The Girl Who Ate Everything

Blogging about food and whatever since 2004.

'Patisseries in Paris,' Part I

inside bag o stuff pour
A few of many goodies in Paris. And that's why I gained so much weight when I lived there.
Book Cover
Patisseries of Paris

Some time ago between the beginning of this year and yesterday (I aim to tell the truth by being extremely vague), I received a book in the mail. For freeee!!! From the nice people at The Little Bookroom! To promote the most awesome book ever: Patisseries of Paris by Jamie Cahill. Did you hear me? MOST AWESOME BOOK EVER! ...Aside from anything written by Jhonen Vasquez.

If you're familiar with at least 5% of my personality, you know that I flip my shit at any mention of Paris. Hearing someone speak French fills my brain with images of the abundant baked goods-glory (and beautiful architecture and gardens and fashionable people and other things that make me like America less) I was surrounded by one and a half years ago. Paris is a lot like what I imagine heaven to be like, with the advantages being that you don't have to be dead to go there. And it's real!

Would I recommend Patisseries of Paris for those who love sweets and aim to eat them in all their glorious, health-depleting forms? Baked, flaked, frozen, molten, and more? Hell yeah! After reading the description for each of the 92 businesses listed in the book, my heart filled with warm happiness...and then my eyes filled with tears of sorrow for the food I may never get to eat again if the dollar continues on its trajectory towards being worth almost as much as a pile of dirt.

So that's my review. The end.

Okay, there's more. A little. Over the course of three posts, I'm going to comment on the places I've been to that Jamie mentions in her book, splodge up some food porn for you because I know you want it, and share links to previous Paris-filled entries. It'll be so much fuuuun! WHY AREN'T YOU EXCITED, JESUS CHRIST!!@# (It's really humid right now. And it's past midnight. The components for clear thinking, this is not.)


Angelina interior plop mont blanc innards
Angelina and its sweet digestibles.
"The place is filled with tourists and locals alike, almost all relishing le chocolat Africain, hot chocolate so rich you practically need to eat it with a spoon. Those who aren't sipping it are cracking into the hard meringue of the Mont Blanc after conquering its outer mounds of whipped cream and squiggles of candied chestnut cream."

Well, Jamie, I did BOTH. And then I FELT LIKE PUKING. So I'm glad you don't recommend doing both.

It pours.

Since the hot chocolate is super-rich and thick, it comes with additional unsweetened whipped cream to help cut through the richness. However, as whipped cream hardly qualifies as chocolate anti-matter, the resulting whipped cream-and-chocolate stomach-coating liquid is still a fairly potent mix of chocolate and cream, and fat, and chocolate, and fat. Drinking this on an empty stomach was stupid on my part, but I think there still would've been some resulting stomach discomfort even if I had eating something beforehand. Not to say that it wasn't delicious—oh man, it was intense—it's just that the groans of deliciousness were mixed with moans of organ failure.

The Mont Blanc, basically a base of meringue covered with a huge mound of whipped cream and topped with a layer of chestnut cream, was really sweet. Don't get me wrong—I like Mont Blancs—but they probably don't go with small pitchers of hot chocolate with lava-like consistency. I was three millimeters away from diabetes.

On that note, you should totally go.

Decenber 26, 2006: back home + last few days in Paris

La Boulangerie Julien

igloo-ed chicken curry mmm IMG_2904
Julien and its goodies.
"There is often a line outside Julien: at lunchtime, when the shop does a brisk business of quiches, tourtes, sandwiches, and salads to go, and in the evening, when its famous baguette tradition comes out of the oven."

I went to school near one of Julien's locations and indeed, the lunchtime rush went mad for sandwiches. Or perhaps that was just me. My heart belonged to the Poulet St. Moret sandwich, although by this point I'm not exactly sure what that sandwich entailed; chicken and stuff. Mayo? Yes, mayo sounds good. I was also a big fan of the curry chicken salad sandwich. Their baguettes traditional were also dangerously easy to polish off in one sitting, at least when accompanied by a stick of salted butter. And you know I always had salted butter on hand. If there had been a convenient way to carry it around in my pocket, I totally would've.

