I received a nice message from Pascal the other day. I feel so honoured that a business owner would take the time to reply to my review of his shop.
Before I break this apart, bit-by-bit, I should alert you that I am a critical reviewer, and I feel like this helps me to really find the gems of the neighbourhoods that I live in.
I have included a link to my YELP profile that contains my other reviews. Thanks to Pascal, I’m going to include my reviews (now there’s another one) of his bake shop.
Here’s the lovely comment that I received from Pascal. There are so many run-on sentences that I’m going to separate them just as they’re written:
Pascal: I remember you very vividly, you came in that afternoon literally before shutting down, wet from the rain and you said you were hungry,
Yeah. I was wet. Hungry? Not so much. I dropped by in the afternoon even though your posted hours say that you weren’t closing for another 4 hours
Pascal: I proceeded to show you what we had on both menus left and right of the counter, when you saw the prices on both boards you nodded you head and you looked away toward the tarts that we had left over from that day
You’re right. Before I buy something, I wanted to look around. Reviewing a bake shop (or any place) isn’t merely about the product, it’s also about location and atmosphere. I saw that you offered sandwiches and such, but I wanted to review something sweet that I didn’t have to wait for.
Pascal: and you proceeded by asking about the prices of that very tarts on the counter when you found out there was nothing under $2 you became angry and aggressive,
Excuse me? I am a little peeved now, but I have no problems spending the money (as you can see from my other reviews, and the fact that just a day later, I spent over $100 at Athens Hair Studio. There’s also a difference between quality services and quality goods – I saw neither. Don’t worry, you’ve gotten another chance to prove yourself.
Pascal: I kept my cool and I leaned on the counter waiting for you to make a decision.
The tarts looked disgusting. They looked as if the tops had cracked and you had placed caramel/Dulce de leche on top to cover your mistake. I didn’t want to have to show you my disgust for your product. I also figured that I’d go for something that was hot in the industry right now: Macaron. Which by the way, have one “o”. The double “o” cookies are made of coconut.
Pascal: however after few minutes i learned that you only had $2 dollars to spend at that time, I told you there nothing under $2 except some variety of cookies,
I saw no cookies. There were only tarts, macaron, and what looked to be an old lunch, in your displays.
Pascal: you looked and then you asked me for the macaroon cookies, I specifically replied by telling you that particular macaroon is filled with deluce de leche fillings however the crust is strawberry,
I must have missed the part of pastry class where cookies had flavoured crusts. These are delicate French macaron.
Pascal: you proceeded by asking the price i replied $1.75 plus tax, you nodded yes. it’s a shame for someone who call her self a pastry chef to write such lies simply because she was short of fund that day
My friend, I wrote the truth about what I experienced. I was just a random off the street that just happened to like to write reviews. You obviously can’t handle getting new customers.
Pascal: however I urge anyone who see this blog to come in and judge by them selves. Do not rely on someone who might have interior motive for unknown reason,
Ulterior motives. Yes. A pastry chef with Fibromyalgia who likes to teach others how to bake is suddenly trying to throw you off your golden throne of pastry lies. Please. Get over yourself.
Pascal: I don’t want you to believe my words either, just come in take a look and reply to this blog with honesty that’s all I’m asking for. Thank you all in advance
I agree. Go! Please! Go and let me know what you got and how it was. I certainly did again just to give Pascal another chance.
So I went back to take a look and I’m replying to my blog with honesty- just like Pascal asked me to. This time, I decided to call on an unbiased source: Jerik. Remember him? He has no foundation in the food service industry other than the fact that he likes to eat food. We were passing by and I said, “Take this $5 bill and buy something for the both of us that looks good. If you find something that you want or looks good that is above the $5 price range, use my debit card.”
A few minutes later, he came out with some change and a small paper bag with what I’m told is a double chocolate croissant and “some other meringue thing” for me.
“You didn’t even know what you bought?”
“She said it was a chocolate meringue thing.”
So we finished our shopping and I was asking Jerik questions like:
- Was it well lit? I guess so.
- How was the service? It was okay. She wasn’t rude, which I guess is nice.
- How many people were in there with you? Just one.
This is when he piped up and said, “They didn’t have very much there. Their displays were almost empty.”
This makes me sad, because I sent him in at about Noon, where as the bakery isn’t due to close for another seven-or-so hours. He told me that he bought the meringue thing because their cookies looked awful (this coming from a young man that would eat almost anything) and he didn’t want to buy one.
After that, we went to Solero Bakery, which is down the other way (just past Pacific) because I was craving a Krempita like CRAZY! I decided to pick up one of their croissants so that I could honestly make a comparison between the two to make sure that I wasn’t unfairly bashing Pascal’s Bagels with an interior motive. (Okay, I admit, that was a little mean, but seriously? Interior?) We were served by one of the ladies that I’ve seen there often, and she was very attentive. Jerik mentioned as we were leaving that the service comparatively between the two bakeries is night and day, “The other lady was nice, but not as friendly as Solero.”
To be fair, I didn’t filter any of the following pictures. These haven’t been tampered with other than being cropped.
