Word around Redmond is that there’s a good French bakery in town and testimonials from people who’ve patronized the shop and has become regular patrons is that they like the croissants, or baguettes, or macarons. Belle Pastry is the bakery in question — located in Bella Botega, at downtown Redmond. Very close to where we used to live; in retrospect, it’s a good thing that I didn’t know about it when we lived in the area.
I’m a croissant girl and our usual go-to place for croissants is Whole Foods Redmond. A cordial French-Canadian co-worker of The Hubby’s gave him a Belle Pastry croissant to be shared with me; I was touched and if it’s a plug for Belle Pastry, it’s a tasty and persuasive promotion for a bakery I was ambivalent about.
I’ve been to the City of Lights with Claire, my younger sister, and we made sure to hit up patisseries that caught our attention as we traversed on foot from Montmartre back to the hotel we stayed at. There’s also a handful of French bakeries in Monterey County, a wonderful one in Salinas that my family frequents, and several in Monterey Bay, all ran by French expats. Thus, my exposure to très bon French bakeries has made me critical, though I try not to be lest I miss out on yummy stuff out there.
One Saturday morning, The Hubby swept me to Belle Pastry for treats. Seeing that I already had some sugary breakfast, I wasn’t all that interested. But off we went anyway.
The staff were as sweet as the pastries they sell. They patiently waited as I took my time choosing. And took my time, I did.
The Hubby chose a baguette sandwich called “Soleil” consisting of ham and cheese. It’d be a Croque Monsieur, except it isn’t heated or fried in butter. It was up to me to choose the sweets and the first one I chose was a meringue, which hailed me back to my childhood days when my Mom made meringue cookies with the leftover egg whites from making leche flan. I also chose a Nutella macaron. But the crowning glory treat was the lemon meringue tart.
Creamy lemon custard topped with soft meringue.. ooh. Ooh. And I’ll leave it at that.