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Nov 10, 2010 07:59 AM

François Payard Bakery (Houston St.)

I haven't seen any board commentary on François Payard Bakery, which opened fairly recently on Houston St., near Sullivan. Has anyone been? Initial thoughts?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. A shell of the original. Selection is very limited. Bread seemed about the same. Croissant d'almonde was disappointing to be kind and that was about my crack equivalent in NYC.
    One or two of the pastries were still quite good but, again, the selection was very limited. Chocolate choices do not abound and the best originals were not in the case. Visited twice or maybe three times.

    3 Replies
    1. re: dietndesire

      I swung by at almost closing time on Halloween and picked up a baguette. It was not stale, though not as fresh as Whole Foods.

      What struck me was how nice the staff was. Really friendly.

      1. re: rifkind81

        I'm wondering if you're being sarcastic about the staff, because my experiences have been that the staff are pretty impatient with customers. However, the roast beef sandwich is excellent! They toast it on their panini press which takes foreverrrr but it tastes delicious.

        The main problem with the place is their selection SUCKS after 2 pm-I've been in several times because I live around the corner, and the only times they have a decent selection of sandwiches and pastries is the morning/early afternoon. Also, the chocolate cake that they claim is "flourless" is disgusting. Don't waste your money!

        1. re: Jess321

          I was not being sarcastic. However, I have had better baguettes. That said, I would not return only on the basis of their kind greetings.

    2. OMG this is so Goddamn depressing.

      The original made the best croissants in NYC- and I was waiting with baited-breath for the new incarnation.

      Why does everything I like turn to shit?

      1 Reply
      1. re: twan55

        Fret not, twan55. I picked up a chocolate-almond croissant this morning from FPB and it was quite good. The textures were spot on (crispy on the outside, soft & moist inside) and the flavors of each component really came through. I'd rank them a close second to La Bergamote's croissants.

        I've also tried their orange-blossom doughnuts filled w/ vanilla custard/pastry cream. The pastry cream was fantastic, but the texture of the doughnut base was a bit off. It was tough and missing the airy & chewy interior that I normally look for in a good doughnut.

        As for their baguettes, I found them depressingly dull. The crust was a pale blond and the overall baguette was lacking in any flavor and personality. I think I'll stick w/ their croissants next time.

        ps - I thought the staff was genuinely nice and helpful. No qualms there.