September 24, 2006: running in Paris with a towel on my head
December 28, 2006: Last day in Paris
March 18, 2007: Spring Break in Paris: Day 1



Deliziefollie possibly had the most beautiful mounds of gelato I had seen in Paris. Unfortunately, beauty doesn't translate equally to deliciousness (it's not my favorite gelateria in Paris; that title goes to Pozzetto), but it's definitely worth trying if you're in the area, as their pistachio is of the warm roast-y type that makes Italy proud. They have lots of interesting flavors and fluffy cloud-like bins of gelato that you just wanna stick your face in and hug. And then devour.

March 24, 2007: Spring Break in Paris: Day 4

Jean-Paul Hevin

bag o stuff macarons caramel chocolate thingy
Macarons! And chocolate!

Cahill doesn't mention macarons in her entry on chocolatier Jean-Paul Hevin, but they're (unsurprisingly) the first things I ever tried there. Early in the semester I went to the La Motte Piquet location (it was near my school), flexed by meager French-speaking skills, failed to get a look of "You mangled my language"-based disgust from the shopkeeper (she was nice!), and took my treasure to the nearby park by the Eiffel Tower for a solitary macaron gorging. And those were some fine chocolate macarons. You could get non-chocolate macarons at his other shop down the street, Hévin2, but I didn't think they were as good as his chocolate ones.

September 24, 2006: running in Paris with a towel on my head
October 14, 2006: Vegetarian food, macarons, chocolate, undulating pastries, etc.

Philippe Gosselin

other sign sign IMG_9196.jpg eclairs
Goodies from Gosselin
"The éclair is a specialty, featured in a multicolored selection of flavors—rose, passion fruit, pistachio, even poppy flower, and of course vanilla, chocolate, and coffee. Gosselin's real pride and joy is its baguette."

I went to Gosselin one Sunday morning (a time when many bakeries are closed) just to try its famed baguette. And it was awesome: chewy, crusty, and full of warm grainy flavors. I also tried a croissant and pain aux raisins, neither of which did much for my taste buds. The éclairs looked beautiful, but I didn't try any since éclairs generally disagree with the pleasure receptors of my brain, moving more towards the part that goes, "This tastes wrong." Although by "this"' I just mean the usually tasteless choux pastry; I'll gladly eat the creamy filling. Buckets of it.

March 19, 2007: Spring Break in Paris: Day 2

Pain de Sucre

Pain de Sucre marshmallows? whoa, nice pretty things
Goodies from Pain de Sucre
"Pain de Sucre's unusual concepts are hard to resist, tempting you to taste bizarre combinations like endive and orange marmalade, brioche, beer mousse, and crumbled candied chestnuts."

The closest I got to going to Pain de Sucre was taking photos of the outside (I heard that they don't let you take photos inside). The one day I triumphantly decided to visit Pain de Sucre and actually try some of their desserts, they happened to be closed. My soul, it was crushed.


inside not much left at the end of the day! Amorino
Oohh, gelato.

Amorino may be Paris's chain gelateria, but that doesn't mean it sucks! Hoorah! I wouldn't say you should go out of your way to try it, but if you pass one and have a gelato craving, by all means fulfill it at Amorino.

September 11, 2006: I'm surrounded by bakeries
October 1, 2006: Gelato, curry, pizza, and more gelato: the focal point of my diet is apparently gelato


ice creeeam
"By far the most famous name in French ice cream, Berthillon has elevated the childhood treat to gastronomique status in France. Some say the glace is overrated, but its freshness and gourmet flavor selection were novel when it opened its doors in 1954. Nevertheless, the intensely-flavored ice cream's and fruit sorbet's fame was established, along with lifetime devotees and a reputation that continues to this day as Parisians and tourists line the sidewalks of Ile Saint-Louis to get a scoop or take-away tub."

