Saturday, March 21, 2009

The French Baker, Ottawa


Bread from The French Baker, Ottawa

As a continuation from my last post, here is what I picked up at The French Baker after my brunch at Benny's Bistro last weekend.

Before I dive into my post, let me preface it by saying that I have always been a fan of The French Baker, and my past experiences have been positive ones (proof in this past post). But for some reason, everything I bought was just off that day.

My favorite cookie at the French Baker is their sablés à la confiture. Their jam filling always has an amazing fresh fruit flavor! They didn't have that nice crunch that I normally like in their shortbread, but they still had that great buttery flavor.

Sablés aux Confiture

I haven't tried a macaron from any Ottawa bakery until now, so I don't have any local place I can compare it to. However, I have tried them in many other cities and countries, and this one just didn't have that nice delicate balance between crunchy and soft. Although there was a coffee bean sitting nicely on top, I couldn't tell what flavor the macaron actually was...I'm guessing it was supposed to be coffee flavor though.

Oversized macaron

I've attempted to purchase their croissants on a few occasions, and every time they were sold out. I finally got to try "Ottawa's best croissants" last weekend, and I was somewhat disappointed. I look for 3 things in a croissant: buttery, light, and flaky. The croissant I tried was buttery and had a nice flavor, but it was too doughy and not flaky enough.


After leaving a comment about my experience on the Ottawa Foodies site, one of the pastry chefs from the bakery contacted me to get more feedback. She was very professional and gracious, and took the feedback well. However, French Baker has a reputation for making one of the best pastries in town, and with that label, consistency is key. Had it been my first time visiting the bakery, I likely would not return for a repeat visit.

The French Baker
119 Murray Street
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Telephone: 613-789-7941

The french baker on Urbanspoon


Cabbage County Chronicle said...

I share your opinion of the The French Baker, I have found their croissants lack consistency. Perhaps relying on reputation or staff turnover, they have fallen in my estimation as THE place for the aforesaid buttery treat. Believe it or not, the best and most consistent place I have found for croissants is Tait's Bakery in Brockville. I have tried them several times and never have they disappointed.

CabbageCountyChronicle said...

We paid The French Baker another visit today and really, it's over priced and over rated. The croissants were doughy and lacked any real flakiness and both the chocalate and cheese scones were in need of character and flavour (and over salted doesn't count as flavour). The cafe au lait was good but if you are a bakery and the highlight is the coffee, there is a disconnect. Time to stop living off of reputation (advice Colonnade Pizza should heed as well).

Anonymous said...

i too think that the french baker is overrated. I am here for a wedding and decided to hunt for macarons and all the websites pointed me to this bakery. What a disappointment! Nowhere near the ones I had in Quebec city a few days before. Also, the service was horrible. The girl behind the counter seemed like she didn't even want me to be there and answered back so rudely when i asked what the flavors the macarons were. I know for sure that i would never come back here again when I come back to Ottawa!

Anonymous said...

Eight years ago, when I moved to Ottawa, the French Baker had the best 'pain au chocolat' (ie. chocolate croissant) that I had ever had in Canada....they rivalled any bought in Paris. About 2 years later, everything changed. Don't know why, but the croissants, etc. are no longer any good - too doughy. If you don't lose half the croissant in your lap with each bite, it isn't right!