Archive for April, 2010

Le Fournil

April 19, 2010

It’s probably a good thing I don’t live within walking distance of Le Fournil.  At least, that’s what I’m telling myself after eating a quiche, chocolate tarte, and chocolate croissant.  A small French bakery/cafe in Eastlake, Le Fournil is my kind of place. With communal tables, free parking, and wifi, I could easily spend every lunch hour here.

The menu offers breakfast, lunch, and pastries, but today it’s the pastries I’m after.  Recalling my days in Paris, I go straight for the chocolate croissant (pain au chocolat if you’re fancy).

Okay, this was good. Good like, “yay I can’t believe I’m eating this right now and I need to stop by here on my way to work every day from now on.”  The texture was flaky, but it wasn’t dry or overdone. The chocolate was quality, and despite the fact that I probably consumed a stick of butter, I was left craving more. Many more. But I moved on to my next choice: the chocolate tarte:

With a texture somewhere between pudding and ganache, and a hint of orange flavor, it was not completely what I expected.  It was rich and buttery, but I had expected darker, fudgier chocolate. The crust, however, was perfect.  More exciting, as it turned out, was my friend’s strawberry tarte:

What the picture doesn’t show is the cream underneath the berries. Not sure exactly what made it so magical, but it must have been good because when she dropped a little on the bare table, she scooped it up and ate it … before I could.



April 11, 2010

Driving through Wallingford the other weekend, I happened to notice a small coffee shop tucked away on 40th, off the main drag. It looked cozy and inviting, so I returned last weekend to check it out up close.

Irwin’s is a small bakery that also serves small lunches and good coffee (Caffe Vita).  In addition, they have free wifi, making it possible for me to blog as I ate!  The cafe is friendly, comfortable, and low-key: perfect for hanging out with friends or working solo on your laptop.

Having done a little research on Yelp prior to visiting, I knew that the muffins and scones were the way to go. I started with a blueberry muffin and a cup of coffee.

This seriously ranks up there with the blueberry muffins of the world, for several reasons. First, the top of the muffin was coated with large, coarse sugar crystals, making each bite along the top extra crunchy and sweet. Second, they don’t skimp on the blueberries – there were several per bite! Third, the flavor and texture were very … muffiny. Crumbly, moist, buttery, etc – every bite was heaven. I downed the muffin quickly and moved on to the cookies:

Let’s start with the not-so-good: although their website promises that their chocolate chip cookie is the best ever, I found it to be much too salty.  The jam & sugar cookie, on the other hand, was perfect. The jam wasn’t too gelatinous, and the cookie was softer than it looks. Sweet and buttery goodness!

Finally, I bought home an apple-pecan scone. How good was it? It was so good that I couldn’t even get a photo of it before it disappeared!!! Seriously! It was absolute perfection, with a whole apple slice across the top, and a layer of cinnamon apple crumble tucked into the middle.  I will keep returning just for the scones and muffins… and I suggest you do the same!!