Another place crossed off of my list of bakeries to visit: Patisserie Poupon!
I don’t have extensive macaron experience. It seemed to be yet another snack that I had to try, according to the food blogs. I had some lemon-flavored ones at Bonjour a few months ago and I was disappointed. They were a bit on the dry side. I didn’t get the hype. It wasn’t until June when I went to Los Angeles and had the ridiculously good Duverger Macarons (bought on a whim at a gourmet food market) that I finally understood what the fuss was about. I hoped I could find some macarons comparable to the ones in LA here in Baltimore so I headed to Patisserie Poupon.
There was some construction going on on the streets right outside of the Patisserie but I eventually found parking close by the bakery. It’s a small place with a few tables. I had already planned to sit there even it was for a few minutes to eat my croissant, though no thanks to the construction, there wasn’t much in the way of ambiance.
Aside from my macaron craving, another reason I went there was to have a ham and cheese croissant. While I was in college, an on-campus cafe sold them and I became a fan of them then. I thought it would be great to try one at an authentic French bakery. Unfortunately they didn’t have any ham and cheese croissants that day, so I bought a plain croissant and 2 macarons in every flavor- chocolate, lemon, pistachio, and raspberry.
First, I ate the croissant. It was very buttery tasting and flaky, but the texture itself was a bit dry. I prefer a tender croissant and it just wasn’t. So I’d say it was good, sorta or a 3 (according to my completely logical rating system).
Next, I ate one of each flavor of the macarons. Since I’d never had a pistachio-flavored macaron, I started with that one. The flavor was alright; it didn’t blow me away or anything. I was expecting a strong pistachio flavor and it wasn’t there. I give the pistachio a 2 or Meh. I ate a lemon one next. Maybe I don’t like lemon macarons because I also thought this one was pretty Meh. After lemon I had raspberry. I enjoyed this flavor more than the previous two- the filling was awesome and the texture was great. I’d say it was a 3 on the cusp of a 4. Finally I had chocolate, which was Spot on, Spot on (or a numerical rating of 4). The texture was so much chewier than the others and the filling (probably a ganache) was delicious. Very chocolatey all around.
As a whole, I thought PP’s macarons were not exactly dry but a tad crispier than I would have liked. The Duverger macarons that I had in LA were very chewy and they’d also had rich, flavorful fillings. I was hoping for that from the Patisserie but they weren’t, and they were a but skimpy on the filling in each macaron, in my opinion.
Even though I didn’t have the greatest experience with the macarons or croissant, I wasn’t turned off by the bakery altogether. I’d love to come back and try the cakes, especially the frasier. They might be more to my liking.
So I actually wasn’t done with the French theme that day. Dissatisfied by the lack of ham and cheese croissants at Patisserie Poupon, I headed to Bonaparte Breads to check them out too. I’ll talk about that experience tomorrow, in Part Deux.