Cannelle Patisserie in Birmingham [DTW]
Many of the girls who traveled to Paris when they were in Junior High now live in Birmingham, so it makes sense that there are some good French bakeries in the area. Le Petit Prince, for instance. Earlier this year another one popped up in a very easy to miss spot, and this one is well worth a stop if you're anywhere in the area, which is across the train tracks and Maple from, i.e. diagonal to, Big Rock (say, if you are at Whole Foods, Troy)---https://m.facebook.com/friends/center... offer are fresh large and small baguettes, all manner of flaky pastries with fruit or chocolate or almond paste or creams, as well as fine espresso, and also salads/sandwiches which I've not thought to try. A worthy and cute (even though stuck between a Jet's pizza and the train tracks) addition to the competitive area.
i had one of their 'baguettes' at RO farmers market. maybe their pastries are better, but the baguette was practically white bread in loaf form.
another try, another time...
Tried it today. Based on what I had, which is pain au chocolat (my measuring stick for French pastry), I'm basically going to say that this place is a giant swing-and-a-miss, the kind of swing-and-a-miss that elicits boos from an impatient crowd wanting a half-hearted attempt.
It's certainly cute enough. It's got a nice little neighborhood café vibe, it offers several high-endish coffee-type drinks for those who are into those kinds of silly beverages, and they have some honestly bad French pastry. Pain au chocolat that, were it your first foray into the pastry, would make you wonder what all the hubbub about French pastry is about. It's dense (not airy), it uses quite lousy chocolate and the ratio is off as well, and it's more expensive than that at Le Petit Prince.
So: it's far, *far* worse than LPP, and it's more expensive. Not much more ($2 at Cannelle, $1.75 at LPP), but it's pricier for a far inferior product. True, you can sit down here and enjoy it at a table indoors, whereas you categorically cannot at LPP...but to me, the bottom line is the product, and this thing is 3 letter grades below the pain au chocolat available at LPP. If LPP is an "A", this place gets a "D". Edible, yes, but completely unsatisfying. I will say that you can taste the butter, yes, but that's about the only thing redemptive about it.
Looking at their baguettes, I can see, without even trying and buying mind you, *exactly* what gan911 was saying. Normally I'd try one of them, but they don't look good enough for the $3 it'd be (and yes: again, that's more than at LPP by about $.20). They look *wrong*. Again, they'd be edible, but they wouldn't be the correct French baguette that I would want, so I'm pretty unimpressed.
Won't be back, no matter how "cute" the place is. With LPP only a couple miles away and Give Thanks Bakery in Rochester both able to pull off more-than-just-respectable versions of said products (Give Thanks is significantly more expensive, but they get things right!), there's no need to, and I don't have room in my life for a fourth-rate "French" bakery.
If you're going to simply put some not-so-good chocolate in croissant dough and call it "pain au chocolat", you've not just missed the mark...you didn't have the correct target to begin with.