Good news! A few days ago, my blog hit over 100 visits in one day (originally it was 66 visits in one day). I have received lots of positive comments, and was verified by Urban Spoon (www.urbanspoon.com). Without your support, I wouldn’t have made it to this stage! This is a new milestone.
To celebrate, I have decided to treat myself (and you!) with St. Phillips Bakery goods (also my oven is still out of order :( )!
Before I go to any bakery, I always run a background check. I check that they have a website, history, reviews, and a good online presence. To me, a combination of all of these factors scream “you’ve gotta come here.” To me, online presence and reviews matter a lot. I give a lot of weight to blog reviews and other online reviews because they tend to reveal how the business behaves in a very specific situation (i.e. was the food fresh? was it delivered on time? how was the customer service?) All of these things matter when it comes to winning a customer.
St. Phillips had good reviews, and their facebook page has a great online presence! I decided to give it a try, especially because it is minutes away from my house!
This is the entrance to the Maple location:
One of the things I love when I walk into a bakery, especially on a Sunday morning, is to see people show, laugh, have a cup of coffee, and enjoy themselves. When I enter this kind of atmosphere, I know I am in for a treat.
St. Phillips Bakery is a multi-product bakery with a large variety of product offerings and even Deli! I promised to come back here to try their deli, because everything looks so fresh and tempting!
I think I forgot to mention, the location is absolutely huge, yet cozy! You can see a handsome young man inserting a Panzerotti (see below) into an open-concept oven (of course I apologized for my creepy-ness, and he kindly smirked: “it’s okay”).
As you can see, the place has a ton of food variety, not to mention that is has a cafe-like environment:
Right around here, I was reminded of my days in Italy. The smell, the voices, the happy faces, the “Eeeeeeeeeeeyyyy Angelooo!” coming from a few men drinking espresso, the ‘Cafe Mauro’ label, and just the overall inviting atmosphere. I could not get enough, and I did not want to leave that particular spot.
Let’s turn to the baked goods finally!
Here is the sweets variety, or at least 60% of it:
OK, now that the product offering is out of the way, I get to review the goods!
This is the most exciting part!
This is what I got:
- 3 Large Pastries $6.75
- 1 Small Pastries $1.75
- 1 Hot Pepper Baguette $4.25
- 1 Croissant $1.65
I know what you are thinking, the prices are quite high. When you taste the quality of their bread ($4.25), it is well worth the price. I am a very picky bread eater (and a very picky customer overall), so trust me, the bread is absolutely outstanding. It will live up to your highest expectations:
The bread was soft, juicy, and tender, a very traditional Italian taste. Especially the tenderness of the shell reminds me of how much the regular commercial bread just cannot compete with a bakery-quality bread. It is well worth to get up early on a Sunday afternoon and grab a freshly made baguette: I promise you–you will come back for more.
I also had this very delicious spinach-broccoli-with-cheese croissant:
Unfortunately, as mentioned in one of Urban Spoon’s reviews, some of the store associates do not know what they are selling. Fortunately, I have grown accustomed to it. It just shows that not everyone shares the same passion… I did not find labels of these lovely pastries either, so I’m just going to guess what they are (actually a pretty fun game!).
What is so special about Sfogliatelle? If I literally translate it, it means: “many leaves,” which you can see from the picture why it is called this way. This pastry dates back to the 18th century. St. Phillips did a great job with the taste, it is moderately sweet and delicately decorated.
Pesche-Dolci is usually classified as a cookie. It is often filled with Crema Pasticcera. In this case, the pastry was filled with Chocolate Ganache! I am a big fan of this pastry, but I would prefer it to be made in a bit more accurate manner, as it is actually supposed to look like a peach (-.5 points).
The cannoli shell was well done, and the filling was great. To be precise, this is a Cannoli with Pistachio-Ricotta filling. Outstanding, 5/5!
Last, but not least… the traditional eclair…with a twist! Usually an eclair has a vanilla filling, but this one had a chocolate filling, and my mother was in for a nice surprise! The cream was nice and soft, complementing the soft-yet-tender shell.
Happy pastry tasting!