Weekend Coffee: Week 1

In a city known for great coffee it would be a shame not to take full advantage.  So, when the dreary winter days begin in earnest, our weekend coffee adventures do too.  Here's how it works: each winter weekend we seek out a coffee shop or bakery that we have never tried.  Not surprisingly, we have yet to run out of options.

We kicked off our winter coffee adventures last weekend with a visit to Honoré Artisan Bakery in Ballard.  There was a line coming out the door when we arrived.  A good sign.

We really like the coffee, but let's be honest, these excursions are equally about the pastries.  Unfortunately for you, I devoured mine before photographing them.  Hopefully, my description will do them justice.

It's my belief that the true measure of a bakery is its croissant.  Thus, I started with the butter croissant, to which I give high marks.  I am not exaggerating when I say that it looked and tasted like something you'd find in a boulangerie in Paris. The puff pastry was moist inside but dark and crunchy outside with just a touch of melted butter brushed on top to give it shine.  It was so flaky that much of it ended up on my sweater -- at least until I ate the crumbs off my chest.

My other pastry choice (yes, I had two) was the anise coffee cake.  I know what you're thinking . . . but it was phenomenal.  Moist with a very tender crumb and a slightly crunch top under its dusting of powdered sugar.  It contained large amounts of butter, of that I am certain.  Julia Child would have loved it too.  As for the anise (I was a bit skeptical myself) it was subtle and perfumey, but not too strong or licoricey.  Absolutely perfect.

Hard as it was to pass up the wild huckleberry and mascarpone danish or the onion-gruyere-thyme tart, I held the line at two pastries.

Byron chose the ham and cheese croissant and chausson aux pomme.  Suffice it to say he was highly impressed by both. Honoré has set a high bar.  We'll see what next week holds.

Epilogue:  Because of my fondness for incorporating photographs in my posts, I stopped by Honoré again today to take some photos.  While they didn't have all the pastries we enjoyed last weekend, you get the idea.

Their macaroons are so pretty and Laduree-like.

And the canneles . . . well, I can't think of anything to say except: tiny baked custards. 

It was a dangerous photo shoot because this time I couldn't resist the onion-gruyere-thyme tart (it was lunch time, what can I say).

Honoré Artisan Bakery
1413 NW 70th Street


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