Friday, June 18, 2010
What's a girl to do when she arrived early to Pasadena but not early enough to go very far from Pasadena? Traffic was getting bad so I didn't want to venture up the 134 to Porto's. So what's the next best thing around Pasadena when you are craving for pastries or a bakery? Both Gourmet Pigs and I thought about Euro Pane Bakery, which was really close by. Ironically it is right by where we our dinner was scheduled too. I'll save that part for later. The outside had a nice lush of greenery that made the entrance way seem very inviting. It was getting close to their closing time so the cases were running empty. I read online that they are known for their Egg Salad Sandwich and Sea Salt Caramel Macaron. That pretty much sold me and I was hankering for some good macarons.
First thing I looked for was their Macarons. They had only a few choices but the vibrant colors were beckoning me. I was very tempted to buy them all. The case does not have name tags to tell you which flavors are there so I asked what was available. I chose the Sea Salt Caramel, Pistachio, and Espresso with Chocolate. They are not the normal sized macarons you see in France, but a heartier portion similar to that of Bouchon Bakery. I was surprised that they were pretty good. They were flaky on the outside and chewy in the center.
The best flavor was definitely the Sea Salt Caramel. I enjoyed the salt crystals on top that add extra flavor within the sweetness of the macaron. It was just the right balance of sweet and salty. I immediately thought about Ms. Lin and how she would really enjoy this. Too bad she won't be back until July 1st. At least I was able to find a decent place with a flavor we love. I admit that I have a soft spot for salted caramel.
The pistachio was light in taste. The filling was a little too creamy for me. Having a light pistachio flavor allows the creamy oily flavor to take over. I enjoyed the balance of the sea salt caramel better. The rich chocolate filling of the espresso and chocolate macaron was a richer contrast. Since espresso has a slight bitter taste, it makes the chocolate filling even sweeter. Nonetheless they were all enjoyable, even the next day.
Apparently included with the sandwich is a delicious Chocolate Chip and Nuts Cookie. I enjoyed the crisp exterior of the cookie while maintaining a moist center. The chocolate chips were semi-melted even at room temperature. Yummy gooey-ness! I was tempted to purchase a dozen home just to much on. It's nice to know that you can end on a sweet note if you order sandwiches here.
I normally don't order Egg Salad Sandwiches. In fact I don't think I have ever ordered one in a bakery. I have only made these at home. So what is all the buzz about their sandwich? Apparently Gourmet Pig tried to order one a while back and they said that they had ran out. This made it all the more interesting and desirable that I had to order one. I guess I must have better luck because they were available that day. It's a little bit pricier than I thought it would be but c'est la vie.
The sandwich is an open faced sandwich. You can choose what type of bread and I chose the Rosemary & Cranberry Focaccia. This was actually a great choice because of the savory flavor from the herb and sweetness from the fruit. What really help make the sandwich was the Sundried Tomato spread below the massive amounts of egg salad. I really wished there was more of that spread because it really made the egg salad pop. The sweetness from the tomato danced with the lightness of the egg. They really LOAD on the egg salad. It took a while for them to make my order, but now I could see why. At least you know that they don't skimp on their ingredients!
All in all it was a very enjoyable experience and a great find. The next time I am around in Pasadena I might just pop my head in for some macarons and maybe another egg salad sandwich. If I was a student around here, I would love to come here for lunch and soak in the ambiance. Enjoy the food, sweets, and maybe add a cup of coffee while I sat and people watched. Now that's the life.
Euro Pane Bakery
950 E Colorado Blvd
Pasadena, CA 91106