It’s All French To Me

Every time I eat brunch at Cafe Campagne I feel compelled to go get pastries at Le Panier afterwards.  Maybe it’s just the whole French thing…eating {great} French cuisine at Cafe Campagne gets me in the mood for eating {great} French food for the rest of the day.  Maybe it’s just because it’s right there.  Maybe it’s just because my pastry-chef brain is simply drawn to anywhere that sells pastries.  Who knows why.  It’s just the way it is.  And I am SO not disappointed about that.

 The first time I went to Le Panier I didn’t post afterwards because…well…because I ate the pastries before I had a chance to photograph them, and having no food shots just ain’t right.  This time I was determined to get the goods home in one piece so that I could do a proper job.  So my point is that this isn’t the first time I’ve been to Le Panier, it’s just the first time I’ve had enough self-control to photograph first, eat later.

I {finally} decided on a Chocolatine (a cross between an Almond Croissant & a Pain au Chocolat) & 4 macarons – orange-chocolate, lemon, raspberry & chocolate.  Miss Connie & the lovely Linda had just as hard a time deciding, so that made me feel better.  I have no clue what they got, but we all left with our own cute little bag of yummy stuff.

Chocolatine: Pain au Chocolat with Almond paste & almonds

Now if you’ve been following along for a while (THANK YOU!) you may remember how I blasted Bakery Nouveau over in West Seattle.  And how much I love Honore Artisan Bakery up in Ballard.  And how I was undecided on Cafe Besalu.  Well now I can tell you that even after a couple of visits I am still undecided on Le Panier, which is a surprise to me since so many people just rave about this place & it’s a rare day when there isn’t a line snaking around the inside & out the door.  I wanted to love their pastries.  I still want to love them.  I’ll go back and try more.  I know, it’s a hard life :-)

The Chocolatine was decidedly better than the Almond Croissant that I had at Bakery Nouveau, but it wasn’t a patch on the Croissanterie that I’ve had at Honore.  You know how I am about pastries…just incredibly picky.  I make no apologies.

This particular Chocolatine may have benefited from a few seconds in the microwave, or simply from being eaten sooner.  My little Saturday shopping expedition had me running around town a  lot longer than I thought – it was that gorgeous bright {kiwi} green leather chair & footstool at Kasala that got me all discombobulated – so shooting & eating was unquestionably delayed.  Having said that, it was still a {wonderful} treat for a dreary Saturday evening.

Next up: the macarons.  (PS. They are not neon colors in real life.  The little on-camera flash just makes for bad images.  Sorry about that).

As with the Chocolatine I am also undecided about Le Panier’s macarons.  I preferred Honore’s even though I ended up with flavors that I didn’t care for.  IMHO I think Honore’s texture is better, but Le Panier’s flavors won out – I could tell what they were even with my eyes shut, which was not the case at Honore.

All in all, I do like Le Panier & I especially love their location.  For me they are just part of the whole Pike Place Market thing.  They are also next door to Sur La Table, a store which is completely *impossible* for me to walk past without going in.  Darn French stuff.  It’s a conspiracy.

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