Many French people would probably be horrified to find out that I only tried Berthillon ice cream once while in Paris. I'm afraid that I'm a gelato girl at heart. My one Berthillon-eating experience, which occurred on the third day into my semester in Paris, wasn't memorable enough for me to...well, remember much about it, aside from learning that une boule in Paris is the size of a freakin' ping pong ball. Sure, we're excessive in America, but ice cream scoops in France are sized for 5-year olds. Give me a heaping mound of gelato any day. I don't doubt that Berthillon makes amazing ice cream (I'd definitely try more flavors next time I go), but I'm not kicking myself for failing to have tried more. Eating at Berthillon was one of many seemingly quintessential Paris experiences that I didn't fully experience during my semester there.

September 7, 2006: bits of Paris

Boulangerie Malineau

Boulangerie Malineau pain au chocolat marshmallows wheat, oh yeah
Goodies from Malineau
"Boulangerie Malineau's unique specialty, pain au chocolat framboise, is almost always sold out by lunchtime. No matter, since they are best eaten fresh anyway while the chocolate and raspberry filling is still warm and oozing. If you prefer banana to strawberry, Malineau also has a pain au chocolat banane."

I didn't get the specialty. Goddamn it.

But I did gorge on marshmallow logs. Oh, how I feel in love with those guimauves; never in my life had I come across such addictive marshmallows, and I wouldn't even label myself a marshmallow fan. Near the end of my spring break, I bought one stick of every flavor they had (five of them, perhaps), coconut being the favorite of Diana and me. What made those marshmallows so magical? I have no clue. Whatever it is, they don't have it in NYC.

March 28, 2007: Spring Break in Paris: Day 5
April 2, 2007: Spring Break in Paris: Day 7 & 8

Part II of my Patisseries in Paris overview will (hopefully) be coming soon.


fanny / June 26, 2008 3:21 AM

Robyn, may the following be my own heartfelt love declaration to you.


the end.

xx fanny

beebe / June 26, 2008 5:50 AM

thanks muchly for posting this robyn!
going to paris in a few weeks and now i don't have to do as much reserach beforehand. so are all bakeries fantastic or should i try to avoid going into any (every) bakery i stumble upon?
can't wait for the rest!

SuperChomp / June 26, 2008 7:54 AM

That hot chocolate looks a sprinkle of chilli away from being the real deal; something the Aztecs would have been proud of.

Gwen / June 26, 2008 10:01 AM

Oh, I wish this had been posted a month ago, *before* I went to Paris!! Now I'll just have to go back. (If I can ever afford to... come on, dollar, get stronger!)

Tina / June 26, 2008 10:40 AM

ZOMG! So much tasties in one post! And it's all about pastries and desserts! @.@

I declare my absolute LOVE to you as well. Yet, I envy you since I still haven't gone to Paris and weeping that the US dollar is worthless that I can't go there.

I just wish my boss could take me to Paris with her for a weekend during the fall when she have to attend a conference...

Jeannie / June 26, 2008 10:55 AM

Long time reader, first time commenter. But thank you for this posting on Paris. I'm going in September and I can't wait to eat my way through there! These places are definitely going on my map!

Julie / June 26, 2008 11:21 AM

Why did I skip breakfast this morning? WHY?? I've never had a mont blanc, but it looks really tasty. And lethally sweet.

Also: Jhonen Vasquez!

Coco / June 26, 2008 11:43 AM

Yay! Thank you so much for this! I'm going to Paris next month and was going to hunt for fun Paris eateries in your blog. yummmmm, can't wait!

Su-Lin / June 26, 2008 2:13 PM

dang. The last time I went (it was just a long weekend), there wasn't enough time for eating after all the museum time. Hmm...gonna bookmark this post! And yes, I'm horrified that you only had Berthillon ices once! I love them! :P

Jenni / June 26, 2008 2:22 PM

I think you pretty much had me at "chestnut cream."

Or "patisseries."

I want to eat my way through Paris right now.

Amy / June 26, 2008 4:47 PM

I was just going to blog about the food I ate on my recent trip! (I'll be sure to link to you).

