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Crumble and Flake

Just curious to know if people have been to Crumble and Flake yet and if so, what are your favorite items? I didn't see any threads on this when I searched -- sorry if this is a duplicate.

I went last week and was able to try the chocolate croissant, the yuzu/raspberry macaron, chocolate, black pepper, and strawberry jam macaron, and the coconut cream puff. The macarons weren't all that spectacular to me, but were still good. I preferred the chocolate black pepper over the yuzu raspberry. I liked the chocolate croissant (but I like all chocolate croissants). The coconut cream puff was by far my favorite out of the items I snagged. There was some crusty sweet stuff baked onto the top of the cream puff and it wasn't too eggy, which is the part I usually don't like about pate a choux. The coconut cream filling was incredible -- rich and light at the same time, and sweet but not overly sweet.

I was disappointed that I didn't get there in time to get the elusive kouign amann. I'll have to wake up earlier next time. Has anyone been able to try it? Is there anywhere else in the Seattle area that makes the kouign amann?

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  1. Honore makes kouign amann and it is killer.

    1. I have not yet gotten up early enough to go myself; the one day I tried (at 9am), they were already sold out/closed. But last week my boyfriend went to get something to take his professors and he picked up a couple of plain croissants for us -- his reasoning being we should start with the basics (I like his reasoning...but had it been me I'd have picked up plain croissants AND, well, pretty much everything else I could get my hands on. Ha!).
      They were very good -- flaky and buttery -- but not as good as Besalu at its best.

      They told him the kouign amann typically sell out in the first 30 min. I had one at Honore once, but it was very late in the day (close to 2pm probably?) and I wasn't all that impressed but am sure that they're probably much better when they're fresher.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Bax

        it's worth going back for the kouign amann. c&f is arguably the best bakery in seattle.

      2. I've had his apricot scone and a fig/olive tapenade roll, both of which were fantastic.

        1. Bakery Nouveau's kouign amann is huge and gooey, a real indulgence. C&F's was small and delicate, about four bites and not really big enough to have a gooey center. I much prefer the indulgence.

          2 Replies
          1. re: babette feasts

            Bakery Nouveau makes kouign amann?? I've never seen it! Or else, I just get distracted by the beautiful twice-baked almond croissants whenever I'm there... I must look out for the kouign amann the next time I'm down at the Junction. I am looking for an indulgence, for sure.

            1. re: calmossimo

              I was in there this morning and didn't see any, so if you are making a special trip just for kouign amann, maybe call ahead.

          2. The cheddar paprika croissant is amazing. It's not a croissant with cheese in it. The cheddar and paprika are in the dough and it is so intensely savory and delicious. The cream puff is also outstanding. I had it with the coconut cream and it was unlike any other cream puff I've ever had. Delicious. The plain croissant is good but try the cheddar paprika. It's outstanding. The scone wasn't a hit with me. It was good but I like a dryer more crumbly scone.

            1. Been there a couple of times and yes, it's real good for the variety of items I've tried.
              The best?
              I can't say that.
              The most expensive?
              Real glad there is another fine bakery here and wish them all the luck.
              But pricey!

              1. I finally made it! Had to take my car in today so was up early enough (stopped at C&F BEFORE car shop; I have priorities!). Alas, the last kouign amann walked out the door 2 customers ahead of us. Sigh. I really wanted to try the cheddar/paprika croissant but there weren't any out so I was prepared to try the fig/olive roll instead. BUT! It pays to ask -- my boyfriend did so and sure enough there were several trays cooling and we got the first ones from that batch, still warm. Oh my! Flaky outsides, with occasional little extra cheesy bits that baked crisp at the bottom. The inside was practically gooey even tho', as amyh18 noted, the cheese is in the dough and not an actual cheese filling. It was very good, and my boyfriend (who is not all that "foodie") liked it even better than I did.

                We also got 2 black currant macarons (which we haven't eaten yet) and 2 cream puffs, vanilla for him and coconut for me. Both were yummy, tho' I preferred the richer, slightly denser vanilla (I only had a tiny lick of filling, tho'). The coconut was, as calmossimo said, both rich and light and I really liked the crunchy top (unusual and GOOD).

                I really wanted to try more -- fig/olive roll, choc. chip cookie, the other flavors of cream puff (chocolate, passionfruit), other flavors of macaron, etc. but I didn't want to be a pig! So. Some other time.

