Hey guys, Mike asked me if I wanted to be another contributor on his new blog. I’ve been wanting to create a food / drink blog for so long right now so I saw this as a fun opportunity.
It’s about time I started writing about food and drink…it’s something that I’ve really started to love over the last few years. Hope you guys enjoy our blog. We have so much in common yet we always seem to give two different views and opinions. We’re all here to learn about food, it’s really an adventure.
What better way to start off the blog than to talk about some of the delicious pastries that my sister and I consumed today?
I’m a guy that’s all about supporting the independent shops because I believe the small store and ownership group bring about a higher level of quality control. Also, these shops seem to be more quality focussed to begin with. Sometimes they’re more hype than substance but I’m usually not disappointed. This is almost always true I’ve seen with local patisseries. Sure they’re a little more expensive but the quality of the pastry you receive is almost 54 trillion times better than even your ‘upscale grocery’ type pastry.
It’s about time Manuel Latruwe (Calgary) reopened. It was closed over the last several months for renovation and expansion and had taken many deadline extensions to finally open their doors a couple weeks ago. They are a Belgian Patisserie located next to Bernard Callebeaut on Macleod. After waiting for so long, I decided to make the trip to have some fine pastries. We rolled up (on 24’s, in my G5, G5) into the complex and I was very disappointed to see that they were closed. It was weird because it was Tuesday at 2pm… the sign said they opened till 5. WTF? Dejected, we decided to go to Brulee Patisserie on 11ave. Good thing they were opened…NOT.
So today in the afternoon, we decided to visit ol’ Manuel again. Luckily it was open. But before we walked in, we chose to saunter (yes, saunter) over to the adjacent storefront with its door wide open. L’Epicerie is a french delicatessen and importer of fine foods. Amongst a varieties of terrines, cheeses, spices, pates and breads, we decided to try their small sandwhich. We had the Jambon Bayonne, which consisted of Jambon Bayonne (of course), which is very similar in taste to prosciutto, grainy mustard, gruyere, and some greens, with a base of butter in a crusty loaf. It came with a small bag of house chips. The sandwhich was amazing. The Jambon Bayonne had a salty richness to it that was not over powering. In fact the one word I’d give to describe the sandwich is smooth. The grainy mustard gave it a nice kick but it was not sharp in the least. The butter adding its creamy base and the greens giving freshness. To top it all off, the loaf was crisp on the edges yet chewy in the middle – a great complement for such a well made sandwich.
Next was Manuel. We walked in and was greeted by… empty shelves. It was around 1pm and this guy was almost sold out of everything. Luckily there were plain croissants still. We tried one, and it was good. Not good, great.
Actually probably one of the best croissants I’ve had. The exterior was so delicately crisp and flakey. As I bit into it, the top layers of the croissant broke and exploded into my mouth like a Hong Kong fireworks disaster. As my mandibles sunk lower into the pastry, a buttery tenderness met my mouth and the fluffy layers
melted. Wow! Were those last two sentences verbal overkill or what? Choo choo, next stop, my thighs!!
We finally made it to Brulee on 11ave, right next to Metrovino. We tried two things here: Frangipane Tart with Plum, and a Cheesecake Brownie. The Frangipane Tart was really tasty, the pastry crust looked dense but was light and had a nice crumbly texture to it. The sweet almond cream went well with the baked plums which still had a slight tartness to it that made the bite very pleasing. The Cheesecake Brownie was a friggin BRICK. It was very dense and rich yet still had a nice crisp crust on the top and the cheesecake layer combined nicely with the rich chocolate to give sort of a mocha-like flavor. Interesting to see how the textures changed too: the top was crisp, the middle was creamier, and the bottom was dense.
All in all a great day of eating… I love stopping by at these little shops and trying little things. Who wants to go with me?