My Last Goodbye to Bouchon Bakery, Tacos, and French Pastries
Last Wednesday, when most of my finals were pretty much finished, I had breakfast Bouchon Bakery for the very last time. Yes. It’s time for me to give up the days where the photogenic (albeit a tad pricey) pastries are my usual go-to since I’m graduating. What I ended up commemorating this place were their wonderful bacon and cheddar chive scone and a cream cheese, orange marmalade danish.
What’s so good about this particular scone, compared to the others they have is that the texture’s spot-on. It’s buttery, moist, flaky, and crisp on the edges. The cheese gives it a sharp, cheesy flavor and the bacon adds on the smoky, salty punch. Oh, how I will miss this scone.
This particular danish was my first time eating it. In the past, I have tried their key lime version, which I thought it was too sweet and complicated with the graham cracker cubes that’s packed with sugar, and the danish had a texture more like puff pastry than a danish, but this particular one was done well. The danish is less puff pastry-like, and the light, sweet, and slightly tart the cream cheese balances out the acidic orange marmalade.
Eating my way through breakfast and have my moment of reeling in my year or so eating here (at least two to three times a week), it’s time for me to bid farewell to this place and haul my butt to campus to take my last in-class final.
After my final was over, I trekked down to SoHo since I’ve read on Chowhound about this taco place that seem to be favorable. I’ve read one too many posts and hear too often that tacos suck in Manhattan that one would have to be in either Queens or Brooklyn to have a good one.
When I stepped into this place, I looked at their huge menu board posted above the register.
I was hoping to get myself at least a tripe taco, except when I ordered one, the woman behind the counter told me, “Oh, that’s the old menu. We don’t serve that anymore.” She gave me their new menu to look at.
Since that idea’s in the gutter, I asked her what would she recommend. She ended up saying the roasted pork taco’s good and the chicken. So, I went for both of them and have my first horchata.
After reading Robyn’s Red Hook posts describing horchata as “drinkable rice pudding,” I was hoping to get something similar. But when I drank it, it tastes like a milky, cinnamon-y drink with little bits of rice or is it almond? The latter is basically hard to distinguish since I’m not sure since it’s hard and finely ground. It’s not bad but I kind of wanted the same experience Robyn had.
While I was waiting, I managed to take a few interior shots of this place. Not much to look at but it’s a tad better than the average hole-in-the-wall with a television on the opposite side of the wall where I was sitting. This place basically focuses on the brisk take-out business for the locals.
About five minutes later, they called out my order and I picked up my tacos. So here they are…
The roasted chicken taco was tasty from the creamy avocado, chopped onions, tomatoes, mildly spicy peppers and cilantro, all wrapped in a fresh, soft warm tortilla. The problem was that the chicken was a bit dry. If that was overlooked, the taco is pretty tasty.
The roast pork taco has the same vegetable fillings except there’s no tomatoes and the pork meat is much moister. Between the two tacos, I liked the chicken’s flavor more. In terms of moisture content of the meat, it’s the pork. Both aren’t greasy and they actually are on the small side. About two tacos should fill up a small or average eater.
Since I’m not the typical eater, I craved dessert. Since I don’t expect much from this taqueria, I walked out and around SoHo, thinking what do I want to eat. Rice pudding from Rice to Riches? A croissant from Ceci-Cela? But when I walked down Spring Street, remembering to pick up a few more last-minute presents, I saw the croquembouche on the display window of Balthazar Bakery. Since I’ve been yearning for a single-serving of that dessert for a while, I walked in.
Me being the dessert loving person that I am, I ended up not only a croquembouche, which they superfluously called it profiteroles, but I also gotten myself a pear galette.
What I ordered the profiteroles and then I let myself look at the other pastries (big mistake on my part) and inquired about this since there were small stacks of these galettes on the pastry stand. I asked him, “What is that?” He replied to me, “It’s a pear galette. It’s pears poached first in red wine then in white wine and baked on the puff pastry.” Somehow, I felt seduced to buy it and then I half-jokingly replied, “Oh, that’s another workout for me since there’s so much fat.” He said, “What fat? I don’t see any nutritional facts posted on the walls. Don’t worry about it, it doesn’t exist.” In the end, I bought it.
Were his words truthful? In a word: yes. The crisp, flaky, buttery, and slightly sticky (from the glaze) pastry contrasts the soft, sweet but not too sweet pears with hints of wine and spices. The raspberries add a touch of acidic brightness to the tart. It’s very good. But I stopped myself after that bite and saved the rest for home (as dessert).
They called this profiteroles instead of croquembouche just because it’s sold in a smaller portion and it’s filled with caramel custard rather than chocolate. I would say it’s a ridiculous reason but what can I do?
As for the profiteroles, it totally satiated my craving. Crunchy caramel on the outside of the soft, chewy pâte à choux filled with a lot of sweet, creamy caramel custard. Jeebus, I was a really happy girl when I ate it. I guess what really hooked me was the filling since it’s not too thick and not too sweet and I don’t mind eating straight up. Even though that’s not the intended use but hey, a girl can dream.
10 Columbus Circle, 3rd Floor
New York, NY 10019
227 Mott Street
New York, NY 10012
80 Spring Street
New York, NY 10012