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Expensive and Ugly looking French Pastries at 'Patisserie La Cigogne!

Yes!! I should have stick to my normal routine and get my French Pastries from Rahier instead!!

However, whats done is done and I can only treat my purchase at La Cigogne as a future warning!!

Since I love fruit tarts and La Cigogne's Pear Sabayon and Apple tart were the only non-berries one available in the vicinity, I bought a couple, even though they looked esthetically unappealing and at $5.95 each, pretty expensive!!

Worse still was the taste! Both pastries were way overly sweet! Ranging from the almond butter shortbread crust to the fruit fillings. To make matters worse they were smothered in excessive sticky syrup. Though the Pear tart was acceptable, the Apple tart was a total disaster!! Mushy apple that has the consistency of apple sauce, it lacked the taste of apple and tasted more like 'prunes'!! A very strong bitter and tannic aftertaste rounded off one of the worse French Pastry experience in a long time!!

I will be heading down to try the new "Mon K Patisserie" on Coxwall next week. Hope the products' worth the drive??!!

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  1. Photos of the two tarts: ( sorry! took a bite! )

    1. Yo Charles Try the baking at Dolce Minho, 2009 Dufferin St, less than $2 a piece, and tell us what you think.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

        Wow!! $2 for good pastries?!! Thanks VV!!! I'll find time to discover!

        1. re: Charles Yu

          FYI, Charles, Doce Minho (please note correct spelling if you're looking to google it) is a wonderful Portuguese bakery. So the pastry styles there will be different than a traditional French bakery. They make excellent pasteis de natas and I order their pasteis de bacalhau by the dozens. :o)

          1. re: TorontoJo

            Thanks TorontoJo! Love Portuguese tarts!! Had some pretty nice ones over the years especially in Macau!

            1. re: Charles Yu

              And the address is 2189 Dufferin, halfway between Eglinton and Rogers. It's next to a small park and you can park in the lot across the street.

              1. re: TorontoJo

                Here are my directions. Keep going south on Dufferin. DM is on a south-east corner, I don't now the name of the side street, I do it by feel. DM is across the street from the big park, south side. The small park is north of the big park. You will recognize the place. A big sign says Doce Minho.
                There are a few parking spots on the street beside the building, a couple legal; I usually park on the pavement beside the building.
                Gee, there is actually more legal parking?

                1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                  Yep, there is an entire parking lot directly across from the entrance.

            2. re: TorontoJo

              TorontoJo. I was trying to hide the ball. If it comes from me, it is either cheap or good and usually both.
              My favourite at Doce Minho is the yeast baking- I am from Galicia, which is not quite Portugal. (Fidel Castro and General Franco are fellow Galiczianers)
              Out of curiosity, tell me what you think of their coffee. I don't drink coffee, just snort the grind.

              1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                Sorry, I don't drink coffee, so haven't tried it.

                I also like the sugared yeast doughnuts there and the various Portuguese breads.

                1. re: TorontoJo

                  Oh , TorontoJo , do you remember, when we were young, Nova
                  Estoril Bakery on College west of Grace? Before they went bankrupt because all the foodies and writers were engrossed with Ace Bakery?

                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                    Not specifically Nova Estoril, but I certainly had my fair share of Portuguese bakery sampling over the years. In the 90s, my Portuguese in-laws' "go to" bakery was Nova Era. But I prefer Doce Minho over Nova Era in general.

                    If you haven't tried Seara Bakery on Keele, you should check it out. Mostly because it's also right next door to Churrasqueira Estrela, which has some of the best Portuguese churrasco chicken in town.

        2. Oh!! Just found an apple core embedded inside the tart!!
          Way to go!! No wonder its bitter!
          And just in case the pastry chef is reading this, apple core/seed is poisonous!!!!

          9 Replies
          1. re: Charles Yu

            while your experience is a shame for a bakery that i used to enjoy the alarmist nature of your final comment is unnecessary. it takes a significantly greater amount of seeds than is in one core or even a handful of cores to be an issue for cyanide poisoning.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess

              Still! For a French and Swiss trained pastry chef to leave a whole apple core with seeds inside an apple tart is inexcusable! IMO!

              1. re: Charles Yu

                that isn't the point that i'm commenting on. it would be an amazing feat to leave the core without the seeds. i might have applauded that possibility.

                1. re: Charles Yu

                  Maybe Lenotre wasn't slicing apples that day, or it was his day off.

                  1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi

                    If Lenotre Paris sells an apple tart with core and seed inside, they will be on TV!!

                    1. re: Charles Yu

                      This ain't Paree. Haven't you figured it out?

