High Tea at Le Panier, Pike Place

I’ve been curious about this place ever since I saw svon’s macaron photos on instagram, so we finally made a trip out here after visiting the Seattle aquarium. The french pastries here are out of this world.

We had a really fantastic coffee eclair – look at the pretty glassy glaze! The choux pastry was not bad, and the eclair was generously filled with coffee custard. None of that slitting it in half for you, it was properly piped in through a hole at one end.

The hazelnut chocolate cake was a little like a truffle cake – a little dacquoise on the bottom, a beautifully rich chocolate truffle middle, with cocoa nibs dusted on the side. Amazing.

The croissant au beurre or butter croissant was really flaky and buttery, hands down the best croissant I’ve had in Seattle so far. (Fresh flours is second) I toasted this the next day and stuffed it with a creamy tuna salad and it was amazing.

The friand, or financier is a dense-ish little buttery cake. Very sinful but also really worth it.

The coeur du france, or palmier, which I have still been saving (the best for last).

We ate the chouquette hot out of the oven (they were restocking it when I was ordering, so of course I couldn’t resist). They were AMAZING warm. Chouquette are basically empty choux puffs (instead of cream puffs) that are studded with coarse sugar granules.

I ordered a medium cappuccino just to wash all the unhealthiness down with a full fat coffee :P Their coffee game is decent.

We had a ham and cheese pastry – I think they may have called it a ‘Mornay’, since the croissant is stuffed with ham, slathered with mornay, and then topped with shredded cheese. It was very good.

Even better was the dauphinois feuillete, a puff pastry square filled with a potato/bacon mash. I regret not ordering more of this. It doesn’t look like much since the pastry is so pale, but it was really mindblowing.

Their macarons (chocolate, noisette, passionfruit, cafe shown here) are slightly denser than I’m used to but with a nice crisp shell and a pretty sturdy cookie. I prefer them lighter, like the original macarons in Paris, but these are pretty good too.

We didn’t eat all of this at one go, of course. It was spread out of several meals and snacks :P But seeing how we’re so infrequently at Pike Place (parking issues, as usual), it was well worth it to make such a large purchase while we were there. The total came up to $39.05, which I think is pretty reasonable given the level of skill required to bake all of this!


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