Posts Tagged ‘Ballard bakeries’

Fresh Flours

October 15, 2011

With locations in Ballard and Phinney Ridge, Fresh Flours is yet another excellent choice for your croissant and coffee (they serve Stumptown). I chose the Phinney Ridge location so I could park, although I’ve heard that the Ballard spot is better.

Fresh Flours has been around for several years, and competes with Besalu and Honore for best croissants in North Seattle.  They also have just a touch of Japanese influence, and offer green tea flavors in some of their baked goods. I started out with a coffee and a quiche and was quite pleased (after having several bad quiche experiences, I’ve now had two good ones in a row). I moved on to the chocolate chip cookie, just because it looked so good:

Not too crunchy nor too chewy, and plenty of chips in this one! It wasn’t the best chocolate chip cookie I’ve ever had, but it was satisfying and just fine for a lazy Sunday afternoon. Since I’d heard good things about their croissants I decided to take a chocolate one home with me for the next morning’s breakfast.

It was surprisingly good, considering that it was a day old by the time I ate it. The top came off in large (but thinly layered) flakes. Even after sitting a day, the dough was still moist and after a quick zap in the microwave, the chocolate was gooey. A great way to start my week!

 

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Honore

March 6, 2011

Ballard’s Honore Artisan Bakery is tiny, easy to miss, and a little off the beaten path. But you’ll know when you’re close because of the warm, buttery smell emanating from inside.  And you’ll know it was worth the trip when you bite into one of their delectable croissants or macaroons (featured below are just three of their many flavors: chocolate, lavender, and pistachio).

I liked the chocolate best, especially the filling (the lavender was also good). But the main highlight of my trip was the croissant.  I had a hard time choosing between the plain croissant, the almond croissant, and the pan au chocolat, but the girl at the counter suggested the almond one since they don’t always have it. I never get almond pastries (they’re just not my favorite) but this time I decided it looked to good to pass up.

Hidden beneath the powdered sugar is one of best croissants I’ve ever eaten.  The pastry was crisp, flaky, buttery, and moist, while the almond filling was sweet, mild, and not at all overwhelming.  I will certainly return to try the plain and the chocolate croissants – they obviously know exactly what they’re doing here at this little slice of Paris in Ballard.

 

 

Cafe Besalu

December 9, 2009

If you’ve ever spent any time in Paris and then searched in vain for pastries of the same caliber here in Seattle, Cafe Besalu in Ballard has your answer.  But be prepared to wait your turn: there are often lines out the door and table space is limited (as are the cafe’s hours).

Once you taste the pastries (including croissants, quiches, turnovers, and twists) you’ll understand the reason for Besalu’s popularity. But first, be prepared to make some difficult choices:

Since I knew I’d never be able to choose just one item, I split several with a friend (after we each downed a slice of quiche). I chose the chocolate croissant (pain au chocolat), the fruit danish, and the cinnamon twist and we tucked in.

Naturally, I liked the chocolate croissant the best, followed by the cinnamon twist (I’ve never been big on fruit desserts – they seem too much like health food!). Some people have complained on Yelp that there isn’t enough chocolate in the croissant, but in my opinion more chocolate would just overwhelm the buttery flavor and flakey texture of the pastry. Perfect as it is… this man would know:

Cafe Besalu is at 5909 24th Ave NW in Ballard.