I seem to have stumbled on a brilliant theory. If I visit enough french-themed restaurants and shops, eat enough french pastries, read enough novels about the city of light, and wear enough navy blue & white stripes, I will suddenly become french. Which will hopefully cause me to fall asleep in Phoenix, and suddenly wake up in Paris one morning. Logical, right?
My dad & I stumbled on this bakery one day while we were out for coffee, just having perused Half Price Books for about an hour (our favorite). I vaguely remember passing by the doors to this bakery a dozen times while growing up, but back then it was a hole in the wall. It was crowded, full of loyal customers, but somehow hadn't been enticing enough to pull us in.
Well apparently sometime in the last year, the bakery decided to seriously get there act together, absorb the space next to them, and do a complete overhaul. It's beautiful now! Space for seating, way more goodies in the glass cases, a full coffee bar, and double the loyal customers & fans.
Of the two times I visited while in Seattle, this place was buzzing. Customers would leave by turning to squeeze through the door as others entered, families clustered around the mini bistro tables and there was always a line. Both times we had to fight for a place to sit, luckily stealing enough chairs so that one of us didn't have to stand.
I couldn't even dream up the pastries they offered. Jumbo croissants the size of my face, guava pockets, marionberry creme cheese croissants, flaky palmiers the size, quite literally, of my palm, apricot cream cheese brioche buns, cookies, loaves and loaves of bread, and pain au chocolat that begged to be eaten as a reminder of my time abroad. This place gave me decision anxiety, and those were only a fraction of the pastries. They also had desserts, crepes, sandwiches and salads. It made me dizzy.
You know a place is legit when they have several REAL yule logs just hanging out in their display case. No one would take the time to make several yule logs, unless they were confident the huge desserts were about to be bought up in a matter of hours. Which actually happened while we were there! Two customers decided this was the year of the yule, and snatched them up.
Also cool? They make authentic galette des rios, or kings cake, which has been a french tradition (among others) for centuries, made to celebrate the Epiphany. The cake is home to la fève, and whoever finds the figurine gets the honor of baking, or buying, the next cake. The french are so cool.
The first visit we were blown away by thy flaky quiches & my warm ham and cheese croissant. The second time I stuck to what I know, a cappuccino, which transported me along the banks of the Seine, a cool breeze running across my cheek as I sit along the cobblestone street watching locals briskly walk.
...I know. It's a sickness.