Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Review - Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie - Portland, OR

Petite Provence Boulangerie & Patisserie

After a 3 hour drive from Seattle to Portland our group was craving something sweet.  We had heard good things about a bakery in the Alberta Arts District, Garden Of Eden, or something like that.  So we decided to drive a little more to go there.  As we arrived at the bakery, we walked in, realized it was a Vegan bakery, and got terribly disappointed.  I'm not Vegan, so not down with the Vegan bakery - I've had bad experiences with Vegan Bakeries and their chickpea flour. ugh. It was pouring rain out, but we decided to walk down the street and see what we could find.  We were thinking that even a Starbucks would suffice.  
After walking in what seemed like miles in the pouring rain, we finally arrived at Petite Provence, and felt as if we'd entered heaven!

Wow... There was so much to choose from, and after the disappointment of the sad looking cupcakes at the Vegan Bakery, we were overwhelmed at the choices.  I finally decided to try the Strawberry Charlotte. 

Strawberry Charlotte $4.25

So, not only was the presentation adorable (the server apologized for the "explosion" on the plate, it should have been a heart"), but the dessert was fantastic!  Crispy fresh ladyfingers filled with a slightly tart and sweet strawberry mousse and topped with fresh fruits.  As I ate this, I felt as if this was the best dessert I had ever had.  It may have been a combination of being hungry after the drive from Seattle, and the expectation that we were going to end up at a Starbucks. I don't know, but it was good! 

The people I was with decided on pastries, which they described as flakey, perfect and exactly what they wanted!  As we set our forks down, we all knew that we'd be returning here again, before heading home the next day!  

I have this internal debate between what's better - Seattle or Portland.  Perhaps it's because the "grass is always greener", but every time I visit Portland, I want to stay. Seattle definitely does not have bakeries like Petite Provence.  Not even close.  And tax free?!  Sweet!  There's a fairly large dining area in comparison to other bakeries, with a full menu, so the next day, we decided to come back and try their food!  We were also planning to get a few things to bring home for a party after we returned.  After looking online, we realized that there are several locations in Portland... 

French Cobb Salad $9.95

So I am not sure what makes a Cobb Salad French, but this one was so amazing.  The chicken was crispy and tender, bacon, eggs, olives - fantastic - can you tell from the photo?  Yum! And $9.95? Great price for a substantial lunch. 

French Onion Soup $4.95

The soup was good... it wasn't the best, it was a little too salty and not enough onions for my taste.  But it was made with their bread and tons of cheese.  The bowl was shallow, so the soup to bread ratio was a bit off.  I think I'll stick with the salad next time.

Monte Cristo $9.95

My Mom ordered the Monte Cristo - OMG.  So the good thing about when my Mom orders something that I wouldn't normally order, She lets me take bites!  This was really indulgent, and she deserves tons of indulgence!  It was crispy and salty with the maple syrup and raspberry jam for sweetness.  This was one of the best Monte Cristos I have tried.  

So, because we have no restraint, we decided to get more desserts than we needed to take home.  We were so excited to try everything, and there are several things we have left to try!!

Carrot Cake $4.25

Petite Provence's Carrot Cake is divine.  It's moist with raisins, and nuts and the traditional cream cheese frosting.  

Coconut Bamba $4.25

After the Strawberry Charlotte, this was my next favorite on the menu.  A macaroon on the bottom with fresh mango and coconut rum flavored mousse, covered in shredded coconut.  Despite all of the coconut used, it's not overwhelming.  The mango in the center was a fun surprise!

Monkey Love $4.25

I am not a fan of bananas so I passed on this one, but everyone else loved it! This one is a macaroon on the bottom, just like the Coconut Bamba, and it's topped with white chocolate mousse and bananas and covered in chocolate.  

Tart Tartin $3.75

  The Tart Tartin was good, but not the best I've had.  It's a puff pastry topped with a caramel drenched apple slice. The apple was tart, with just the right amount of sweetness from the caramel.  The puff pastry was a little hard, almost like a cookie. 

White Chocolate Mousse Griottine $4.25

First off, this dessert was so pretty.  Almost too cute to eat. encased in a thin layer of cake is white chocolate mousse and dark cherries.  It's topped with a gelee, but  I thought it was going to be burnt sugar.  I didn't care much for the gelee, I would have preferred the burnt sugar actually.  And I am not sure why they used a Maraschino cherry on top with the good black cherries inside.  But despite my minor complaints, this one was fantastic.  This place really knows how to make a proper mousse! 

I am not one for meringues, but look at these adorable animals!  I took a picture of them, but didn't eat them! 

Petite Provence is fantastic, if you're in Portland, you should definitely give it a try. They have four locations, Lake Oswego, The Gorge, Alberta and Division.  

Petite Provence
Alberta Arts District
1824 NE Alberta
Portland, OR 97211
Petite Provence on Urbanspoon
Petite Provence
4834 SE Division
Portland, OR 97206

Petite Provence
The Dalles/The Gorge
408 E 2nd Street
The Dalles, OR 97058

Petite Provence
Lake Oswego
15964 sw Boones Ferry Road
Lake Oswego, OR 97035

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