There was full-on sun on le Pont des Arts that Saturday morning. After an impromptu stroll, we found ourselves at the door of a tiny Eric Kayser boutique. Some people turn their noses up at chain bakeries — after all, Paris has plenty of “artisan” stand-alone establishments churning out (supposedly) amazing confections and pastries. But, here we were, on the recommendation of a friend.
Pushing aside skepticism, I walked in and was immediately confronted by dozens on dozens of options, but of course, went for the trust croissant. And two madeleines. The shell-shaped cookies have my heart…what can I say? I had to try one after the smashing success at Blé Sucré.
With the beautiful weather, there was not one free bench on the bridge…but I quickly spotted a lonely one on the Seine. Not a bad trade. It was one of those rare days when the sun was brilliant, and after pretty much no sun all of January (I kidd not), and a dreary start to February, it was a welcome burst.
Rummaging through the paper, I pulled out a very soft croissant. Wearily, I took a bite as my friend munched on her chocolatine (a pain au chocolat, but the Provençal name, I believe).
“C’est nul,” I declared. It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t great, either. A little flakey on the outside, chewy on the inside, with layers, plenty buttery. Not a great textural contrast, however.
“Well, what fun would it be if you found the best croissant right away?” She had a point. Discovering that a croissant is lackluster is maybe 50 percent of the fun.
As for the madeleines, they were on the drier side. A true Proust madeleine, good for dunking. I did not dunk. The opposite of Blé Sucré’s. But hearty, not bad, and cheaper. I’d eat them again, happily.
On to the next croissant!