Le Panier.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Le Panier - A Very French Bakery

SEATTLE – In 1983, Hubert Loevenrbruck brought a taste of France to Seattle with Le Panier. The little bakery on the corner of Pike Place, which resembles a classic boulangerie and patisserie, features authentic French pastries, cakes and specialty breads. A favorite among many Seattle natives, this bakery has become one of Pike Place’s main attractions.

This morning, I had the pleasure of another visit to this haven for bread-lovers and traditional-French-pastry fanatics with my mother. The aroma of freshly, baked baguettes wafting toward the sidewalk outside lured me into the shop.

A few steps in, it only took seconds before I was instantly drawn to the display of meringues and flaky, crème-filled slices of napoleon. The meringues come in two flavors: cocoa and plain, which many contest to be anything but banal. The wide assortment of pastries and breads overwhelmed me with their intricate swirls of cinnamon, vanilla and nutmeg. More than eight types of croissants drizzled with chocolate, homemade rolls and glazed tartlets fill the glass display cases and shelves throughout the shop, creating an eye-catching spectacle waiting to be discovered.

The shop, though small, is quaint and provides various tables and chairs for seating its guests. The cashier and those restocking the shelves of hazelnut sablés (butter cookies) were incredibly friendly. The cashier, especially, was patient to hose, like myself, who were unable to decide between one pastry and the other. After 15 minutes of indecisiveness, I finally settled for an éclair au chocolate (a chocolate mousse filled choux with chocolate delicately draped on top) ($3.50), an amandine (almond cream) croissant ($3.50) and pistachio macarones ($1 per macarone) hoping that the treats would satisfy my sweet tooth.

To my gratification, the pâtisseries tingled my taste buds when the smooth blend of chocolate and fluffy cream of the éclair melted in my mouth. The light, buttery crust of the amandine croissant was made with perfection and each bite was bliss.

From the classic French baguette to the delectable macarones, it is no wonder that Le Panier has become renown as one of Seattle’s favorites. It truly is a Parisian delight in the heart of Pike Place Market.

Le Panier
1902 Pike Place
Seattle, Wash. 98101
(206) 441-3669
Mon. thru Sat. 7:00 am to 6:00 pm
Sun. 7:00 am to 5:00 pm

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