Boubouki - Amazing Homemade Greek Pastries at Essex Street Market
**For full post and pics**: http://www.lauhound.com/2012/03/boubo...
Essex Street Market is one of my favorite places in the Lower Eastside. It’s a closed air market with all sorts of mom and pop vendors. This is something that you do not really find in Manhattan, it’s very unique and reminds me of something you might find in Asia or Europe.
There are several vendors here such as Shopsin’s (restaurant), Roni Sue’s (chocolate shop) and Saxeby Cheesemongers (cheese shop) that serve great product and I plan on writing about all of them over time. However, my first post is going to be on Boubouki, which is probably my favorite vendor in Essex Street Market.
Boubouki is a tiny stall that is basically just a kitchen that is probably 10x10 at biggest. The owner is the only employee and she specializes in various Greek pastries. She is very nice and you can tell how much care is put into all of her wares and everything is baked fresh daily.
Here’s what I’ve tried:
- Spanakopita: This was a savory pastry made of phyllo dough filled with chopped spinach and feta cheese. The phyllo dough was nicely crispy and the filling was great, the combo of spinach and feta went really well together. I got it reasonably fresh and I’d imagine this would be really amazing straight out of the over. Overall, while this was a simple pastry it was really good. 8.5/10
- Pear Cake: I really like pear desserts, so this was something I knew I was going to like. It’s a simple cake with pears baked into the bottom of it and powdered sugar on top. I thought the cake would be dense, but instead had a wonderful spongy consistency that was very moist and slightly crispy on the outside. It was sweet, but not overly sweet and the pear and powdered sugar paired perfectly. This was one of the better pastries I’ve had in a long time. 8.75/10
- Baklava: While I like baklava, it often ends up being a very sweet, sticky and heavy mess (maybe I just don’t know where to buy it). However, the version here is different. While it is sweet from the honey, it’s not too sweet and the honey is nicely liquid-y and not a sticky mess. The phyllo dough was so good; it was light, flaky and delicious and the ground nut mixture was delicious as well. This was probably the best baklava I’ve ever tried. 8.75/10
- Almond Cookie: The cookie was nicely crunchy, the chopped almonds complemented it well and the powdered sugar was the perfect complement to the cookie. While it was very simple, it was quite good. 8/10
- Carrot Cake: This was not your normal American carrot cake. It was more like banana bread except with carrots. It had a spiced flavor similar to normal carrot cake, but it was lighter and not as dense. I thought this was excellent. 8.5/10
Overall, I really like this place and I’m looking forward to trying more of her pastries.
120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
I concur with Lau, as usual. The spanakopita at Boubouki is the best I've ever had, and indeed, if you happen to get there when it's coming out of the oven, that's a really transcendent experience. You can also tell how good it is by how many of her neighboring vendors come by for a slice or one of her other treats.
re: Elliott Hurwitt
Thanks for this, Lau. Not to take this too far off-topic, but have you checked out a new Essex Street vendor called Ni Japanese Deli? I know about it only because Boubouki posted a pic of Ni on its Facebook page. Yelp and other online mentions sound promising.
Ni Japanese Deli
120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002
re: squid kun
i've seen it b/c its literally the stall next to boubouki, but i hadn't tried anything there
i looked at it one day b/c i was curious about it since it's japanese (one of my favorite types of food), but it looked like very vegan / organic type of deal which i usually am not that fond of. However, one of the yelp reviews said she made a roll with smoked mackerel so i guess i was wrong about the vegan part