I love the fact that checking up on food news every morning is part of my internship. I get to look at google news! Sometimes I head to Eater, Grubstreet and Huffington Post: Food when I can’t find anything on google! It’s amazing to be able to do something that, hey, I’m going to be doing anyway and get rewarded (I hope) for it. I have to pinch myself constantly to remind myself how intensely lucky I am to have this internship this summer.
While looking for hard hitting coffee news, I found out that famed Parisian bakery, Maison Kayser, was planning on opening several locations in New York. The first thing I did was email my mother and tell her that we must get a croissant there this summer. Lucky for me, there opening process didn’t seem quite as daunting as Laduree, who promised us a location in New York for at least a year before we saw any signs of life. I was overjoyed when Eater proclaimed Maison Kayser’s location between 74th and 75th on 3rd Avenue certified open. And I knew exactly when I would be going there, the day of my visa appointment.
Since nothing clams the nerves quite like a good croissant and bad google maps directions, I went to Maison Kayser an hour before my visa appointment. I gazed at the arrangement of breads and pastries and spent a moment ogling the cafe area. I would have sat down if I wasn’t worried about being late after having read stories that described their service as lacking. I got my croissant to go, pointing to the exact one I wanted, much to the chagrin of the guy who helped me. When they placed the little wax paper bag in my hands, I gripped it excitedly and ran as fast as I could to the park to sit down and eat my pastry.
Now, I’d been waiting for this for a while. I expected it to be one of the best things I’d ever eaten. While I loved it, I’m not sure if it was truly my favorite croissant. It tasted like a dried version of ceci-cela’s famed butter behemoth, but in a good way. The butter taste was pure and creamy, the layers were smooth and flaky. My problem? Where was my delightfuly crackly crust?
Honestly, if I had eaten this in a proper setting sitting down I expect that I would be telling you that it is the best croissant in New York. Right now, however, it’s one of the best. I prefer it to Ceci-Cela, but not quite as much as Dominque Ansel or Almondine. The outer shell is one of my favorite parts of a croissant and without that there, I’m just not prepared to call it my favorite.
As Maison Kayser opens more locations around New York and I have the good fortune to encounter this croissant more and more, I expect that I will develop very fond feelings for this extremely French pastry.
UPDATED: I went back the next day and I can report that the pain au chocolat is okay, but it gets a bit stale by the afternoon. The coffee is completely forgettable. The baguette?
One of the best I’ve ever eaten in New York.