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Oct 31, 2012 08:19 AM

Does P-L have a 4th store in Carmel or just the 3 in Monterey? [split from SF]

Does P-L have a 4th store in Carmel or just the 3 in Monterey?

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  1. PL is only in Monterey. The two in downtown Monterey are very close to one another. The Munras St. store is larger and the original; the Hartnell St. location is much smaller. Hartnell store is also more difficult to park, it's across from the Post Office and Restaurant 1833.

    We have stayed in Carmel and Pacific Grove as well as on Cannery Row. Just as easy to get to PL from Carmel and PG; the Munras location is relatively near the freeway. In fact, we're going down there next week for another 3-day trip. PL's quiches are killer good: we get the 8" size (advance order only) and bring 'em home. First time we had one of their mini-quiches in 2010, it restored our faith in this fabulous food after so many increasingly bad versions elsewhere.

    Parker Lusseau, BTW, is not a bakery for bread loaves. It's pretty much just croissants, cakes, cookies, quiches and a few sandwiches.

    7 Replies
    1. re: jaiko

      #2 - Parker-Lusseau bakery in Carmel.
      Was worried that folks would be confused about where to find P-L
      P.S. I was not that impressed by their apple galette, fig tart and kouign amann especially the latter which was as dense as some of the locals.

      1. re: wolfe

        ?? What location of PL are you finding in Carmel? They only have Munras & Hartnell in Monterey, & Bishop Ranch's Ragsdale Drive.

        1. re: jaiko

          I was trying to correct an impression that I received from a previous post that P-L had a store in Carmel.
          #2 - Parker-Lusseau bakery in Carmel. Several times a year we drive 120 miles there and then back again. We order when we arrive and when we leave, pick up enough to fill an ice chest.
          Does this look familiar?

          1. re: wolfe

            Yes, that's my error that I accidentally listed PL as in Carmel rather than Monterey (my bad, our hotel last time was in Carmel). But your post was interesting because contrary to your experience, we have found their fruit-topped kouign amann to be far superior to anything we've had from the bakeries up here.

        2. re: wolfe

          Well, I just tried the plain kouign amann. In the world of KA's, this one is below average. Unlike the other pastries at P-L, this was butter deficient and low on lamination. It's also not salty enough and had just a tiny bit of caramel. If I hadn't been told it was a kouign amann, you could have fooled me. I'll pass.

          Oh, now they are available at both the Hartnell and Munras locations every day.

          The almond croissant was very good this time. And this try of the cannele confirms it as my favorite thing here.

        3. re: jaiko

          "...not a bakery for bread..."

          yup, Patisserie vs Boulangerie

          1. re: Melanie Wong

            We're not sandwich people, so can't report on that. We were down in the area Nov 8-10th with some friends. Put in our order to Parker-Lusseau as soon as we arrived, then picked everything up the next day as we were heading home. We bought:

            - a dozen plain croissants, which we will finish off today (making one a breakfast croissant, the other eaten with butter and jam)
            - four 9" quiches: one Lorraine, one oven roasted tomato and goat cheese (these two are menu regulars) and two of chorizo-corn weekly special. We were lucky; he changes out the quiches on Saturday so we got our order in just under the wire. He had to check to be sure he had enough chorizo on hand, in fact. The chorizo was superb, the corn fresh-cut off the cob. All were perfect, custardy and creamy with that great butter pastry.
            - three apple tarts. Crisp puff pastry very thin, topped with thin-sliced, delicious apples. Soooo good, better that most tart tartins we've had.

            Our friends sprang for a custard-filled brioche roll to eat on the spot for a snack. They said it was absolutely luscious, the best breakfast roll they'd ever had. They also bought a pkg of thin, crisp, rectangular gingersnaps. Once we were inside the car, I asked how she liked them, and she said she hadn't opened the plastic bag yet! Just that one little bag filled the car's interior with the scent of ginger; it was pretty amazing.

            You have to pre-order the big quiches; they don't have any but the minis on display.

          2. Mom and I headed to the Ryan Ranch outpost of P-L two weeks ago in search of kouign amann. Located in an office park, it's small but has outdoor seating on a patio facing a lovely hillside view. Sadly, no kouign amann here. I was told this location does not get any.

            Instead we tried the spinach croissant,
            and almond croissant, taking seats outdoors.

            The style seems to favor a crusty dark bake here. These two pastries taste good, not stinting on butter, but didn't have the lamination that croissant dough should exhibit.

            Best item was actually a canele that I bought to go.

            While the croissant-based pastries can't compete with San Francisco's best, the canele beats La Boulange's handily and comes close to the example at Boulette's Larder.

            [P.S. And that's RYAN Ranch, not Bishop Ranch.]

            4 Replies
            1. re: Melanie Wong

              Kouign Amanns are only available at the Hartnell location AFAIK. I agree their caneles are great.

              1. re: PattyC

                Thanks, the Ryan Ranch store seems mostly set up for coffee breaks and lunch for the office set. The P-L delivery van pulled up with a few trays of pre-made tartines when we were there.

                It's funny how pastries go in and out of fashion. Six years ago we were on the hunt for canele, and I managed to be in Bordeaux during that time and tried several there too. Now we're gaga over kouign amann.

                Happy to have you back on the Central Coast and look forward to reading about your latest eating adventures!

                1. re: Melanie Wong

                  Thanks, Melanie! I found out the Munras location also has kouign amann on Fridays and Saturdays. I think my second favorite pastry here after their canele is their apple galette. They also make an excellent galette des rois though I was too late this year to get one.

              2. re: Melanie Wong

                Thursday we had an appointment in Ryan Ranch . . . and I took the opportunity to stop by P-L's small cafe here again. Now this location does get the kouign amann.

                This second try was better with more lamination and butter. But still lacking in salt and caramel for me. I prefer the croissants here.