Posts Tagged ‘Vietnamese Bakery’

PIERRE RAID

January 20, 2010

If your schedule is amenable to taking coffee breaks in the vicinity of Garden Grove, by all means, take a skateboard,  fixie or Ellipti-go to Viet-Parisian bakery Pierre’s Patisserie and Boulangerie. Though the latter mode of transport will make you look like a human Jackalope galloping across the ruddy, baked asphalt of Little Saigon, it will be necessary to combat butterfat the likes of which you haven’t seen since you sat in the dark watching Julie and Julia, wishing your Edward’s popcorn were doused with Plugra instead of beta carotene-colored oil that resembles Bain de Soleil  Tanning Gelee.Authentic pastry chefs don’t ration out thimble-sized portions of butter like fastidious kindergarten teachers stingily administering glue during a craft session. Lest you forget, here’s a little pastry chef 101: before baking, the pastry dough rectangle has a butter block the size of an FAA-approved flotation device sealed inside, and then, with more roll-outs than an anti-cellulite spa treatment and more folds than an origami crane, voilà! You’ve got dough!

Glossy apple galettes, lacquered dark chocolate-filled croissants, crackly palmiers and chewy, slightly sweet almond-studded marzipan balls revealing a cherry center are just a few of my faves. The specialty cakes are like those spammy Snopes-refuted ‘YOU’VE GOT TO SEE THIS’ emails from dad and his cronies; they look good on the outside, but the content?  Notsomuch. Try the ethereal sugar-studded pastry puffs next to the register with a sip of sweetened condensed milk-laced espresso.  Featherweight baguettes as long as Louisville Sluggers hot from the oven and are just $1.35. Pierre Boulangerie and Patisserie 14354 Brookhurst St. Garden Grove, CA. 714.418.9098. Coffee break for two, $10.00.<script type=”text/javascript”>
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The Tip Top Point

January 16, 2010

 

In the banh mi diaspora of Little Saigon, opinions on where to find the best baguette are as authoritative and polarized as HuffPost and the Heritage Foundation’s combative takes on global warming. And it’s not just the bread. At a local salon, I’ve seen trash talking sessions about sandwich fillings get as hot as a Conair Infiniti dryer.

 A teeming social hub well-respected in the cult of the Vietnamese sandwich, Tip Top’s is crammed with loyal congregants gossiping and reading Nguoi Viet. Bread comes out of the massive ovens hourly creating a market so competitive that attempting to sell a cooled baguette in this neighborhood is as dismal a prospect as trying to trade mom’s Weight Watchers protein bar for Flamin’ Hot Cheetos at the grade school lunch tables. 

A Tip Top baguette has a scored and slightly bubbled outer crust that shatters on contact like a pane of sugar on crème brûlée leaving shards of flakiness in its wake. The core, still warm from the oven, soaks up the juicy, fat marbled savory pork  tangled with cool, sweet pickled daikon, shaggy carrot slivers, fresh cilantro sprigs and jalapeño spheres. The experience is at once crispy, spicy, warm and crunchy. And at $3.45, the price is as sweet as the cafe sua da.

A shrill bell channeling an elementary school’s fire alarm sounds before your order number is read. Forget the uninspired American-style sandwiches and leave the Patisserie to Pierre’s Boulangerie down the street, but hustle to the take-out counter: that baguette won’t be warm forever. Tip Top’s Sandwiches 14094 Brookhurst St. Garden Grove. 714.530.9239. Lunch for two, $8.00,  food only.