                My only real criticism is yeah, it's expensive. Even given the quality of the product. Those cream puffs (for example) are SMALL. I mean, I think they're actually a good serving size, considering the richness & sweetness. It was very satisfying at the size it is. But definitely small for the price. C&F is for sure a splurge, both economically and calorically.

                Still -- it's nice to have a high-quality bakery on the Hill! If only I could wander in any time of day....

                1. Wow, that Times review talks about lines of 30-40 people stretching down the block, and being sold out by 11 am? That sounds daunting.

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: christy319

                    A friend put on facebook that she was there 45 minutes before opening and was 8th in line. I can't handle the Nordstrom's Half-Yearly sale...no way I'm making it here.

                    1. re: ethereal

                      We were there at 7:45 Friday morning and I think there were, oh, 3 or so people in line ahead of us (and the line moved quickly), and a few more behind us. But it wasn't crazy (I've waited longer at Besalu).

                      It was really good, but I wouldn't wait 45 min. for it!

                      1. re: Bax

                        I was there around 9am on a Thursday morning and there were three people in line ahead of us, but not that many options left in the case -- I purchased four different items, but there were probably only about 6-7 additional options if I'd wanted to try one of everything that was available (including the other cream puff flavors).

                        I agree with others about it being a little pricey for size/quality. Although the items are a decent serving size, and the ones I tried were quite good, they weren't over-the-top good and don't warrant the prices.

                        ...but I still might go back for a coconut cream puff. And to try new items... but I probably wouldn't spend money again on the ones I had this first time (chocolate croissant, macarons...).

                        1. re: calmossimo

                          My boyfriend really enjoyed his black currant macaron, but I thought it was just ok. I liked it more as I ate it (seemed fruitier as I went along) but it was a little too sweet for me. Plus the salted caramel macarons I used to get at Essence Bakery in Tempe, AZ were so mind-blowingly good that I have high expectations (I just wish I'd tried macarons in France so I could compare those).

                          I'd potentially try other C&F macaron flavors, tho'.

                          1. re: Bax

                            I was fortunate enough to study abroad in Paris about 10 years ago and La Duree was my first introduction to macarons. I don't know if I'm just romanticizing it in my head, but I've never had anything that even comes close to those macarons since then.

                            I wish I'd known about kouign amann then so I could have tried some when visiting Bretagne.

                  2. I was in the neighborhood for a doctor's appointment this morning, so I decided to take a shot. It was 9:30 so I didn't expect they'd have much left, and I was right--only some macarons. I'm no expert--I've only had these, and some from Bakery Nouveau, and I don't really know what the Platonic ideal of macarons is supposed to be like--but I thought these were only okay. They were softer and less crispy, and even sweeter--overwhelmingly so--than Bakery Nouveau's. I'm not going to judge on just that one item--I'll try them again if I'm ever in the neighborhood early enough (which isn't often). I'm reminding myself that I didn't think Salumi was worth all the hype and the long lines the first time I went there, but it grew on me. But my first visit was a bit underwhelming.

                    1. If I'm right near there I will go back, however I certainly won't go out of my way and risk finding they are sold out.
                      Note to owner: I understand creating a "buzz" i.e "OMG I had to get there and stand in line because it's so good" - but now you've got the buzz. How about some production! I don't get it. Won't you make more money if you produce more of what is popular?

                      4 Replies
                        1. re: dagrassroots

                          The dilemma of success and I wish him the best!
                          But I still won't go out of my way so he will get his wish of being a neighborhood place - at least for me.

                          1. re: JayDK

                            Honore has better macarons, fo sho.

                        2. re: JayDK

                          Maybe they like the life and community more than the money.
                          When this sort of life doesn't work for us, we are definitely invited to stop going there. This simple tack will elevate the average happiness of the room, which works for us all.

                        3. I actually wasn't very impressed. we had several things, including the plain croissant and some of the sweet stuff, but we had to wait close to an hour, for a line that was only 15 people long. I think it's great to have a bakery in the hood, but it's faster to drive to West Seattle, wait in the line at Bakery Nouveau and then drive back (Plus, you can get actual bread at BN). It might be different on the weekdays, but it's nuts on the weekend. If I were walking by, there were no line, and I wanted something sweet, I'd definitely stop in, but it's just not worth the trip in my opinion. That said, I'm not really a huge cream puff person, so if that's there specialty, than maybe that's why I was disappointed.

