I don't know how French woman manage to eat their national pastry and look dainty doing it, whereas I end up with flaky buttery bits from chin to lap, with a good cleavage dusting in between. Nonetheless, one manages to soldier on, especially when dark chocolate praline filling is involved.
Oh the tough decisions we have to make in life—do you get this pretty little Euro-style bakery’s candied orange peel-studded gibassier, the raspberry jam-veined dark chocolate brownie, the fig anise panini? Yes, yes, and yes (I’m not really big on making tough decisions), and also get yourself one of the picture perfect croissants—they’re a delectable start to the day.
Go for the unrivaled bread, stay for the ethereal pastries (or if it’s Monday night, the thin crust pizza!). Croissant lovers, cover your bases by ordering one of each—but if you feel that you should exercise self control (boo), pick the pain au chocolat, nobody in town does it better.
Clearly Portlanders love a faux-French experience, because this cute cafe brims with patrons all day long. Come for your morning café au lait, savor a Brie & cucumber sandwich and a lemon tart at a sidewalk table, or just run in for a fresh baguette or bag of croissants au beurre.
You’ll see this homey Hollywood bakery’s famous breads on quite a few menus around town, but I go for the croissants—big, flaky, traditional butter bombs that immeasurably improve a weekday work session. Somehow I feel less guilty when I order the healthy-sounding spinach ricotta version.
Croissant fiends, tape your jaw shut before you head up into this laminated dough lair—‘cause it’s going to drop/fall off when it sees the lineup of almond, chocolate, chocolate-almond, sesame, ham & gruyere, plain, and plain-stuffed-with-avocado, bay shrimp and apricot crème fraiche. (See what I mean? Use duct tape.)
Fine, maybe you don’t think bakeries should look like Design Within Reach studios, but you can’t argue with this modern Division Street destination's chocolate praline croissant, a flaky-chewy-buttery marvel that kind of leaves you wondering what just happened and how you can relive the experience. (This is why I get three at a time.)
If you want to keep your kids busy while you read the latest Saveur over a cup of coffee or Steven Smith tea, have them count the pastry layers in this popular bistro’s adjoining patisserie's beautiful ham & gruyere croissants—you’ll probably make it through the whole issue twice and still have time left over to make a grocery shopping list. As a reward for them counting to 486,359, get the fresh baked mini-madeleines, which are nothing less than life-changing.
Even amidst a dazzling display case filled with golden iced maple scones, fresh fruit galettes, corn & gruyere muffins & pear brown butter coffee cake crumbles, this darling neighborhood bakery's comely classic croissant holds its own, and is often first to sell out, so claim yours early.