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Old 01-13-2008, 11:00 AM   #1
altered states
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Default scouting report: I can't stop thinking about this place

Sorry in advance if this is too NYC-specific, but I just can't stop thinking about this place: Bouley Bakery. It's in TriBeCa, on Duane and West Broadway, across from the 3 star Bouley restaurant, and has THE BEST FRIGGING PASTRIES on earth. There, I said it. Most of the stuff is French, or French inspired, and ain't cheap, but jesus, what a way to work yourself into a crippling spiral of debt. I've been 3 times since New Years and highlights so far are: 1) the lemon tart - better than any I've had in Paris (there, I said it again)... perfection; 2) canelles - these are like two-bite-sized, stumpy cone-shaped pieces of super-creamy french toast - buy many, because they're addictive; 3) montebello - this is a layered pastry made up of pistachio cream and pistachio dough, toped with fresh raspberries, new to me and a revelation; and 4) pain au chocolate - these usually suck - cloying, with inferior chocolate and dry, bland dough - but here they're amazing - super-buttery, chocolatey... eat more than one and you'll die, or want to (but again, what a way to go).

Warning for visitors: 1) Expect some mild but dealable attitude and indifference (this is TriBeCa), though if you ask the bakers' advice you'll never shut them up (almost as bad); 2) it's a somewhat cramped space with many loyal customers, so go at slightly off-hours (late morning it's usually dead) for a pleasant, unhurried experience; 3) There's space to mangia and drink coffee upstairs during the day, but at night it becomes an annex cafe for people too poor or unimportant to get into Bouley-proper across the street. Also, for those not into stairs for whatever reason, there's a long climb to get up there with no alternative unless you can fit in a dumbwaiter. The bakery itself though is street-level.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:09 AM   #2
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Originally Posted by tres huevos View Post
Sorry in advance if this is too NYC-specific, but I just can't stop thinking about this place: Bouley Bakery. It's in TriBeCa, on Duane and West Broadway, across from the 3 star Bouley restaurant, and has THE BEST FRIGGING PASTRIES on earth. There, I said it. Most of the stuff is French, or French inspired, and ain't cheap, but jesus, what a way to work yourself into a crippling spiral of debt. I've been 3 times since New Years and highlights so far are: 1) the lemon tart - better than any I've had in Paris (there, I said it again)... perfection; 2) canelles - these are like two-bite-sized, stumpy cone-shaped pieces of super-creamy french toast - buy many, because they're addictive; 3) montebello - this is a layered pastry made up of pistachio cream and pistachio dough, toped with fresh raspberries, new to me and a revelation; and 4) pain au chocolate - these usually suck - cloying, with inferior chocolate and dry, bland dough - but here they're amazing - super-buttery, chocolatey... eat more than one and you'll die, or want to (but again, what a way to go).