These two places are prolly coming up (or in the book) but Dalloyou and Laduree are excellent patisseries

Molly / June 26, 2008 5:32 PM


that mont blanc is calling my name! and those marshmallows!

i am having a sugar rush contact high through my computer screen.

Cindy / June 26, 2008 6:20 PM

I talked myself out of buying this book, several times over the last 6 months. Now, you've done it, I must have it, now!

Ms. Blake / June 26, 2008 6:38 PM

If only they'd make lickable wallpaper ala Willy Wonka! Then we could try all those delectable treats without the calories. (probably wouldn't be as fun as eating the real thing though.) sigh.

Marsha Calhoun / June 26, 2008 8:28 PM

" Hearing someone speak French fills my brain with images of the abundant baked goods-glory (and beautiful architecture and gardens and fashionable people and other things that make me like America less) I was surrounded by one and a half years ago. Paris is a lot like what I imagine heaven to be like, with the advantages being that you don't have to be dead to go there. And it's real!"

A perfect rendition of my sentiments. I was there in spring of last year and again this spring, and still nowhere near long enough. Oscar Wilde reportedly once said that when good housewives die, they go to Paris; I can't think of a better reward!

mike / June 26, 2008 9:00 PM

I'm always amazed at how delicious your pictures look. Makes France look so much more tasty and romantic!

amy / June 26, 2008 11:38 PM

I almost never pre-order books, but I did for this book when it was first released. The book really impress me, great photography and good descriptions. I like how it's sorted by the arrondissement. My dream Paris trip would be to do a 20 day trip, tackling every place listed in a particular Arr each day (in your face Atkins diet)!

The publisher have some interesting special interest guidebooks, I like the city secret series & the Paris market one.

My personal bakery detector (when in Paris..before this guidebook) was to see what locals buy at the bakeries. If they buy the bread, get the bread. If they get the pastries, get the pastries.
For baguettes, don't get the cheapest one, get the l'ancienne or traditionelle.
On my last trip I stayed down the street from Gosselin & Julien. I ate fresh baguettes & pain aux chocolate every morning. One morning, I was at Gosselin early enough just as they were bringing out a fresh batch of was still warm. I ripped into it out on the side walk, steam came out of the innards (it was a cold crisp winter morning). I ate half of it before I got back to my hotel 1.5 block away. Totally worth waking early for..hell, next trip, I am waking up early, get and eat fresh baguette, and going back to sleep.
I read that in Paris, at least one bakery in a neighbourhood would be open on Sunday, Parisans would not be deprived of their precious fresh baguettes for even one day.
Personally not fond of Mont Blanc (chestnut cream is not my thing), but it's weirdly popular in Japan. It's EVERYWHERE.

Jessie / June 27, 2008 12:15 AM

i know how you feel. i gained almost 5 pounds when i went to paris. pastries in the morning, pastries in the afternoon, and pastries at night. i hope you found the crepe man by notredame

roboppy / June 27, 2008 12:15 AM

Fanny: I LOVE YOU TOOO!!!!

Beebe: Oo, I'm jealous! Not every bakery in Paris is awesome—if you're in Paris long enough you'll get a sense of the generic patisserie—but even the "generic" ones are like ZOMG AWESOME compared to what we have here. :( Arrrgh.

SuperChomp: The Parisians pick up where the Aztecs left off. Mebbe.

Gwen: Ahhh, you'll go back sometime, and these places will still be around! :D I hope.

Tina: I love the @.@ face...heehee.

Conference in Paris; what a perfect excuse to go! You'll visit someday to get those perfect fresh macarons.

Jeannie: YAAY PARIS!! Thanks for commenting! More recs are a-comin your way.

Danny: It's not too far! Just...uh...7 hour flight? Haha. ;_;

Julie: Lethally sweet sounds about right.

JHONEN! He gives me job. But calorie free.

Coco: Another Paris traveler! I'm glad I could help!

