Saint Honoré Boulangerie
2335 NW Thurman Street (location visited)
315 1st Street Lake Oswego
To those who haven’t realized yet, whenever I drive down to I-5, on my way back, I always bring in goodies for close friends and fellow food bloggers. So far, from the two places I have brought goodies from (check here and here), it seems it was quite well received. So, for today’s post, the challengue was the same: bring some goodies from Portland. The question is “from where?”. Since I was staying near the Uptown area, Saint Honoré Boulangerie ended up being the best option…
During my stay, I noticed this shop but I chose not to go for several reasons: too early, too late, plans to go somewhere else, etc. etc. But, finally, on my way back, I decided it might as well be a good time. See, there were other bakeries but it was also a matter of time: After all, another 5+ hours drive awaited me! Of course, there was the usual challenge of what to bring. Since I had already noticed the place was quite busy at times, I decided to check their site ahead of time and make a list of items to order. Also, given that Mijune is one of the people I stop for on my way back, I tailored those items for her, as well. (Hey, she is the queen of sweets and my reputation was on the line!). And, finally, I could only choose item that would survive that drive. I.e., I couldn’t order a Saint Honoré (yeah, paradoxical, considering this place’s name!), most cakes, etc. Well, that literally was a challenge for sorts but I was up for it! 😉
Since I was there on a weekend, it was packed full. Almost all tables (including some outside) were taken. But, then again, I was planning to only order things to go. Alas, I was so focused on pastries that I overlook their other offerings, namely bread and sandwiches. Oh, well. However, if Saint Honoré would be a good place, that was an incentive to come back in the future!
So, box number one… From the top, chouquette, followed by two Mirliton de Rouen, then, to the left, two Gateau Orange et Gingembre and finally two almond croissant. In another box, tarte au citron and Normandy apple toast.
On that note, the tarte au citron was… Strange… Again, not sure if it was due to the transit time (it wasn’t consumed on the same day). It was citrus-y, all right but it wasn’t that smooth. The one part that caught me partially off-guard was the shell: it isn’t pastry based but almond based. As a result, it wasn’t “crunchy” but slightly grainy. However, the fact that the overall dessert wasn’t that sweet was a plus for me. As for the apple toast, it was a bit strange. Again, probably due to the transit time and so, the end result was somewhat dense. Now, the other part that threw me off a little bit was that it didn’t feel that much as a toast but, instead, a bread pudding. Once again, it wasn’t that sweet so it worked for me quite well.
I also wanted an order of 30 mini-cookies but there was some sort of communication breakdown: they weren’t sure if they had it or not. That’s why I dropped that item and, instead, noticed a bag of these: chouquettes. Think of it as a mini version of a croissant, with some rock sugar and simple syrup (not 100% sure about this, but it was sticky after handling these!). As a snack, these would be great and would certainly eat a couple of things. (Remember, not much of a sweets person!).
Back to the first big box, here, the almond croissant and the gateau orange et gingembre. The croissant wasn’t as crunchy as it could have been but, once again, I will blame the transit time plus fridge time. Still, even with that in consideration, it didn’t really work for me, as the almond taste didn’t came out. As for the gateau… Well, this was one of the items I knew I should get for Mijune and it didn’t fail. It had a really strong orange taste… Wait, make that *natural* orange taste because it had a lot of (candied?) orange peel in it (despite they say it is pureed). Now the ginger didn’t really come out so I can’t say much about that component. One note I must mention is that this is supposed to be flourless. If it is, I am quite impressed as I didn’t really miss it!
The canelet was an interesting piece of pastry. While it should have some rum in it, I didn’t taste any. Furthermore, some of the hints it should be there, like the vanilla, didn’t really popped out. However, what I really like was that custard-y texture. Yeah, I am sucker for custard so call it bias! Finally, the Mirliton de Rouen. The simplest way to describe this would be a pear tart; however, unlike some others, it had pieces of pear in it. What it has to do? Well, because they were cooked, it was really soft and, furthermore, it was moist. As a result, that moist feeling “spread out” to the rest of the pastry. Did I mention it wasn’t that sweet?
I know the way I wrote about some of the pastries was strange, i.e., there was always a “but”. However, instead of detracting itself from the overall dish, it was rather a plus. The fact that it wasn’t sugar overload (yeah, they are all pastries and what not) was, once again, a plus for me. So, from my perspective, it fit the bill. Probably not a comparison against Kreation Artisan Cake, Ganache Patisserie, Thomas Haas or Bakery Nouveau. But, it has qualities of its own which is what make it stand out from these other places. But… (Yeah, I am saying it again), it didn’t matter what I thought. Instead, what matters is what Mijune thought. So, for that, please, check *her* post!