Warning for visitors: 1) Expect some mild but dealable attitude and indifference (this is TriBeCa), though if you ask the bakers' advice you'll never shut them up (almost as bad); 2) it's a somewhat cramped space with many loyal customers, so go at slightly off-hours (late morning it's usually dead) for a pleasant, unhurried experience; 3) There's space to mangia and drink coffee upstairs during the day, but at night it becomes an annex cafe for people too poor or unimportant to get into Bouley-proper across the street. Also, for those not into stairs for whatever reason, there's a long climb to get up there with no alternative unless you can fit in a dumbwaiter. The bakery itself though is street-level.
Just stop it... I'm drooling all over my keyboard! There is nothing better than a fantastic French patisserie. Yum, yum, and yum. And, it's always the simple things that make or break a place... the pain au chocolat is amazing. In a pinch, the ones at Balthazar or ceci-cela are tasty as well.
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:18 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by sweet&fat View Post
Just stop it... I'm drooling all over my keyboard! There is nothing better than a fantastic French patisserie. Yum, yum, and yum. And, it's always the simple things that make or break a place... the pain au chocolat is amazing. In a pinch, the ones at Balthazar or ceci-cela are tasty as well.
I've had mixed luck at Balthazar; Ceci-Cela I've never been too. Bergamot in Chelsea is unbelievably overrated and the staff is among the grumpiest in town (saying something), so don't even start. I used to think Italian pastry places were the shizzle (and one of the few great foods I can get here on Satan Island), but I agree the French have the edge. Their stuff is more delicate and less sweet so you can eat more than one. Great to blow half a paycheck buying a dozen and making a night out of it!
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Old 01-13-2008, 11:59 AM   #4
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Since I have the ear (eye?) of a couple of New Yorkers who are serious about pastry, I've gotta ask: is my old favorite, the Hungarian Pastry Shop, still there at 111th and Amsterdam? I dream about that place sometimes.
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Old 01-13-2008, 12:01 PM   #5
sweet&fat
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Since I have the ear (eye?) of a couple of New Yorkers who are serious about pastry, I've gotta ask: is my old favorite, the Hungarian Pastry Shop, still there at 111th and Amsterdam? I dream about that place sometimes.
Ah, yes. I was there just a week ago. Had some tea and a fantastic macaroon. Huge. Delicious.
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Old 01-13-2008, 10:24 PM   #6
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I love some of the places that are mentioned here. I will definitely have to check out this Hungarian Shop - now what are some of their other pastries (along with macaroons) that are worth a try...

Of course there is Beard Papa (76th B'Way) [best cream puffs]

Crumb's Bakery Shop (75th and Amsterdam) [decent mini cupcakes]
Only drawback was limited seating and if you go from M-F best times for seating is most times (except 2:30-4:30PM)


I would love to read additional post and hear other suggestions;ie, places in Bklyn, Queens, Bronx,SI to check out


Crumbs Bake Shop
http://www.crumbsbakeshop.com/locations.php


Beard Papa

http://local.aol.com/aol/local?invoc...zed_listings.M
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:06 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by tonynyc View Post
I love some of the places that are mentioned here. I will definitely have to check out this Hungarian Shop - now what are some of their other pastries (along with macaroons) that are worth a try...

Of course there is Beard Papa (76th B'Way) [best cream puffs]

Crumb's Bakery Shop (75th and Amsterdam) [decent mini cupcakes]
Only drawback was limited seating and if you go from M-F best times for seating is most times (except 2:30-4:30PM)


I would love to read additional post and hear other suggestions;ie, places in Bklyn, Queens, Bronx,SI to check out
I would suggest Two Little Red Hens in Park Slope. There's also one on 2nd just below 86th. They make amazing cakes. Their most famous one is Brooklyn Blackout, and damn, it's good!!

There's also a Beard Papa and Crumbs near/on 8th st.
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Old 01-14-2008, 09:47 AM   #8
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http://www.insiderpages.com/b/15239717513

Jean Danet in Bay Ridge. It's on 5th ave at 75 th st. Very fresh goods and who doesn't like whipped cream? (mit schlag? okay not a French term there!)

I actually know of a decent place on Staten Island. Buono Bakery. My mom would buy us birthday cakes from them. Although I'm not a fan of most Italian sweets (too much rum), they do have really good cookies and the afterforementioned birthday cakes are superb. You would have to call ahead to have one made.

http://www.buono-bakery.com/contact.html
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Old 01-14-2008, 10:58 AM   #9
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I would suggest Two Little Red Hens in Park Slope. There's also one on 2nd just below 86th. They make amazing cakes. Their most famous one is Brooklyn Blackout, and damn, it's good!!
The Two Little Red Hens actually broke up, with One Little Red Hen retaining the name and opening up all the other branches and trying to franchise etc. The other Little Red Hen (apparently the cakemaker of the operation) retained the original location and all of the deliciousness but is now called Ladybird Bakery.

http://www.ladybirdbakery.com/
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