A Piece of Paris in Suburbia

18 Jul

Entranced for a little more than an hour and a half watching the documentary, Kings of Pastry, I watched, slack-jawed with amazement, as French pastry chefs competed for the Meilleurs Ouvriers de France (MOFs) and made masterpieces from simple ingredients.  As my dad remarked, “they put ‘Ace of Cakes’ to shame.”  The French maîtres featured in the film created  sugar spun into glass, chocolate molted into sculptures, and buttery pastries from naught but flour and butter.  I sighed, knowing that such things were few and far between in suburban Philadelphia.

So it was with pure amazement that just two days later, within the pages of The Philadelphia Inquirer, I found an article detailing how a suburbanite such as myself could have a nibble of France within the confines of the SUV-heavy suburbs.  With the first mention of croissant, I was hooked, lined, and sunk (or whatever that saying is).  This Saturday, with my pastry-loving mom in tow, I visited Georges Perrier’s (owner of Le Bec Fin) The Art of Bread:

and Le Petit Mitron (a mom-and-pop Narbeth stalwart):


Advice for those who seek these other-worldly pastries– Perrier’s establishment has lunch-type food such as quiche and sandwiches, and a few imports from Le Bec Fin’s pastry chef (i.e. macarons!).  Le Petit Mitron focuses primarily on the baking– pain au chocolat, tartes, sables, and fancy tartes. Get here early though, because once the bakers at Mitron are done for the day, they’re done.  Voilà! 


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