Where: Eliane French Bakery, 1750 S State Street, Orem
Who Went: Chelsey & my friend Katie, then Chelsey & Owen
Number of Visits: 2
What We Ordered: Way too many little pastries...
What It Cost: $13.83
What We Thought:
I think this little French bakery has changed my life here in Provo.
Let me just preface this by saying I have never been to France, and am not really the expert on true authentic French cuisine. But I would say that I am an expert on what tastes good, and this my friends, is not a place to miss out on!
Eliane French Bakery is tucked away next to a little dance studio and a couple other shops on State Street, and has hours that are sometimes hard to accomodate (10-6 according to their Facebook, but when I got there, the sign said 12-7?). But once you step inside and inhale that incredibly scent of freshly baked bread, all those inconveniences melt away, and you are transported to a land of pastries and wonder.
Eliane, the store owner who actually hails from Tahiti, not France (but he assured me that they speak French and eat French cuisine there), is a bit reserved and is hesitant to give specific recommendations (he said that they all are his favorite!), but is more than willing to give advice on where to get the best cheese to go with his freshly made baguettes (WinCo), and was fortunately very patient with me as I took my own sweet time trying to make up my mind about what to try. But I got to say - he was right! They are pretty much all delicious!
Both Katie and I got a mouse -- I ordered the blueberry mousse, and Katie got the lemon cheesecake one (adorned here with a delicious selection of fresh, ripe fruit). Biting into the mousse was unlike anything I've ever experienced. It had such a true, rich blueberry taste, and the consistency was heavenly. Katie didn't really love her lemon cheesecake one as much, but we decided that it was because it didn't have the typical cheesecake-like texture she was expecting. If you go into it knowing that it will have the texture of a mousse, you will be more than satisfied.
Katie ordered some real food (unlike the desserts-only me...), and got the Croque Monsieur. This sandwich is on two thick slices of French bread, baked with ham and cheese and a rich sauce. I know this will probably offend all French people everywhere, but the closest thing that it reminded me of flavor-wise was scalloped potatoes. We decided that it was definitely enough to fill 2 people, and for its low price of ~$5, it was definitely a great deal. Next time I will certainly try one of his promising quiches...if I save any room after dessert!
I am a lemon fanatic, so this lemon tart immediately stole my heart. Eliane's tart crusts were unlike any I've ever tasted before. They were perfectly buttery and crumbly, a fantastic support with even better flavor. I must learn his secrets!
Another great thing about this place is that you can try even more varieties with his options for mini desserts. Since my goal in life is basically to try everything he sells in this place, I took advantage of this and got the mini pear-almond tart and mini chocolate eclair. The pear-almond tart was actually the biggest disappointment to me. I couldn't really tell what kind of nut accompanied the scanty amount of pear, but this was probably my own fault because I ordered the mini version, and there was a much smaller filling to crust ratio.
But I totally cursed myself for only ordering the mini version of this chocolate eclair...it was AMAZING! The chocolate filling was so rich and well, chocolately, and I loved the crisp golden pastry that surrounded it. Wow. I don't even know how else to describe it, besides you better go there and get one right now.
Next I tried the Strawberry Napoleon. The cream filling was so real, rich and decadent, and the strawberries were fresh and flavorful. The whole thing was put together by the delicious cake-y inside, and I had the hardest time restraining myself from eating the whole thing, so I could bring some home to my husband. It was like the most perfect strawberry shortcake you have ever imagined. Times ten.
The baguettes. Oh the baguettes. So crisp and crackly on the outside, and soft and wonderful on the inside. For some bizarre reason I only got a demi-baguette the first time I went...and the second time we went, I got two full ones! They are the best fresh bread I have ever partaken of, and I am pretty sure that picking up a baguette here will become a weekly habit for me. A little warning though - these baguettes are a little messy. I haven't figured out the best way to break the bread without getting little crackly crumbs everywhere, but I don't care! It's so good!
Just look at that. Do I even need to describe it? Chocolate mousse, so decadent and rich and amazing. The ultimate indulgence, right here people.
These photos are just from the first trip I took there. After that fateful Saturday afternoon, I dragged Owen there the next week and we picked up 2 full baguettes, a mini fruit tart, a full size chocolate eclair, and this slice of brioche layered cake with cream filling and a dusting of powdered sugar...all for $10! Some people complain that this place is expensive, but if they are selling little old cupcakes for $2.50, I totally think that this unique, hand-crafted pastries are definitely worth it!
What You Should Do: Go right now! Make it a weekly habit like I will be doing to pick up some fresh bread every week, and possibly a little treat or two! I love this rare little bakery gem right here in Provo, and I hope you will be able to enjoy it too!
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