Su-Lin: I went to Pozzetto a bunch of times!...if that counts for anything. Waah.

Jenni: Not just eat your way...gorge your way. Ooohyeeaah.

Amy: Can you believe I never went to Dalloyau? I passed lots of em, I just...uh, didn't go in. :( But Laduree yesss. That will be comin' up.

Molly: Marshmallows beat the chestnut cream! Mmm mallow stick, so good.

Cindy: Talked yourself out of it? Why would you do such a thing? ;)

Ms. Blake: I just want that candy forest/wonderland in Willy Wonka...the trees with the goo-filled candy and stuff.

Marsha: Crap, I have to be a housewife first? NOOO!

Mike: France is romantic, but that's secondary to TASTINESS, OH DEAR GOD.

Amy: I wish this book came out two years ago. ...Or maybe it's a good thing it didn't. When I got to Paris I spent a bit of time trying to find a guide to the best baguettes, but I couldn't find it anywhere. ...Also probably for the best.

Being down the street from Gosselin and Julien sounds dangerous. I totally relate to polishing off half a baguette while walking down the street (although I don't think I ever had one as fresh as yours!). I can't remember how many times I'd be standing on the metro platform with a partially eaten baguette. Seeing other people do that was one of my favorites sights. :D

Jessie: Oh noes, I didn't find the crepe man! But I must admit, I'm not a big fan of crepes. ;_; Not that i dislike them, but I enjoy pancakes more. ...Not that they're the same thing. Ahh, I dunno. I like some forms of crepes, but I never crave them!

angela / June 27, 2008 12:59 AM

with all the yummy sweets photographed, my eyes are locked on that chicken curry sandwich.

Trixy / June 27, 2008 1:21 AM

Paris seems like such a great area to live in. I'm sure I'd get diabetes, but the food porn is amazing!

margaret / June 27, 2008 10:41 AM porn to the max!!!! This is why I read your blog just about every day. I'm going to Paris in November, despite the composting US dollar, and you just made me even more excited about it. You and your blog are the best!!!

roboppy / June 28, 2008 11:18 AM

Angela: T'was a very good sandwich. But I could never get it here cos NO ONE SEEMS TO MAKES BREAD THAT TASTILICIOUS, MRRH.

Trixy: I'll get diabetes no matter where I am!

Margaret: Arrgh I wanna go to paris WHY IS EVERYONE GOING wai. Eat a chicken curry sammich for meee. Among other things.

Kathy: I can't wait until YOU go to Paris and gorge yourself.

Taerin: HAHA, I would've never thought of looking up how much dirt actually costs. But I'm glad I know now. THE POWER OF KNOWLEDGE!!

plume / June 30, 2008 12:33 PM

About the poulet saint moret sandwich: saint moret is a brand of some kind of cream cheese.
Your photos makes me hungry!

Cathy / July 1, 2008 4:38 PM

Hubby and I just got back from Paris where we spent 2 amazing weeks pretty much eating and drinking our way thru the city!! The cafe's are so charming and well the food is spectacular.

Loved the post and thanks for reminding me of our 2 amazing weeks honeymooning in Paris.


roboppy / July 2, 2008 9:05 AM

plume: Oo, thanks for the info! Cream the secret. Hmmm.

Hey, you have better access to this stuff than I do. Hehe..:)

Cathy: Ah, two weeks in Paris sounds lovely. :D I'm glad I could bring back good memories!

Coralie / May 18, 2009 3:38 PM

I live and Paris, and have only been to two of these! (Berthillon - nougat miel is my favorite, and Pain de Sucre - too bad it was closed because their macarons are out of this world!)
I've heard a lot about Angelina now so I'll go as soon as I'm back home. And now I'm off to learn some more about my city in your other posts!

talida / February 9, 2010 3:54 PM

Yes! A friend lent me her copy of Patisseries of Paris for my upcoming trip, and I don't know how I'm going to cram in all of them in my short 5 day trip. Reading your Paris series feels like cramming for an exam. And I thank you for supplying me with the CliffsNotes :)

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