I was bad today and got a second pastry.
The first one I got was in the 10th arrondisement. I did a solid walkabout today, trying to get a better feel for the 9th, 10th and 11th arrondisements before my apartment hunt on Tuesday. This rustic-looking boulangerie had what was called a gourmandise poire, or something like that, and it had three things going for it:
1) “poire” means “pear” so it was this slice of pear cake with chocolate chips. So the first thing going for it was the pear and chocolate combo. Beautiful.
2) The almond paste. God, I love almond paste. If my mouth wasn’t full of the beautiful chocolate and pear combination, I got a nice taste of almond paste.
3) And the third thing was the caramelized bits of this cake. Another element of pastries that instantly catapult then into very special territory.
It was a pretty dreamy pastry.
Then, later in the day, I decided to check out the boulangerie Lionel told me about: Coquelicot on rue des Abbesses in Montmartre. Ah, I’m going to like Lionel. This place is awesome.
He told me they have great bread, so I was expecting just a walk-in boulangerie. But it’s a bit of a casual restaurant, too. Maybe a little like Le Pain Quotidian back in New York, but smaller, cooler and French.
I walked in that warm, yeasty, fresh-baked smell was incredible. I wanted to take away something for dinner so I got a slice of quiche. But as I was waiting in line, of course I was confronted with an irresistible case of pastries. There was something called Le Coeur: a pink, heart-shaped cake-y thing. I knew that meant it would be like strawberry cake, which is one of the best things ever, and not easy to find. I got it.
Mon dieu, it was incredible. Flavorful—sweet, but not sugary-sweet—and firm but moist. It was worth the guilt of a second pastry. Then I noticed the sack it came in, which says “Mangez des gateaux plus souvent!” Or, “Eat cake more often!” Je l’aime.