Sunday, September 30, 2012
PB Boulangerie, for one minute I can pretend I am in Paris as the smell of butter wafts through the door. Returning to a summer retreat is risky. Often the memories of routine places can be misleading. But in the case of PB Boulangerie, the treats and breads were as good as I remember. I tried to beat the lines this year by embracing my sons' early wakings (6 am.) I would get in line by 6:45, and if it was a good day, be driving away, full of pastries by 7:10. The croissants were as flaky as I remember and even better warmed in the toaster for a few minutes. The lemon tart, touched with creamy meringue was as heavenly as I had hoped. And the pain au fromage et lardons was still smokey and cheesy. I also tried their apple tart which combined a tender apple compote with roasted apples and a bittersweet chocolate filled chocolate eclair. But the two highlights this year were also new. The first was a dark chocolate and candied orange bread. One slice, heated for a minute in the toaster brought the best of breakfast and dessert in one meal. It also freezes beautifully, perfect for stocking up for the fall. Then, the "Wellfleet Brioche," was a sweet dough, topped with butter and sugar giving it a crumbly crunch. But the best aspect was the red hazelnuts that sunk into the surface adding a nuttiness to each bite. While the service is faster, the lines are still slow due to a only having two cashiers (at most) and the need to make cappuccinos. At its worst, I waited 30 minutes while others had to stand in line for an hour. As I noted last year, I try to embrace my chance to read a book or the paper, to shmooze with the other excited customers and to inhale the sweetness to come. It is vacation after all!