Are you craving that perfect croissant but cannot travel to France to get it? Moonbelly, one of East Sacramento’s newest bakeries, is the perfect destination for all of your pastry needs.
Located at 6511 Folsom Blvd., owner Lucía Plumb-Reyes’ neighborhood bakery is open Friday-Sunday from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Despite not offering cakes, Moonbelly boasts a wide array of cookies, pastries and breads, so of course, I had to check it out.
I arrived at 9 a.m. on a rainy Saturday morning, and the line almost ran out the door. There were a few picnic tables outside under an awning, but it was not the ideal place to enjoy your breakfast on a rainy day. Moonbelly did not offer seating inside, so I decided to purchase several items and take them home to try.
Inside, I was met with the aroma of freshly baked bread. The whole kitchen was right behind where the goods were being sold, so while waiting in line you could watch the bakers in action.
When it was my turn to order, the staff was friendly and suggested some items for me to try, like the egg and ham croissant and the almond croissant.
First, the croissants: Moonbelly is famous for its croissants, so, of course, I picked three: the traditional ($3.90), the almond ($5.40), and the chocolate ($4.20).
The traditional croissant was arguably the best I’ve ever had. Right as I bit in, the flakes of buttery crust broke off and melted in my mouth. It would pair perfectly with a hot cup of coffee.
The almond croissant, another top contender, was filled with a light paste of crushed almonds. The filling was sweet, and the powdered sugar on top only added to that sweetness, but somehow, the sweetness of the croissant as a whole remained fairly subtle. Along with the sweeter taste, this croissant had a soft bread-like texture which the other croissants didn’t.
The chocolate croissant was just as flaky and airy as the two before it. With every bite of the croissant’s many thin layers, I was left in awe of the bakers’ mastery. In my opinion, the chocolate croissant had the perfect amount of chocolate, but my brother, an avid chocolate fan, disagreed.
“There’s not enough chocolate and I wish it was more evenly distributed throughout the croissant,” he said.
Maybe the chocolate croissant would not be a chocolate lover’s favorite, but that is where the chocolate chip banana bread ($3.90) comes into play.
Served as a slice, it was perfectly moist and loaded with chocolate chips in every bite. The numerous dark chocolate chips created a dense texture giving a rich flavor.
Along with the traditional, sweet pastries, I tried some of the savory items: specifically, the olive twists (3 for $5.50) and the egg and ham croissant ($5.75).
The olive twists were small baguette-shaped loaves with kalamata olives baked into them. The salty olives complemented the bread, making the overall taste balanced. They were crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and just the right consistency. If you prefer salty pastries over sweet, this bread is for you.
The egg and ham croissants, another customer favorite, were just as delicious. The flaky croissant dough was wrapped around a piece of ham with a perfectly cooked egg in the middle.
Considering how long it sat before we got home, I was surprised the yolk was still runny. It was hearty but not too heavy, making the perfect savory breakfast.
Lastly, I tried Moonbelly’s granola ($11), which was packed with walnuts and pecans. Though it had maple syrup in it, the granola was not overly sweet, and I was pleasantly surprised to find it had a nice buttery taste to it. The granola was void of clusters, which in my family’s opinion is the perfect texture for granola.
Finally, even though they were very busy when I was there, the staff was friendly and helpful. I never felt rushed to make my selections, and the staff’s promptness allowed the line to flow smoothly and quickly. At checkout, they offered samples of their seed bread and homemade chips, which I did not try.
Upon reflection, the cost of Moonbelly is a bit high, but for the quality of the products, it is worth it. I would recommend it to anyone craving a perfect croissant!
— By Sophia Monasa
Originally published in the Feb. 8 edition of The Octagon.