It’s not a superior croissant by any means, but this is a croissant sandwich filled with turkey, cranberry spread, fried egg (with oozy yolk) and swiss cheese and it cost just $3, from the workplace cafeteria. To that I say: Not Bad.
My friend Michael, co-owner of the Big Sur Bakery, came through town and we met up for dinner. He also generously brought some baked goods down with him that he passed on to me.
The chocolate croissant comes with two lines of chocolate, so this is great to split down the middle and share with someone without tearing up the fine layers of pastry. The croissant itself isn’t as light and flaky as others, but it’s made with quality ingredients and the denser flavor is unique.
The coffee cake was a very generous slice, and went well with some tea. It stayed moist for the next day as well, so I was able to share it with a friend. It was very enjoyable.
The ginger scone was a favorite, although it is more like a sweet American scone – almost cakelike – compared to traditional English scones. It was delicious to eat simply out of hand with no accompaniments and the ginger added a lovely zing to it. I brought the scone on my slight to las Vegas the following day and it was infinitely better than the stuff sold at the airports. Saved my life, it did!
Michael also gave me a loaf of wonderful multigrain bread that I would have loved to eat, but there wasn’t time before my trip. I gave that loaf to my parents, who are reported to have eaten it with butter and gruyere and enjoyed it a lot.
Thank you, Michael!
Big Sur Bakery
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
Post new year’s brunch, and I need delicious to start 2010 off right. Renaud’s does not disappoint.
Croissant. Flaky, buttery, crisp, and shredding in tender pieces.
Fried egg sandwich for my friend, with lovely dripping yolk, tomato, mushrooms and ham, between perfectly toasted bread.
Croque Madame for me, like Croque Monsieur but with a fried egg on top. Ooooh, with ham, melty cheese and lots of bechamel to pull it all together. We ate them with side salads, coffee and iced water.
You can look at my photos, but it’s not the same as eating them yourself. Suckas.
Renaud’s makes his fine croissants available to the downtown masses!
Finally, downtown dwellers are now in walking distance to the best croissants in town, because Renaud’s has opened a new location in Arlington Plaza. We wandered down there on a crisp morning, the first week it was open and Renaud himself was there overseeing business. I love being an early adopter.
If you thought the uptown location was cramped, well, don’t hold your breath. Or DO, because this one is even more “bistro” like. There’s room for perhaps six 2-tops, scattered inside and outside the shop. So, really, consider it more of a shop rather than a restaurant, because the chances of you snagging a seat are slim.
And that’s another equation to ponder:
Uptown location = old people
My table’s fancy was an almond croissant, a rum baba, a coffee and a fried egg sandwich. Yum, yum, yum, and….yum. But I got lucky scoring a table before the deluge of customers piled in. Next time, I’ll anticipate a quick dash to the counter to snap up the pastries, and the FLEE to nosh in the privacy of my own home. Or the park.
Catch-up time with Brendan at Renaud’s.
We shared a bottle of fizzy water, I had a plain croissant, he had a croissant breakfast sandwich with fruit.
As usual, the croissants were crisp, flaky, buttery and perfect. Brendan’s breakfast croissant was stuffed with ham and havarti cheese, all warm and oozy.
Renovations to Loretto Plaza have recently completed and the outside seating area is now available. This is great news for bistro diners who used to wait ages for an open table. I didn’t see anyone waiting, and we even had my preferred window seat.
We ran into friends as well, and I have to give those people special props for their excellent taste in pastries.
Breakfast at Renaud’s is always excellent. The friends who’ve been here are won over and become regular customers. The other friends, who’ve not yet been, I look forward to indoctrinating.
This was one such morning, and not only was I pleased with breakfast, but I loved the photo I got of an honest plate of bacon, eggs, potatoes and toast.
Oooh dear, so simple and so good. It cost about $9, a small price to pay for a plate of breakfast heaven.
And here are three of my other favorites. A plain croissant, a chocolate macaroon, and an almond croissant. If these were all that Renaud’s served, I’d still be happy.
Absolutely no complaints on the food, only gushing compliments.
You can order from the mains and dine-in menu, but you will not be able to resist a pastry on the side. The croissants are the best in Santa Barbara and we are truly spoiled to have them. Nothing mushy and puffy about them, they are flakey and crisp on the outside, perfect for a quick dip in the cappuccino or some hot chocolate. Just make sure it’s good hot chocolate or you will do your croissant a grave disservice.
They have a great Axxess deal: first use is buy one entree get one free. Purchases afterwards are 10% off. We used the bogo today for our toasted croissant breakfast sandwich and croque monsieur. So good. Each came with a choice of salad or cup of fruit. And of course we got a pastry or two to nibble on while waiting for our hot food.
Top: Croque monsiuer, on left. Croissant, on right.
Bottom: Raisin pastry, on left. Cappuccino, on right.
Customers move in and out in a steady flow. Renaud’s is easy to find while the Plaza is undergoing renovations – just watch where all the people in the carpark are walking to.