The other day as “Monk,” “Jazzy” and I were eating our way through sunny and Olympic Vancouver, we decided to hop on the Aquabus and head over to Granville Island. I’ve always loved the Granville Island Public Market and frequently find myself shopping for special gourmet ingredients there. As we were checking out some Olympic pavilions and street performers, we came across La Baguette et l’Echalote. [1680 Johnston St, Vancouver, (604) 684-1351]
We had just finished snacking on some street food from the hawker stands by the Edgewater Casino, (tasty takoyaki and hurricane fries) but I couldn’t turn down the opportunity to snack on a freshly baked chocolate croissant. “Monk” loves them and we have a special relationship with croissant au chocolat. It must be my impending middle-agedness, because I can’t remember what exactly is the funny story I’m trying to recount. I don’t remember where we were, maybe on a cruise or on vacation somewhere, but I knew how much she liked pain au chocolat and for some reason, I ate all of hers and didn’t even save her a bite. Real romantic and interesting story right? Somehow, I’ve lost the punchline over time and I’ll have to ask her about it, “get to the bottom of it” and let her ridicule me endlessly about my early onset of Alzheimer’s and my poor story telling ability.
“Godfather” reminded me how good these croissant au chocolat were, earlier in the week, so as I played with “Jazzy,” “Monk” picked one up to go. Let me tell you, it was fantastic. The croissant obviously was very fresh, (no more than an hour out of the oven) was super flaky, exceptionally buttery and the exterior was golden and crisp. The chocolate inside was still relatively soft and not hardened like a “more mature” croissant. I have to say, there are too many bad croissants out there and I feel that I am a pretty good judge, since I personally used to make croissants from scratch, back in the day. On this particular day, I was really blown away by this croissant au chocolate and will have this taste memory in my head for a while. In the past, I’ve purchased different baguette, assorted bread and pastry from La Baguette et l’Echalote and have had varying experiences with the different products. I will definitely check them out again, next time I’m at the Granville Island Public Market.
Issues and concerns; if I recall correctly, I’ve had the croissant au chocolate before and it was not memorable. I also remember some rather suspect service. Maybe, there is some inconsistency in their products and service, but I will give them the benefit of the doubt and revisit the shop to continue my research. I like the feel of this local French bakery and that croissant was one of the tastiest things I’ve eaten this year.
On my chef’s night out scale, La Baguette et l’Echalote receives 3/5 SOB (slices of bacon).