Yesterday we snagged a parking space right in front, to finally have our promised lunch here. This was a first visit for both of us. My mother’s delight that we would be eating in a bakery was quite evident in her beaming face as she surveyed the fancy pastries in the case. She ordered light to save room for dessert, settling on a bacon and onion croissant ($2.75) for her savory and a Napoleon, $3.75. I had a bowl of the vegetarian mushroom soup, $4.50, and a pistachio macaron, $1.50.
The croissant was filled and topped a crispy crumble of bacon and savory onions. I had just a bite, and the lightness and buttery richness convinced me that I’ll need to explore the croissants here in greater depth. I was surprised that Mom picked a napoleon, as she usually goes for something fruity (and I had hoped she’d try the Opera cake), and asked why. She said she likes them but most are terrible so she doesn’t eat napoleons often. She said that she could tell just by looking at them on display --- the golden brown and sturdy puff pastry and the dense and bright yellow pastry cream --- that this would be a good choice. Of course, she was right, the pastry cream is awesome here and the pastry was fresh and crackly. The mushroom soup was delicious, slightly thick and without butterfat, the taste of the mushrooms could shine through directly. The pistachio macaron was not so good, tasting more of almonds than pistachio and too soft, yet the filling was quite well-done.
Mom surveyed the cookies, packed in glassine wrappers to grab and go, but nothing suited her this time. She did think the meringue chicks, a pair nestled in a plastic basket for Easter were cute. They’re $5 and seemed to be a popular item here.
Patisserie Philippe (moving)
655 Townsend St, San Francisco, CA 94103