“This is my first time, but I want to take everything – I love pastries,” a customer said while feasting on a pesto sandwich and salad beside an overbrimming box of pastries at Paris Baguette (1229 Howe Ave).
On Oct. 5, my friends and I decided that we wanted to go out to eat some sweet treats. We had heard great things from SCDS seniors about the bakery Paris Baguette.
So that Monday morning, six freshmen burst into the bakery, hungrily staring at the pastries and other delicacies sitting behind the glass containers of this bakery.
According to its website, Paris Baguette is an international franchise founded in 1988. It was inspired by a man named Chang-Sung Hur, who introduced bread to Korea and helped feed the country while it struggled to rebuild itself after the Korean War.
While Paris Baguette specializes in French-inspired foods, its pastries also have Asian influence.
As we walked in, the first thing I noticed was how clean it was.
“Everything in the glass containers is so perfectly stacked,” freshman Arjin Claire said. “It’s so aesthetically pleasing.”
Walking farther into the bakery, I could immediately smell buttery croissants and fresh bread as I gazed at the array of pastries sitting in the glass cases. My friends and I had never experienced a bakery like this before; we were able to serve ourselves, check out after we were done and then go sit and enjoy our treats.
We bought pastries such as the cloud bread, cream cheese doughnuts, a variety of croissants, almond pastries, other cream-cheese-filled pastries with raspberries or blueberries, bread pastries filled with fruit and whipped cream and dusted with powdered sugar and more.
The pastries were a reasonable price as well. Each pastry was about $2, allowing us to get five pastries each for about $10.
However, as with all bakeries, some pastries were better than others. The cream cheese doughnut and the egg tart weren’t the creme de la creme. The tarts weren’t sweet enough, and the cream cheese doughnut was just too greasy.
Some of my personal favorites, however, were the Berry Happy Days pastry and the cloud bread.
The Berry Happy Days was a very simple pastry: a soft flatbread that tasted similar to a croissant was filled with chocolate chips and lightly coated in a sugary glaze, a small layer of whipped cream and strawberries.
The cloud bread was a very light bread is a very light and sweet bread that had a whipped cream filling. It was like a doughnut but much lighter and not as sweet.
“It’s literally like eating a cloud,” freshman Arikta Trivedi said.
As we let these pastries sink into our taste buds, freshman Dylan Margolis said that he liked how simple all of the pastries were. I agreed; a lot of bakeries can be too extravagant with their pastries, overloading them with too much frosting or filling them with overly sweet cream.
While this is not always a bad thing, it was satisfying to taste how great something as simple as a chocolate chip pastry with whipped cream and strawberries could be.
My friends and I also enjoyed a variety of different croissants. Paris Baguette had chocolate, traditional, ham and cheese, among other flavors.
While I’m not a big fan of croissants, the ones at Paris Baguette really caught my attention. The second the croissant was in my mouth, I could feel it gently melting onto my tongue, and I could sense a subtle sweetness reach every corner of my mouth.
These croissants might have seemed ordinary to anyone who hadn’t tried them, but they were truly special; they were so much lighter and fluffier than normal croissants, and they tasted buttery. The overall quality of the croissants was quite impressive.
Another highlight of the bakery was the bread. Arikta and I ordered a pesto chicken sandwich, and the bread was softer than anything I’d ever eaten.
One not-so-great thing about the bakery, however, was the customer service. The employees’ recommendations were very vague, making it harder for us novices to decide what to order.
—By Hailey Fesai
Originally published in the Oct. 30 edition of the Octagon.