POSTED ON MAY 14, 2008:
Sometimes being flaky is a good thing
Unique Eatery. I took home a Palmier, a Chocolate Croissant and a Chocolate Chunk cookie. All were delicious, but the Palmier especially held my interest. The Palmier is a pastry everyone should try.
There's nothing better than a flaky croissant with a cup of coffee, unless of course it's enjoying your croissant and coffee at a café in Paris. Each buttery bite is savored as texture, flavor and memory. The Crusty Croissant Bakery & Café at 36th and Peoria is bringing that feeling home by serving some of the best French bakery items in town, and its namesake is just one of many enticing options on the menu.
The Crusty Croissant serves breakfast, lunch and dinner all day, as well as a delectable selection of irresistible desserts and bakery items. Sean and Kristie Savage, owners of The Crusty Croissant, have been working hard since their opening March 3 to bring a little bit of France to Tulsa.
"It is modeled after a concept I've seen in France," he said, "this French bakery style." It's his first venture into owning a restaurant. Like other restaurateurs, he has been working in restaurants for many years. The atmosphere is cozy with features remaining from previous tenants. Walls are accented with a country French theme, just enough to be interesting and not too overdone.
Although the breakfast menu is most appealing (besides the bakery items, of course), a friend and I met at The Crusty Croissant for lunch. The lunch menu offers a "Create Your Own Sandwich" (whole or half) section where the customer has an array of ingredient options, including Chicken Salad, Turkey, Ham or Roast Beef on a Croissant, sourdough, Country Wheat, Seven Grain or Baguette bread. Lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise and mustard are available, as are Swiss and Cheddar Cheese. The sandwich comes with one side; the options include Potato Galette, Bacon or Sausage, Fresh Mixed Fruit, Pesto Pasta Salad, Chips, Wild Rice, Garlic Mashed Red Skin Potatoes or Vegetable Medley.
Hot Sandwiches and Soups are also featured on the lunch menu. Chicken Caesar, Chicken Breast, Veggie, French Dip and Grilled Cheese with Soup are the options, all priced at either $6.99 or $7.99. Again, the sandwich comes with one side. Salads include two sizes of the Caesar and Wild Field, Petite for $2.99 and regular for $5.99. Soups include Tomato Basil, Creamy Potato, French Onion and a soup of the day.
For a first timer at The Crusty Croissant, it's important to know that ordering happens at a counter. My friend and I needed a few minutes to review the menu, but the person at the drink station continued to ask for our order.
I decided on the French Dip sandwich with Garlic Mashed spuds for my side. My friend chose the Chicken Breast Sandwich with the Pesto Pasta Salad side. The French Dip had thin slices of roast beef on ciabatta with provolone cheese, horseradish mayo and a cup of au jus. The ciabatta was a little different than expected. Sean said he prefers not to use a sour dough starter for his ciabatta breads, choosing rather to have lighter bread that "does not cut the roof of your mouth." It was a good choice for this sandwich. I frequently dipped the sandwich in the au jus which added the perfect touch to the texture and flavor. My spuds were smooth and creamy with a buttery flavor.
My friend's Chicken Breast Sandwich had grilled chicken with Swiss cheese, bacon, mayo, lettuce and tomato, also on ciabatta bread and served hot. He enjoyed the sandwich, especially the added touch of the bacon for flavor and texture, but wondered why it was labeled as "hot." Clearly, the sandwich was not hot; the chicken was warm and the Swiss cheese was not even close to being melted. While flavorful and packed with potential, the sandwich was on the dry side. The Pesto Pasta Salad was enjoyable, prepared with bowtie pasta, a liberal offering of chopped tomato and green onion and an ample coating of the pesto basil dressing.
We shared a Spinach Quiche, which was light and tasty. The crust was made of a feuilletage (French for "flaky" or "puff pastry") dough, said Sean. It's flaky, airy taste was a perfect compliment to the light egg/spinach filling.
I went back to the counter to order a sweet for dessert. Selections were difficult to make with all the choices available: Tarts (pecan, fruit, strawberry, lemon white chocolate mousse), Crème Brulee, Carrot Cake, Cheese Cake, Chocolate Cake, Tiramisu, Éclair, Croissants (plain, chocolate, cheese, raspberry cream cheese), Muffins (blueberry, cranberry nut, carrot raisin), Caramel Pecan Roll, Maple Pecan Twist, Apple Turnover and Palmier, Cookies (chocolate chunk, oatmeal raisin, white chocolate macadamia), and Scones.
I selected a slice of Cheesecake ($3.99) and White Chocolate Mousse Tart ($2.99). My friend and I agreed both were fantastic selections. I took home a Palmier, a Chocolate Croissant and a Chocolate Chunk cookie. All were delicious, but the Palmier especially held my interest.
The Palmier is a pastry everyone should try. Puff pastry dough is sprinkled with sugar and then folded and rolled several times to achieve multiple layers of crispy goodness. These flaky pastries are exquisite and not easily found in these parts.
A private room is available at The Crusty Croissant for larger parties. Delivery and catering are also available. Tickets to Paris, however, are not.
The Crusty Croissant
3629 S. Peoria
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