                      The substantial question is, what kind of apples they use, and in June. Sometimes it is better to forget apples and figure out what you can do that's good with pineapple- reasonably good ones are available. Or prunes.

              2. re: Charles Yu

                Although a few apple seeds is harmless, there could have been presence of mold in the apple core depending on the apple used. The rest of the apple would have otherwise appeared fine. No valid excuse for presence of apple core in the tart at that price point.

                1. re: Entore

                  "No valid excuse for presence of apple core in the tart at that price point."

              3. Never get the tarts there. Their croissants, however are the best, but stick to plain or savoury.

                3 Replies
                1. re: LexiFirefly

                  Ref: Croissants
                  IMO, in that area, croissants from Thobors, Jules, Rahier or La Cigogne are all pretty good. Hard to pick a 'best'?!!

                  1. re: Charles Yu

                    please, try Cafe Olya Micro-Bakery in Cabbagetown. I value your opinion on this board and would love your take on it. Limited hours, tiny selection for a low-volume clientele, but each one made by hand, with love, by the proprietor/owner, who has no assistant and does everything herself. See my thread encouraging people to try it....best seasonal ingredients, real flavours rather than cheap sugary ones, perfect textures.

                  2. re: LexiFirefly

                    I've only tried a croissant at their Danforth location, and I did enjoy it...haven't tried anything else so can't speak for the tarts or other baked goods.

                  3. I live in the Coxwell/Cosburn area and headed up to the Mon K Patisserie two weeks ago (during their soft opening). I had an Earl Grey macaron. The texture of the shell was very good and the filling was a little buttery, not overpowering. Personally, I prefer a Yuzu filling, but I would go back to try something else.

                    1. No love here for Nadege? I've really enjoyed everything I've gotten there.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: kimeats

                        Nadege is good. I love their products. Very 'refine' in design and taste. Size/value ratio, a bit expensive. Guess premium one pays for the 'art work'?!

                        1. re: kimeats

                          Well, this isn't about their pastries, but I think their chocolates are divine.

                        2. I used to love Nadège -- not the elaborate pastries but the croissants etc. -- but I have noticed a serious falling-off in quality on Queen West. Anyone else? The last pain au chocolat I had might as well have been from Nova Era (not to diss them, they make other delicious things) -- heavy, not flakey.

                          Maybe good croissants are doomed on Queen West. When Clafouti opened years ago the croissants were much better than now. I was happy to pay more for Nadège's croissants after they opened but I have been disappointed too many times...

                          Gee, I seem to be overly emotionally invested! But I am sad. Will have to shop further afield.

                          6 Replies
                          1. re: accordion

                            Interesting. I was just there this month and had some great pastries including croissants. But I did notice that the mini croissants are frequently overdone there.

                            Also, why can't I buy just one mini croissant? I mean if I'm already buying a load of other pastries you'd think they would sell me one mini croissant but no. You have to buy 5.

                            Is there anywhere in Queen St. West that you think has good pastry/croissants?

                              1. re: MissBingBing

                                Maybe I should give them another try ... it's been years since I gave up on their croissants.

                            1. re: accordion

                              I picked up an almond croissant from both Nadege and Petit Thuet in Rosedale last weekend. Although the pastries looked beautiful in Nadege, I agree the croissant was heavy and dense. In comparison, I was suspicious about the large Thuet croissant, but it turned out much flakier and crispier. Thuet definitely won that croissant battle!

                              1. re: mobirose

                                +1 for Petit Thuet - i had a very good pain au chocolat at the Rosedale location a few months back. i've heard EPI has good croissants, but haven't tried them yet

                                1. re: auberginegal

                                  You have to try them! The croissants from Epi are fantastic! In my opinion, they're the best in the city!

                            2. Not at present, that's why I'm so sad! Recommendations encouraged.

                              1. Bought a couple of Apple and Mixed Berries tarts from 'Jules' today. IMO, more refined, less sweet and better tasting than Rahier.

                                5 Replies
                                1. re: Charles Yu

                                  Do try Mon K when you find yourself near Coxwell and O'Connor.

                                  1. re: cheesymama

                                    I was planning to go yesterday but noticed they are closed on both Sunday AND Monday!!

                                    1. re: Charles Yu

                                      I know! I really wish they were open on Sundays, it feels like a day I should be treating myself!

                                    2. re: cheesymama

                                      Finally went this morning!
                                      Here's my limited review. Contains both hits and misses ( actually quite a bit of misses! )

                                      1. re: Charles Yu

                                        Sorry it was a let down for you. I haven't tried any of the dessert pastries yet, only the eclair which I thoroughly enjoyed. But I stand by my rec of them for breakfast pastries.