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You’ve already heard the hype. You don’t need me to tell you that Jeffrey Finkelstein has an impressive resumé of work experience at world famous restaurants Noma, El Bulli and French Laundry and that he’s set up shop here in Montreal. You know that the bread from his Hof Kelsten has fed diners at likes of Le Filet, Club Chasse et Peche, Toqué, Dominion Square Tavern, Nora Gray, Joe Beef, Toqué and Les 400 Coups because you’ve already tasted it. Yes, you can breath a sigh of relief. We’re finally in on secret source of good bread in this city.
La Cornetteria. You’ve probably heard of this tiny Italian patisserie before because of their zeppole. Ah, the famous zeppole that makes an appearance only once a year, for a one month limited time only. Come March, Italian bakeries from all over repurpose their ovens to produce the little puff pastry almost exclusively, popping them out at a dizzying pace. La Cornetteria happens to make some of the best ones.
Boudin Sourdough Bakery is a staple of Fisherman’s Wharf, one San Francisco’s many lovely tourism cesspools. Although you may be too cool to enjoy Fisherman’s Wharf, you may as well eat delicious food while being surrounded by tourists. It’s a simple concept of course. Fresh and delicious sourdough bread baked on site and transported around a busy restaurant by a series of moving ceiling trams and bread baskets on hooks… did I say simple? Although I’d never heard of Boudin, everyone else in line certainly had and were ferociously snatching up mugs, t shirts and other memorabilia from the gift shop.
Boîte de Bijou is a small bakery cum patisserie located just off the side of the National Taiwan Normal University. With a sign as discrete as theirs, it would be easy to miss the small place – I was totally oblivious of it the first few times I walked by. The air conditioning inside blasts customers, giving them a much needed relief from the sweltering outdoors (usually at least 35C and humid), so that’s a nice plus. The matcha green tea cake was recommended by the lady inside and it didn’t disappoint though surprisingly the matcha flavor wasn’t as intense as I was expecting. It was quite subtle and not overwhelming at all, nicely balanced with the thicker, harder crust on the bottom. This is a sweet little spot anyone can hit, especially convenient for those studying at the university.