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Best Croissants?

c
chowdahhead Feb 16, 2012 08:45 PM

Hey y'all,
Was curious where to find the best plain, buttery croissants in town?

Best I've had so far has been from Quack's Bakery in Hyde Park (purchased at Medici). Boîte was recommended but underwhelmed. Where else should I check out?

  1. popvulture Feb 17, 2012 12:12 AM

    Barrie Cullinan makes the best croissants in town, in my opinion. They're really buttery and flaky, plus she also makes chocolate ones. I stick to the original type.

    She supplies several locations around town (Antonelli's, Vespaio, countless others) with her baked goods, but the word for a while is that she's been planning her own physical location. A friend of mine whom I shouldn't name on here told me that she's cutting back on orders, so I think it's happening soon. Fingers crossed!

    The croissants are amazing, yes. But try the A.M. buns. Ughhhhhh can't wait til they're more freely available.

    6 Replies
    1. re: popvulture
      c
      ciliegia Feb 25, 2012 10:41 AM

      I totally agree with you. I also love her almond croissants, because you can freeze them since I'm not that close to downtown and I like to stock up for the week.

      Well, it's official - she has stopped selling them to La Boite and other restaurants. I sure hope she sells them somewhere soon, as I'm totally addicted to them.

      1. re: ciliegia
        chispa_c Feb 26, 2012 07:01 AM

        Antonelli's Cheese Shop's latest newsletter said she was working on opening her own bakery. They now get their breads from Easy Tiger.

        1. re: chispa_c
          hlk Feb 26, 2012 01:07 PM

          Sad her stuff isn't available at other sites anymore, but excited for her own place to open. Those croissants are pretty fantastic. And hooray for Austin getting some solid bakeries!

      2. re: popvulture
        a
        akachochin Mar 19, 2012 07:31 PM

        As noted below, Barrie has stopped supplying several locations with wholesale and, presumably, it is for the purpose of opening her retail operation. Has anyone found a trace of her retail plans, presence, or offerings?

        I find an old architectural rendering of the inside of a store and various posts about her aspirations, but nothing concrete.

        Any news?

        1. re: akachochin
          chispa_c Mar 20, 2012 08:38 AM

          Check out www.amitybakery.com

          No mention of new retail space that I can find but you can sign up for her newsletter and purchase her products for pick up.

          1. re: chispa_c
            a
            akachochin Mar 26, 2012 06:27 AM

            Thanks,
            I looked a couple of weeks ago and her website had not then been updated. This looks like quite a hassle and is a far cry from what I had hope for when "retail" was mentioned.

            Given the other comments re croissants around town, I thought I'd throw in my developing impressions. This past Saturday, after my morning taco, and finding it was too early for the Republic Sq. farmer's market, I stopped by Easy Tiger and Elizabeth St. and picked up a plain croissant from each. For that sample and my taste, the Easy Tiger croissant was better. It had a lighter texture, better developed layers, and good crispness. By contrast, the Elizabeth St. example was heavier, with much less distinct layering, with a crisp but quite hard outer crust; perhaps the overuse of a glaze or more sugar in the dough. (The ES croissant was distinctly sweeter)

            I have not been out to B et C early enough to make a direct comparison of their croissants, but thought the ones I have had around noon were well made.

            I've got a couple of early meetings this week and intend to try the experiment again.

      3. c
        Carter B. Feb 17, 2012 04:57 AM

        Elizabeth St. Cafe has had great pastries including croissants. I have not had a croissant from Easy Tiger but their pain chocolate was great and I suspect their croissant is too. Note at both these places I got them by 9:00am and I suspect they only make a morning batch. A 3pm croissant is not nearly as good.

        Also, if you've the need for a brunch party the William Sonoma croissants (online only) are worth their $3/each price tag.

        1. s
          Steven Dilley Feb 17, 2012 05:52 AM

          The croissants at La Boite are the same croissants popvulture mentions from Barrie Cullinan. I love them, esp the almond version.

