Paris Baguette in H Mart Central Sq.- Your Fav Items?
- opinionatedchef May 22, 2014 07:48 PM
If Paris Baguette were an American company, I could finally be less cantankerous about the 99 % crummy over-sweetening bakeries we have in the U.S. And maybe I'm speaking too soon; after all, I only sampled three items there today.
Boy there were a lot of items! After carefully reading the ingredient labels, I got a Coffee Cronut, an Orange Pistachio pastry, and a Cinnamon Syrup Flat (pan) cake. The Coffee Cronut really did amaze me; filled w/ a rum coffee cream ; crunchy outside, silky creamy inside, just on the edge of being 'over the top' yet not. holy cow!!
With the 2nd item, the orange pistachio filling really tasted like those things! but the croissant- like pastry was not wonderful airy/crispy/layered like an excellent croissant. (but maybe that's why they don't call it a croissant.)
The cinnamon syrup flat cake hooked me because it is made w/ a combo of wheat flour and glutinous rice flour- and I love the chewiness the latter brings to it, plus it was griddled, so it had a crispy outside skin. I did like the thin layer of filling but I really couldn't tell what flavor it was!
Has anyone tried the green tea cheesecake (it looked like it didn't have much green tea in it?) or the Strawberries and Cream croissant, or the mocha bread w/ filling, or the tiramisu w/ coffee, near the check out (not the no-coffee one further towards the store )? What are your favs?
It's an American based subsidiary of an international (Korean) conglomerate, who own other US chains such as Jamba Juice. They have dozens of US branches and are growing rather quickly with full fledged franchising rolling out in force. The name of this Korean bakery may be French, but the New Jersey based company is typically American in the way they operate.
I haven't tried this location, but enjoyed the green tea cake from one of the New York locations when I had it earlier this year. It was more of a poundcake though, not the cheesecake. I remember it as being tasty, but nothing remarkable which has made me visit the Cambridge location yet.
I have tried too many things from here because it's right across from my bus stop. Best has probably been the pain aux raisins. Worst was definitely the belgian waffle, which was heavy and kind of gross. Overall I find everything to be a little too sweet for my taste. Even the plain croissant had a bit of glaze on it. The pistachio orange and the almond rum thing were both really tasty, but I would've liked them to have some crispness and they were both super sweet (which I guess is the point).
Sounds like Paris Baguette is better than the Tous les Jours bakery in the Burlington H-Mart. I've been disappointed in the latter. The pastries LOOK gorgeous but I found them too dry and too sweet (and I do have a sweet tooth). Tried 4 or 5 things the first year they were open, before giving up on them.
I'm a fan of their canele, though they are fairly nontraditional. While only the top get a really good crunch to them, the inside has a really interesting, dense custard texture to it. Definitely worth a try if you enjoy the standard canele.
NY Serious Eats has a good description of what makes them unique here:
I've _only_ had the canelé, and I found it meh at best. They pour vanilla syrup over them and leave them to sit, which both reduces the eggy flavor (I like the eggy flavor, though that's personal preference) and, unforgivably, ruins the texture of the crust. Half the point of the thing is the contrast between maillard-y, crunch/chewy crust and soft, tender insides. And yet, no.
Further canelé rant: if they want to show off the specks of real, expensive vanilla beans (and there are specks in the syrup, so yay for good ingredients), why pour the syrup over the dark crust and mask the specks? I was specifically looking for it and only saw vanilla bean specks in the top dimple where the sauce was thickest.
Why not mix in the batter? I am far too invested in this.
HA! After going back today, on our way to dinner, i 'm with you on the overly invested! My coffee cronuts were long gone (I talked to a manager and he says they rcve 20-30 ev. day at ~1pm) and they had a whole slew of things that weren't there yesterday.
I wonder if their canele vary a bit. Mine were delicious, and crunchy on top but nowhere else. " Officer, It was very difficult to eat them slowly" she said. Also enjoyed the chewy sweet rice donut with red bean filling (thx jmarya). Maybe tops, delightfully, was the croissant filled with pastry cream and fresh strawberries. At $2.75, that seemed a particularly good deal! The Mont Blanc was a puff pastry topped/filled with Chestnut cream over a candied chestnut.A little dry-the pastry- but good flavored filling. ( IMO, if they served that to someone eating it there, it would be much better if they piped some fresh whipped cream on it.)
They had a very inviting dark chocolate choc bread, cut into big wedges, but i didn't try it. (I still have some Iggy's choco. bread in the frzr.) The one savory I had was a fairly sweet curried potato veg filling in a deep fried donut. Delish but could have been less sweet. Wouldn't it be great if they started doing a curried beef donut like Japonnaise (which hasn't done them in ages "because of some equipment failure" ?
Man, along the lines of the other CH thread about 'your fav places to have opened this year' , I have to say this bakery is the best and most long-awaited sweets surprise I have had in many many years... :-}}}