I was driving along down a nondescript side street in Englewood the other day when I stumbled upon a little buttery slice of France. Tucked away between drab office buildings and broken-down factories, a pale yellow awning with familiar lettering caught my eye. In the .com heyday when I worked in Soho, I enjoyed many breakfast croissants and intoxicating cafes au lait from the Balthazar Bakery around the corner from my office. Occasionally I would even splurge to sit inside and have a real sit down breakfast to try and spot disguised movie stars in nearby booths. (once the bubble burst, we had a lot of time to kill before the layoffs.)
As I was born and raised in France, I’m a really tough critic when it comes to croissants and baguettes. I haven’t found many in the States that I would even call a croissant. But the Balthazar croissants definitely qualify. I would even venture to say that they are the best croissants I’ve had here. They’re crispy on the outside, revealing flaky inside that taste buttery without being greasy.
I had actually stumbled upon the Balthazar bakery in Englewood. But luckily for us New Jerseyites, the factory also has a store front. They sell the heavenly croissants I just raved about, of course, but they also have every bread imaginable, and dozens of pastries that almost look too good to taste. I limited my purchase to 4 croissants, 2 pains au chocolat, and a baguette, this time.
But now I know where they’re hiding and I don’t know that I’ll be able to exercise such restraint next time.
Balthazar Bakery Wholesale Division
214 South Dean Street, Englewood, NJ, 07631
Vanessa Druckman aka Chefdruck, is our North Jersey contributor. Chefdruck is not a chef, as her online name suggests, just a huge food aficionado. She loves to cook and to eat out, and then to write about her experiences. Vanessa is a transplant from the big city. She is half-French and spent a big part of her childhood in France, so as a result, there’s no fear of cream and butter for Chefdruck. Read more from Vanessa at: http://www.chefdruck.blogspot.com/http://www.chefdruckwrites.blogspot.com/