          1. f
            fduran Feb 17, 2012 07:11 AM

            You might want to give it another try to the La Boite croissants (made by Barrie Cullinan) as they are one of the best in town (not the best in the world but in comparison to the rest you will find in Austin they are pretty good and made with real european style butter). If you don't mind the driving, go to Baguette et Chocolate in Bee Caves, that is a french bakery and is pretty good for Croissants and other french goodies (you have to go kind of early though as they sometimes run out of things even though I've not been there in a while).

            There are really not many places for good croissants in Austin AFAIK.

            1. Joe MacBu Feb 17, 2012 10:31 AM

              I find Barrie's croissants to be too chewy (overworked gluten?) and greasy. Buttery is one thing, but it seems like these croissants are leaking the butter from the layers. However, I don't doubt that they could be the best in town, unfortunately.

              Easy Tiger's croissants are inconsistent and need work. The ones I've tried have been too dense - they really seem amateurish right now. Their pain au chocolate usually looks better, but I haven't tried one yet.

              Village Baking Co. at the Barton Creek Mall farmers market has some good looking croissants.

              Almond croissants are pretty hard to screw up. They were created as a way to use up stale croissants, so the structure of the original croissant is less of an issue. You can basically take any croissant from a mediocre bakery and make it into very good almond croissant.

              1 Reply
              1. re: Joe MacBu
                s
                Steven Dilley Feb 24, 2012 10:45 AM

                I missed this earlier. With respect to almond croissants, I disagree. A mediocre croissant is a mediocre croissant. A mediocre croissant loaded with Christine Ferber's finest or piled with Joselito Gran Reserva or turned into an almond croissant might be more palatable, but it's still a mediocre croissant. Much like a Katz's pastrami sandwich is awesome, despite being served on crappy bread (and would be even better served on something decent).

              2. MattC02 Feb 17, 2012 11:08 AM

                +1 for Baguette et Chocolat

                1. r
                  Rptrane Feb 17, 2012 07:28 PM

                  I like Upper Crust bakery, good stuff. There is a place in Pflugerville with a French name also has good pastry.

                  1. s
                    Steven Dilley Feb 24, 2012 10:38 AM

                    FWIW, it looks like La Boite has switched to Elizabeth St Cafe for pastries, including croissants.

                    1. chispa_c Feb 24, 2012 01:44 PM

                      Another vote for Baguette et Chocolat.

                      Getting there past noon will probably leave you empty handed. These are the type of croissants that explode with flakey goodness towards the ends and melt in your mouth toward the center. You can see virtually every layer of dough too. Worth the time/drive imo.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: chispa_c
                        l
                        Lotus7 Feb 24, 2012 09:20 PM

                        i just love baguette et chocolat's pastries. i think their croissants are excellent--all varieties.

                      2. slowcoooked Feb 26, 2012 06:49 AM

                        Perhaps not in the closest of relevance to the original thread, the warm ham or turkey with cheese croissants at Quack's that sell out usually by 11 a.m. are my favorite in austin. One would probably not be advised to eat one every morning, they're pretty caloric, but yummy and filling.

                        1. a
                          AlexH1980 Mar 19, 2012 05:20 PM

                          Upper Crust Bakery on Burnet has good plain croissants. Not the authentic kind you find in Paris, but a good American Texan subspecies, nevertheless. Using the same croissant dough, they make sausage rolls (with really fat, greasy sausage and anise or caraway seeds!) and a mysterious thing called Texas Croissant - it is amazing. It's an oversized croissant filled with jalapenos and cheese and what seems to be picallilly or mustard sauce. It's all cheesy, melty, and pizza-y. It blows your mind. One's big enough to share among two people.

                          1. mevans4aus Mar 20, 2012 09:50 AM

                            Not trendy, but my favorite, is from Cheddar's, with honey butter, 3 for 1.99

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