Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Almond Croissant Smack Down #8: Baker and Spice

The Almond Croissant Smack Down continues!

Just when I thought I've tried nearly all the almond croissants Portland's bakeries have to offer, my friend/classmate Jamie surprised me on Easter, which was sadly spent studying for a Corporate Finance exam in the basement of the library (as opposed to attending some lavish lamb-on-a-spit Greek Feaster at Jim Gianopulos's mansion like some of my friends).

"...they had almond croissants....I got you's in my car...waiting for you..."


After devouring a whopping three strips of bacon for breakfast, there was no better way to lunch post fasting from bleeding animal products for 50 days than to nosh on my most beloved pastry: a buttery almond croissant. 

I was especially eager to try out Baker and Spice's croissant after hearing tales of long queues from pastry fiends in Hillsdale and some jib-jabbering here about their almond croissants.  

Jamie went to her car to get the croissant while I ran to the closest coffee shop for an Americano with real cream, none of that soy stuff for me any more.  I whipped out the croissant to find a crispy golden pastry. The layers were infinite. A good sign. The croissant was flaky with air pockets nearly collapsing the pastry upon first tear.

I was expecting a marzipan filling but to my pleasant surprise I found a ground almond filling which was in fact similar to marzipan texture but not as sugary sweet.  It was good, but the filling was on the stingy size and also somewhat hard - not creamy by any means. I had to work hard to taste the almond filling goodness, and dig a little. 

Although the filling was mediocre, the croissant dough is pulling through on the rankings.  Too bad Hillsdale is so far away! 

3. Baker and Spice

Baker and Spice
6330 SE Capitol Hwy
Portland, OR 97239


Rachel said...

The only almond croissant I've tried in Portland is from Grand Central (I live close by). No idea how it stands up to your other contenders, but it is very buttery. I remember having an amazing blueberry-almond bread pudding from Baker & Spice a couple years ago, it was so good...

Dewi said...

My most favorite breakfast pastry. Drooling!

JustinM said...

You have nice friends. I usually get texts like "We have half a warm beer for you... someone used it as an ashtray a couple times but it's yours if you want it..."

Lenia said...

It looks absolutely yummy!Have a lovely evening,dear!

Helen said...

By the sound of it, you didn't enjoy this very much. Visually speaking this croissant appears over baked. So Nuvrei is in the lead yet again! Woot!

On another note, I'm leaving for our gorgeous patrida in a few weeks. Booked my flight today. Any cool supermarket finds to keep an eye out for?

Banana Wonder said...

Rachel - I still have to try Grand Central! Thanks for the reminder. I like the sound of that blueberry-almond bread pudding... will have to bribe friend.

Elra - High five!

JustinM - That was one of the most awesome-ist of blog comments ever.

Lenia - I will trade you for a bougatsa. Express mail?

Helen - Ohhh so excited for your travels to the Patrida! Where are you going? I don't think I'll make it this summer as I am doing a 10 week internship :-( In terms of supermarket finds, when I was there last year there was a new Greek tea line that incorporates Saffron into the teas.

Ivy said...

I bet this croissant tasted better than any of those we get here in Greece. Pity you are not coming to Greece this year.

Helen said...

Oh no, what happened to the message I wrote a few days ago? Rumor has it that Blogger has been acting up. Guess some comments were deleted...
In response to your question about my trip to the Patrida: My mom is going to Greece for a few months and so it's an opportunity to accompany her and help her out with stuff around the house while there. I'm only staying for 2 weeks though. I'll be in a suburb of Athens near Glyfada but going into the city regularly to check out the shoe <3 shops, the agora, to see relatives, etc. As long as I can avoid the riots and protests, I'll be okay. I also want to see the new museum near the Acropolis. I hear its stunning! I will def. try to source the saffron tea. I love drinking tea. Must be the British influence here in Canada :)

Banana Wonder said...

Rachel - Duly noted, Grand Central is on the list.

Elra - Me too, high five!

JustinM - That has got to be the best comment of the week. If you ever come up to Portland I will be sure to have a cold, unopened beer for you...but then you may not think I am your friend.

Helen - Sounds incredible! I wish I could come. I am jealous of the shoe shopping. I used to walk around Ermou & environs drooling. None of those shoes fit me since Greek women apparently all have Barbie feet. The best moussaka I've ever had is a taverna in Voulagmeni - it's on my blog on the side "Greece" as well as the list of the stuff I brought home last time... ps. tea... gotta get some of that sketchy green tsai tou vonou...if you can get past security...

Helen said...

Anna, Whenever I go to Greece I always go to Vouliagmenis Street and browse the shop windows. I should check out your blog post about the moussaka and see where the taverna is since I'll be puttering around that street anyway.

That's too bad that you can't find shoes in your size. Shoes are the only thing I can fit into in Greece. The clothing sizes are for thinner women than me so I don't really bother with trying clothes on.

Greek mountain tea is available here in my city so I can easily source it at local Greek bakeries/markets although I'm sure any kind of dried herb or tea would raise eyebrows at airport security. LOL!

Michael said...

Have you tried Alder Pastry & Dessert? While I have not tried their Almond Croissant, their Kougin Aman is something serious... I am sure the Croissant would crack your Top 10.

Banana Wonder said...

Michael - Thanks for you tip - I have not Alder Pastry and dessert. I think it was because they didn't have any, but perhaps now they do. I will give stop by no matter what for some K & A now that you've mentioned it :P

Michael said...

Definitely an item that goes fast... get there early. I look forward to reading your analysis. Cheers!

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