                          I have seen kouign amann at Bakery Nouveau as well, but it's a specialty item, I think they only make it during certain times of the year.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: BuffaloBandit

                            Have you tried the eclair at Le Fournil?
                            If I didn't care what I look like I'd eat one every day!

                            1. re: JayDK

                              No I haven't... I'll have to check it out this weekend!

                            2. re: BuffaloBandit

                              Arrived 8:35 am this morning (Saturday). Got a parking space right in front of C&F. Unfolded a chair and waited until opening, 7th in line. This is a very unpleasant place to wait. Lots of construction trucks laboring up the hill spewing fumes. When the door opened at 9 am, there were about 22 people in line.

                              Of the things I bought, I have so far tried the plain croissant (the ultimate test) and the lemon/blueberry scone.

                              First, the croissant: I ate the first one as is, sitting in my car, with a cup of their good drip coffee. The croissant was very good. Nice flavor, reasonably crispy on the outside. As for the "flake" from their name, my lap had a lot fewer flakes than I'd hope for from a perfect croissant. Eating a croissant from Besalu or Fuji, I'd be covered with flakes unless I was very careful. I also felt there was a very slight greasiness to the surface. Some people like this heavy butter feel. I don't particularly.

                              Overall, I'd put this croissant among the best in Seattle, but a clear notch behind Besalu and Fuji. With Besalu, and Fuji when it reopens in the fall, I wouldn't wait again for C&F. Note: It's a long time since I've tried the other popular croissant places, so I won't compare C&F to anyone else..

                              The scone was tasty but also the smallest scone I've ever seen. It was light, which was nice, but a bit underbaked, which was not.

                              I have not yet tried the kouign amann I bought for someone who likes these pastries. I don't, even the ones I had fresh out of the oven in Brittany. Too sweet for my taste.I didn't even buy a macaron, for the same reason. I leave it for lovers of kouign amann and macarons to judge those.

                              1. re: RandyB

                                Is it time to start another thread for croissants in Seattle?
                                I've had Crumble's, Besalu, Bakery Nouveau but not many others and it might be nice to get the current buzz, info and wait times.

                            3. I finally made it here. It seems like the initial craziness has died down; I went on Thursday at 11:15 and there was plenty left in the case and no one else was there. Their website tells what times/days are very busy, and which aren't. They also explain that they are producing as much as they can in that space.

                              I tried the blood orange macarons and chocolate caramel macarons, and they are the best I've ever had in the US. We go to Paris every year and I used to be a macaron fanatic (before I burned out--they're really too sweet for me anymore). The macarons at C&F are on par with Fauchon, Laduree, or Herme. While they don't have the selection of these places (a lot of those flavors at Herme don't work anyway, and the super bright food coloring used at Laduree is kind of scary), they are absolutely as good. I'm not super impressed with other macarons in Seattle that people seem to like--Bakery Nouveau's or Honore's--but these, THESE were something. Highly recommended.

                              I liked the filled to order cream puffs (though what was the crumbly stuff on the outside of the pastry? I shoved these into my mouth while driving and couldn't investigate) and also the apricot stilton scone. The cream puffs were a bit big and messy, but it's just personal preference that I prefer them smaller.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: christy319

                                What would you say the texture of the macarons in France is? I've had a few recently that were too gooey for me - I prefer a little chewiness - but I found myself wondering what the "authentic" texture is. Can you please try to describe the Fauchon/Herme/Laduree Parisian ideal?

                                1. re: babette feasts

                                  You probably could start a war - Chowhound style - on the France board with that question about authenticity, Babette.

                                  1. re: babette feasts

                                    C&F nailed the texture--that was the first thing I noticed. (In fact I gave some to my husband and that was his first comment too. He was never the macaron fiend I used to be, but due to association he's had way more macarons than he ever wanted). In fact these are the only macarons I've ever had in the US where I bit in to it and thought, that's it. They got it right. I don't know if I can actually describe the texture. NOT brittle (ugh, that's the worst, I'm talking about you, Le Panier), not hard, not really chewy, in fact, probably more melt in your mouth than anything. But that's probably too strong because you do have to chew.

                                    My big question is, are they ALWAYS this good at C&F? I guess only multiple visits will tell.

                                    1. re: christy319

                                      Well that was vague! But thanks for trying :)