Making my (self assigned) job easy!
Nuvrei Pastries is an underground bakery in the Pearl District with hours that are not to be taken lightly. Forget about weekday afternoon strolls to the bakery for a cookie. If you want an afternoon coffee accessory it would have to be premeditative. I have been to Nuvrei before, having been easily sold by their bright pink and white signs roping me in for fresh croissants. After all, they are a stone's throw from my Bar Method studio and it's always great to supplement some thigh shaking exercises with butter +sugar + flour.
The major sign to look for is the pink and white one outside shown above, or else all there is from the outside is this silver sign below:
The only you clue you have about going downstairs is this sign (and the hypnotizing smell of baked goods).
The bakery is small inside, but at 11am on a Tuesday there was an entire row of almond croissants available for my choosing. It's sort of cultish. You select your pastry and a cup of stumptown coffee and then get the hell out of that building (if its obvious you don't work there, ie. me in navy spandex and bright red back pack). You leave, stuffing the pastry in your greedy pie hole as you pass by some bewildered tourist, construction workers and those people who live fabulous lives in the Pearl that always seem to be walking their dog or going for coffee in trendy rain boots and pearls at any old time of the day.
Nuvrei uses Plugra butter, a European slow-churned butter that's higher in fat and lower in moisture to create a flakier pastry.
My almond croissant ($3.00) was a normal croissant size - not American obese size. The flaky crust shattered on first bite.
They do not use a marzipan based filling like most places do. Nuvrei has developed their own filling based on ground almonds, butter, eggs, sugar and rum. The filling was pure almond cream heaven - slightly oozy and bursting with fresh almond flavor. The best almond croissant yet and totally different than the competition. Nuvrei scores top marks on croissant pastry having the most airy, buttery and flaky dough thus far as well as the superior filling - original, fresh, and full of flavor.
Almond Croissant Standings:
After Nuvrei's croissant I would never go back to its inferior challengers. In the meantime, I will try the rest.
1. Nuvrei Pastries
2. Fleur De Lis Bakery
3. Lovejoy Bakers
4. Pearl Bakery
404 NW 10th Ave Lower Level 2
Portland, OR 97209