I had one of those TV pregnancy moments last year when I woke up one Monday and desperately craved pain au chocolat from La Boulangerie. So, my husband faithfully made the trek before the start of his workday only to come home with wannabes from another Forest Hills bakery. I may have shed a tear. But I learned a very important thing: my favorite bakery is closed on Mondays.
I realize when most people come to Austin Street, they grab a slice of the “famous” red velvet cake from Martha’s, or one of their pretty good napoleons or chocolate mousse cakes, but hopefully not any of their awful cheesecakes or mediocre cupcakes. But if you’re a local, you’re going to stand in line for a real, buttery, carefully crafted croissant, or an eclair filled with a heavenly chocolate mousse, or a classic french baguette at La Boulangerie. Forest Hills has long been a good-bread starved neighborhood, or come to think of it, any good food. You have your standard sushi, pizza, and everything in between. But La Boulangerie is one of those places that has a certain transportive power. Where the owner has actually worked on his craft and stayed loyal to traditional techniques. And the decor is rustic with unpolished wooden furniture yet tasteful with quality serveware, so that you feel like you’re in Breton (except I doubt they serve large cafe lattes in France).
Depending on the time of day, you may or may not find the treat you were anticipating. They’re so good, they just run out (but they’re working on another batch, unless it’s past 5PM). I have tried just about everything from the apricot cheese danish, to chocolate almond croissant, parisian flan to gateau breton. They pretty much all satisfy your craving for a rich buttery indulgence (though admittedly, I am not as big a fan of the croissants as many other patrons).
And if it’s a savory treat or meal you prefer, they offer:
- soups, which vary daily
- sandwiches (classics, like ham and brie)
- quiches (delicious)
- salads (nicoise, etc.)
- and eggs on weekends
A big plus for parents are the children’s books (in English and French) that are perfect for keeping little hands busy while you take
five two minutes to yourself. That, or the Jacques Torres chocolates available for purchase.
Coffee is strong but good. But careful when ordering a large latte – they are served in big handle-less soup bowls for some reason.
Finally, if it’s bread you are fiending for, apart from the traditional french baguette, the pain aux cereales and pain bordelais are highly celebrated.
So, happy eating!
109-01 72nd Rd
Forest Hills, NY 11375