To your right, you can see the “Double Chocolate Croissant” made by Pascal’s and to the right of
The Great White Croissant the double chocolate croissant, you can see Solero Bakery’s Chocolate Croissant.
Unfortunately, Jerik didn’t get the price of the first croissant, but with the meringue and the croissant, he came out with two dollars. I can only assume that Pascal’s Croissant came to around $1.50, while Solero’s Croissant is $1.40. So what, $0.10? Big deal – don’t’ want anyone to think I’m a cheapskate.
So let’s go through the croissant reviews:
Pascal’s Croissant – Even looking at it, you can tell that the pastry is tight, which may mean that it’s under-proofed. Texture wise, it was quite pleasant – It had the flake that I’ve come to expect from a croissant. However, the pastry itself was almost dry. I wanted to believe that it’s a butter croissant rather than a roll-in fat, but I don’t know if I can convince myself. What makes me sad is the presentation of the pastry itself. It seems almost sad. Half of the pastry isn’t even covered in chocolate which makes me believe that the pastry hand/store front person just doesn’t care. Either that, or they stacked all of the chocolate croissants on a sheet pan and drizzled away with a spatula or spoon – the part that hasn’t been touched by the chocolate gods is the part that was under another croissant. Who knows? All I know is that I want my chocolate to be chocolatey – not sparing. If I’m buying a chocolate croissant, it’s because of the chocolate. The filling was okay, but it was slightly gritty. I’m not sure why, also, the filling is only in the middle. The uncovered chocolate ends have nothing in them – I actually gave the part without chocolate to my dog. I would give this a C. C for croissant, because the flake is all that this has going for it. Improving the actual look of the pastry would give this a B-. Remember, people eat with their eyes first.
Solero Bakery’s Croissant – Now, it’s no secret that I love Solero Bakery. I don’t work for them, I don’t have family that works for them, I’ve never been friends with any employees, and I’ve never been paid by Solero. (How does that feel for Interior motives? That’s right – I don’t have any ulterior motives). Just by looking at it, it looks delicious. It looks soft and tender – and that’s exactly what it is. Unfortunately, it doesn’t have any flake to it, so it’s more of a tender roll than a croissant. That’s perfectly fine though; the chocolate covers all the way over the croissant, making sure that I get my chocolate fix and the chocolate on the inside is so smooth. Again, soft and tender with lots of chocolate. I think this gets a B as a croissant, but it gets an A+ as a delicious pastry that is worth it.
Jerik actually said that it looks like grey dog sh*t. I told him to stop being so mean – it’s more of a grey-brown colour.
All things set aside, I do love meringues. Meringues are difficult to do, especially since people like specific types of meringues. I know people who swear by Pavlovas while I really enjoy tiny dry meringues that you can pop in your mouth. I also enjoy toasted meringues on top of pies. I also REALLY love the Molotovs from Caldense Bakery (I’ll get to that one later).
All in all, this meringue is very well done – It’s crispy. That’s tough to do properly, especially in this heat with the humidity of the past few days. Good job!
The downside of this meringue, it tastes like crap. The meringue was mixed with cocoa, but there’s almost too much (this may be the reason they managed to get this meringue so crispy) and it’s not a very good cocoa. If they would have used less of a good cocoa (Extra Brute by Cocao Barry is perfect). The meringue itself isn’t very nice to look at. Even a dusting of cocoa would have been nice to help to explain what it is: a chocolate meringue.
Ever wonder why a Strawberry Shortcake has strawberries on top? Ever wonder why a chocolate cake has chocolate buttercream? Ever wonder why a Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte has cherries on top? That’s right, because it helps the person buying it to understand what’s on the inside, or what flavour it is. It’s the same reason why Chocolate Croissants have chocolate on the top.
Jerik and I split this meringue in half and then we decided to share that half. We had to throw the other half out. It was actually really gross. Jerik had never had a meringue like this before and he actually spit it out, or tried to, because it was dissolving on his tongue. All in all, I don’t even want to give this a letter grade, so I’ll just say fail.
When I brought up Pascal’s Bagels to Oliver and Oliver’s sister (they had no idea about my review or the reply from Pascal), they both had interesting things to say about Pascal’s. Oliver told me that he once went in there and the owner’s kids were everywhere (whether they were Pascal’s or not, I don’t think it matters), but they were disrupting the few customers that were in there. Oliver’s sister always thought that the place was a front for some type of ‘operation‘. You know what I mean… This was because the place was almost always empty. Of course, this is just hearsay and by no means am I implying anything about Pascal’s. These are just my experiences, and I’m merely reporting them to you. These are the opinions of others and are in no way associated with the opinions presented on this blog.
All in all, I don’t think I’ll ever be returning to Pascal’s. That’s twice that someone has gone in off the street, chosen one of their goods at random, and it’s been terrible. There’s nothing from there that has made my mouth water, and I don’t think I’ll ever drop in there again.
By the way, the message that Pascal sent me didn’t address many of the other issues that I had brought up in post about my last visit with them. He also replied in a comment to that post, but I decided to address him this way instead of having a comment war that we all know is ridiculous.