Sunday, April 27, 2008

Cafe Besalu

There are a couple things that I'll admit to being spoiled about because I live in Ballard, WA. One of them is Cafe Besalu. Besides France, there is not one other place I have come across that makes chocolate croissants or any puff pastry for that matter like pure love and a close second would be Bakery Nouveau of course - but they are in West Seattle!
After your first bite of a pastry from Cafe Besalu, you may notice that a large part of the golden, flaky dough has fallen on your shirt, pants and the plate- I tend to think this is now a true test of a perfect pasty, does it deliver paper crackling layers of flaking sweet butter? Enough that I am dabbing every flake off my plate with my fingers. When you are out there croissant tasting- I'd say that if it didn't crumble at least a little, it may as well pass for a roll!

Always a line out the door, this cozy cafe delivers perfection in pastry form. And if on purpose, knowing there would be lines out the door, a pastry cook is constantly folding and refolding pastry dough on a table behind the pastry display case and cash register just for us. Dressed in white t-shirts, white aprons and jeans, each pastry cook is humble and methodical about creating puff pastry while all of us in line stare speechless at the golden display case, drooling. What is the minimum daily butter serving per person? When you are sipping coffee between bites of a crumbly chocolate croissant and inhaling the sweet cafe air. Should it matter?

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