentino's
                          San Jose, San Jose, CA

                    2. This place is such a well-kept secret. Paris Baguette on Lawrence and El Camino is very authentically French, but in a Korean way. It's Korean-French (yes, it's a real style of baking.) Delicious pastries and cakes.

                      1. So for my last dinner in San Jose prior to flying home tomorrow, I was hoping to get to Nha Toi. However, when we arrived we were told they weren't open for public and only for friends and family today. I was disappointed because I wanted to try the regional Vietnamese that we don't get much of in Toronto.

                        So we ended up at Afghani House instead and I quite enjoyed it. It was the homey comfort food I was after. We ordered the scallion and herb pastries for an appetizer and they were fine, but nothing particularly remarkable.

                        For our mains we had the combination kebab plate and the butternut squash with yogurt sauce and the eggplant and tomato stew as sides. The kebabs were tasty and smokey. I would say that the lamb wasn't as tender or as lamb-y tasting as I expected though so that was a bit disappointing. But the chicken was tender and not as dry as I expected so that sort of balanced out my disappointment with the lamb.

                        The rice that came with the kebabs was so fragrant with allspice and cardamom, and the rice wasn't overly greasy and the grains weren't broken. Well done.

                        The side dishes we had were tasty. No complaints there.

                        Overall, I quite enjoyed the food here. If I were here longer I would return and try the mantu and some of the other stews.

                        Anyway, thank you to all the Bay Area Hounds who have helped steer me to the good eats in San Jose and its surrounds. I appreciate the input and if any of you come to Toronto, I'm happy to return the favour!

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                        Nha Toi Restaurant
                        460 E William St, San Jose, CA 95112

                        Afghani House
                        1103 E El Camino Real, Sunnyvale, CA

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Juniper

                          I'm so glad you had a good time, and that we could help - I know I'm always grateful for all the great advice I get on Chowhound.

                          1. re: Claudette

                            Funny... I was sure I posted this review in the other thread I had started about finding places to eat around Santana Row. I was even wondering why the review didn't show up in that thread -- is there a glitch in the system? did I just imagine the whole episode of me typing out my thoughts?

                            Well, regardless, I'm glad the post made it onto the board even if it was posted to the wrong thread. I wanted to make sure I properly thanked all of you for your advice during my stay.

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                            Santana Row
                            355 Santana Row, San Jose, CA 95128