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Really good bakeries?

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A friend with a major sweet tooth is celebrating a significant life event in NOLA on the first of Dec. We are hosting a dessert and Champagne party for him that evening, and need recommendations for wonderful bakeries to buy goodies. La Boulangerie and Angelo Bracato's are on my list; where else? He likes all sweet things, but really loves fruit based yummies. TIA!

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  1. Gracious Bakery is turning out fantastic things right now: http://graciousbakery.com/
    It's on Jeff Davis, in the Woodward building next to the old Coca Cola factory.

    Maple Street Patisserie, 7638 Maple, offers a solid array of fruit tarts, small pastries, and cakes. IMHO, best petit fours in town.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Hungry Celeste

      Thanks, Celeste! I will check out both, and of course, report back later.

    2. I have never been there, but I’ve had some of their stuff at events around town- Maurice’s. The stuff I’ve had has been sensational. Also, I love some of the stuff at Norma’s Bakery, two locations- one in Kenner and the other in Mid-City. Very reasonably priced too.

      3 Replies
      1. re: shanefink

        Thanks! We will probably use this celebration as an opportunity to check out multiple bakeries, so keep the suggestions coming. it's a tough job, but someone's gotta do it...lol!

        1. re: Niki in Dayton

          I can't help but have some input here and am so glad I read it to put in my .02.
          Try Dorignac's Supermarket on Veterans Blvd. Their bakery dept is top notch. If the
          person is from N.O.LA, you might want to consider getting some buttermilk drops. They
          taste better than ones at McKenzies. The elephant ears are good. Petit fours outfrigginstanding. Turtles not all that great. The cakes look great, but have not tried
          them. Really give it a look over and please don't snoot at it.

          1. re: ilikeNOLA

            I'm never one to snoot at a bargain! That's what brought me to chowhound to begin with; finding those wonderful, inexpensive, hole-in-the-wall type places. I will definitely check out Dorignac's.

      2. Hey just thought of another local place for bakery...Bread on Oak or something like that. Really good but limited hours. Something like Fridays and Saturdays only.

        10 Replies
        1. re: ilikeNOLA

          Breads on Oak:

          http://www.breadsonoak.com/index.html

          Open Thursday through Sunday. I'm not sure it would be a top choice to please a sweet tooth, but they do some things in that direction,

          1. re: Gizmo56

            Maple Street Pastisserie always get my vote. I was just there Sat. visiting Ziggy. Dorgnacs has always been excellent. Havve not been to Gracious yet

            1. re: Gizmo56

              Thanks; we plan to serve cheeses as well as desserts, and some good bread (plus whatever else looks good) will be a nice addition.

              1. re: Niki in Dayton

                Cheese: St. James Cheese Company on Magazine, Langenstein's on Arabella or Metairie Road.

                Bakeries: Whole Food and Dorignac's both have fabulous Italian cream fruit tarts that I love. Also look into Frances' bakery on Vets, the aforementioned Maurice's, Sucre on Magazine and if you want to take a ride, Zoe's on West 32nd Avenue in Covington.

                Chocolates: Blue Frog Chocolates on Magazine

                1. re: TaTee

                  St. James is at 5004 Prytania.

                  1. re: uptownlibrarian

                    Thanks!

                    1. re: uptownlibrarian

                      Thanks for the correction, Uptown.

                      As an aside, St. James Cheese Company co- owner, Danielle Sutton, was one of the ten women honored today as a City Business Woman of the Year.

                    2. re: TaTee

                      No to Sucre. Desserts look good but do not deliver, much like WF.

                      1. re: JazzyB

                        I agree and their prices are outrageous. I got a small gelato last time I was there and I was surprised that it was very good. But I'd still prefer Angelo Brocato's for better pastries and better prices.

                        As for Maurice's, we've been going there for many years. Before Katrina it was good, after they reopened on Napoleon in Metairie, it never seemed very good and the selection was always minimal. Since they reopened the original place by the mall, we've been twice and it just keeps slipping. On top of that the last time we were there the girl waiting on us was so rude. We're done with Maurice.

                        1. re: texasredtop

                          I like their almond kugelhopf. Although Martin's carries a selection, I prefer to pick it up fresh from Maurice's. The only thing I've had from Gracious is their baguette, which is inferior to La Boulangerie's.

              2. Sucre.

                1. cake cafe on Spain in the Bywater

                  1. By the way, La Boulangerie has made some real upgrades lately. They now have an espresso machine so you don’t have to get your coffee somewhere else. They also have gelato, but I haven’t tried it yet. The baked goods are as good as ever.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: shanefink

                      Good to hear. I love New Orleans, but the coffee culture is not at the same level as the food and other drink...would love to see that improve!

                      1. re: Niki in Dayton

                        Wouldn't we all . . . .

                      2. re: shanefink

                        I'll be there in three weeks and if they are closed AGAIN I'm going to scream. I'm dying to try it.

                      3. And the winner was....Maple St Patisserie! Full disclosure, we did not check out Gracious Bakery or some of the other suggestions as the traffic, what with the roads torn up to build the new streetcar, proved a bit daunting. We did go to Dorignacs after lunch at Mondo (more about that in a new thread), as well as La Boulangerie, but Maple St had lots of small and delicious finger-food size pastries, so we quit looking at that point, and just returned there Saturday morning to buy. The proprieter gave us lagniappes of the molten chocolate bites, but our favorites were the petit fours and the teensy cream puffs. The warm apple muffin with cinnamin chips that we had for breakfast Saturday was the best.muffin.ever!

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: Niki in Dayton

                          I am trying to establish how the French pastries in NOLA compare to what you can find in Paris at places like Pierre Herme, Pain de Sucre, or even Stohrer. I am not trying to disparage NOLA's bakeries, but I am trying to learn more about the style that these shops aspire to.

                          I live in Boston and travel regularly to Montreal and New York. For the most part I don't think any of these cities have pastries that match those in Paris. That does not mean I don't enjoy them on their own terms, but I don't expect to find truly exceptional products.

                          That said in North America I can enjoy a well-prepared fruit tart with a delicate flaky buttery crust. Although rarely found in Boston or NY they can be located in Montreal.

                          1. re: VivreManger

                            We don't have anything remotely close to Herme or Stohrer. Sucre tries for the "looks" of a high end patisserie (with lavish packaging, highly styled & visually appealing items), but too often the flavors just aren't there, and the product (at least at the Lakeside location) isn't always fresh.

                            Fruit tart fans might want to check out Chez Pierre in Kenner; lovely to look at, usually w/kiwi, strawberry, blueberry toppings and pastry cream, though the actual crust is a bit on the sturdy side.

                            And, to my taste, the best baguette in town (right now) is at Breads on Oak.

                          2. re: Niki in Dayton

                            Glad you had a good results with my favorite bakery. Ziggy and Pattie treats you like family, not customers. That makes them special. Come back soon Niki-Jimz

                          3. Next time you come, Shake Sugary (http://www.facebook.com/pages/Shake-S...) is also worth a look