How most girls feel about designer shoe boutiques is how I feel about bakeries.
I gawk at the artistry, I’m enchanted by the selection and it’s hard to settle on a single item. There should be a fifth member of the Sex and the City crew who’s a foodie searching out places like the Big Gay Ice Cream and Prune for the best eats in NYC. In stilettos no less.
On this dreadful Monday I would give a pair of Jimmy Choos for a Chocolate Almond Croissant and cappuccino. I’ve been fantasizing about La Boulangerie.
La Boulangerie is a french bakery located Uptown in the heart of Magazine street among trendy, quirky shops. A welcome respite from Creole and Cajun food (although not necessarily lighter) they offer sandwiches, breads, soup, quiche, coffee and of course, pastries.
During our annual New Orleans trip, despite having eaten a continental breakfast at Avenue Inn, my mom and I fueled up for a day of shopping with a snack at La Boulangerie. Stumbling upon it’s pretty gold and blue awning, we popped in and took our place in line. Pouncing on an open table, I sat while my mom ordered so I have no opinion about the service.
We split a Chocolate Almond Croissant and I soaked up each bite accompanied by sips of a single shot cappuccino. The croissant was filled with sweet almond paste and chocolate, which I would have preferred more of, but then again who doesn’t like more chocolate. The substantial pastry was tender, flaky and strewn with almond slices.
Much like Sucre and other area bakeries, they offer special King Cakes during Mardi Gras season, both a traditional and French version. I was tempted to buy one, but the thought of lugging around a cake box and then five extra pounds post-consumption was a strong deterrent. Needless to say, everything looks and smells heavenly.
I believe La Boulangerie now accepts credit cards and cash, but I didn’t pay for this round. Get there early because like a secret sample sale, the good stuff runs out fast.
Don’t just take my word for it, New Orleans food bloggers Foodographer and The Hungry Nomad have also written about their experiences, in addition to the Cynical Cook. If you liked this post, read more of my Restaurant Stories.
4600 Magazine Street
New Orleans, LA 70115
My mom and I have a tradition of going on a mother-daughter lunch at André’s Confiserie Suisse. We’ve been doing this for so long I can’t remember when we started (middle school maybe?).
Originally hailing from Switzerland, André and Elsbeth Bollier immigrated to Kansas City in 1955 bringing a European influence to the Midwest. Luckily for us sweet tooth-laden food lovers, they established a trifecta of culinary delights. André’s is a chocolatier, pastry shop and tea room wrapped into one magical package.
Located near the Plaza (down the street from Glace), Andrés occupies a red brick building with a white awning. Stepping into the front door, long cases of gorgeous pastries, cakes and chocolates are there to greet you, beckoning from their trays. Resisting the initial temptations we forged onward to the dining room.
The main dining room is like walking into a Swiss ice chalet due to its heavy angled beams, lodge decor and large flag collection. At least it’s what I imagine a Swiss ice chalet looks like, since I’ve never been to Switzerland or an ice chalet.
André’s only serves lunch and the meal is light. You can choose from two daily specials or two standard quiche options. It comes with bread, tea and dessert (for $14.90 per person); dessert being the best part, of course. It’s the quintessential place for ladies who lunch, but over time we’ve seen an increase in male patrons.
On this particular day my mom and I both chose the Chicken Breast Annabelle special with mushrooms, tomatoes, spatzle and salad. The salad dressing was thin and tangy, the chicken was moist but the highlight was the tender spatzle. It was similar in texture to gnocchi and soaked up the flavors of the sauce. I ended up cleaning both of our plates.
Over the years we’ve eaten many different dishes and naturally some are better than others. If the daily specials don’t pique your interest, the quiches are always a sure bet.
Ever since we began this tradition, my most anticipated moment is when the waitress brings over the tray of desserts. As she describes the pastries I studiously examine each option to make a wise selection. (You only get one!) This time I picked the Matterhorn filled with butter cream and my mom selected their take on Tiramisu, which she generously shared with me.
These desserts taste as wonderful as they look. They are lavished with great attention to detail, rich and garnished with real whipped cream. It’s harder for me to chose a dessert than it was a college.
And if lunch wasn’t enough, on the way out my mom graciously lets me chose another chocolate or cookie to take home. It’s a sweet dilemma and guaranteed trouble for a indecisive dessert-aholic like me.
I adore André’s and our lunching tradition, almost as much as I adore my mom.
André’s Confiserie Suisse
5018 Main Street
Kansas City, MO 64112
Each one beckons to be chosen, one is more adorable than the next, and you want to take them all home.
Either way, in the end you really can’t go wrong.
Sucre is one of those places where I want one of everything (it’s much more feasible than having ten puppies). If I lived in the area, I would do just that and methodically go through the entire menu to try one of everything. My bank account and waistline are breathing sighs of relief.
They have gelato, shakes, carefully crafted desserts, macaroons, coffee drinks, chocolates, chocolate bars, marshmallows and countless other shiny sugary baubles. I wrestled over what to order longer than it took to select my wedding dress. Yes, it’s really that heavenly.
My mom gave me the honors and I chose a chocolate mousse dessert, a cherry/pistachio layer cake, a hazelnut macaroon and a strawberry macaroon. We both tried a dark chocolate bark with nuts and fruits from the free sample bowl on the chocolate counter. I refrained from scooping up the rest of the pieces and shoving them in my mouth.
The chocolate dessert (sorry I forgot the official names) had a deep flavor, an soft cheesecake consistency, and was topped with a gilded chocolate. It was rich, silky and I couldn’t put my fork down. The other dessert alternated layers of pistachio mousse, cherry mousse and cake, was glazed with a cherry fruit filling, and topped with a dried cherry, pistachio nut and white chocolate garnishes. It was lighter, the flavors were more playful and equally as delicious.
The macaroons were delicate and airy; the hazelnut had a more pronounced flavor than the strawberry. I would have gotten more if they weren’t so darn expensive.
Be prepared, because you truly get what you pay for here (such is the price for beauty). I shelled out nearly $20 for two desserts and two macaroons. Maybe those puppies are looking like the better bargain now.
The store is pretty, the chocolates are beautiful, the pastries are gorgeous, the packaging is adorable and even the font they use is classy.
My mom and I enjoyed the moment savoring each bite. Even though we aren’t close by, there will be a next visit and gelato will be had.
Sucre, sweet in every sense of the word.
3025 Magazine Street Boutique
New Orleans, LA 70115