Sunday, March 15, 2009

The caramel ones just slay me.

Normally, I'm not a big advocate for chains. Outside of an annual visit to McDonald's and an admitted fondness for Ikea, I try to frequent small and/or locally-owned businesses whenever possible, particularly when it comes to all things food-related.

That said, I might just be in love with Bouchon Bakery. It sits in the closest thing Manhattan has to a mall (the Time Warner Center), and it's an offshoot of the original in Yountville, but that doesn't make its coffee any less delicious or its pastries any less divine.

Part of Thomas Keller's ever-expanding empire, Bouchon Bakery features coffee, pastries, sandwiches, salads and soups. Everything looks delicious, but I can't ever seem to make it past the macarons. They slay me every time.

The caramel is my favorite, but I try to work at least one seasonal flavor into the mix on each visit. Today, they had raspberry, and lemon with chocolate buttercream. Neither of these was enough to tear me away from my beloved caramel, but I feel confident saying they were both delicious.

Seriously, go buy a macaron, as soon as possible. Bring some home, and your family will be your slaves. For reals.

7 comments:

kathryn said...

You need to try Mitzy's macarons (Itzy Bitzy Patisserie)!

Meg Blocker said...

kathryn - Thanks for the tip! Oh my goodness - looks like they're being carried at a shop that is apparently right next to my daily subway stop. Yay!

Jen said...

Aren't they the very best? I'm so in love with macaroons.

Jane said...

yummmmmmm

Wendy said...

Meg, do you really consider Bouchon a chain? this is a great subject- what makes a chain? To me, if there are only a few locations, I don't consider it a chain. Hmmmm...Keller as a conglomerate. But maybe that is just me holding onto the romance of certain things.

Meg Blocker said...

Wendy - That's a good question. Maybe "empire" is a better word? At this point, there are outposts of the Bakery in NYC, Yountville and Vegas, so I suppose it doesn't make him huge, but add on the Bouchon restaurants in Vegas & CA, plus Per Se, Ad Hoc and French Laundry, and it's a pretty healthy roster. Not unlike most other successful celeb chefs, though...

Of course, where a chain uses fresh, local ingredients and employs local folks, it's not necessarily a bad thing. The bad part (IMHO) is homogenization through saturation, and Keller definitely isn't close to that!

Wendy said...

i agree with your thought completely!

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