Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Two Great Bakeries in Astoria, Queens

Sadly... neither seem to have a web site.

The first is "Le Petit Prince" at 33-09 Broadway in Astoria, Queens (near 33rd on Broadway; 718-777-3040). The quaint shopfront drew me in (OK, maybe sentimental connotations related its name were also at play) but once in... I didn't see any of my favorite desserts in the cases. The selection was great - - - madeleines, macaroons, napoleans, eclaires, etc; I just have simple tastes - - - vanilla cupcakes, plain cheesecake, etc. Well, not a lot more etcetera but you get the point. However, the desserts were too pretty (and I love dessert in spite of my simple, anti-chocolate preferences) to walk out without buying one. So... I randomly chose some pistachio pear dome mousse thing decorated with a handmade white chocolate star and a spun sugar ladder. I don't know exactly what it was but it tasted phenominal! I will make the two train trip back out to try their other selections.

I was able to indulge my more purist bakery inclinations at Parisi Bros. Bakery located at 30-17 Broadway (the corner of 31st and Broadway under the N/W tracks; 718-728-5282) in Astoria, Queens. I smelled the bakery a block before I saw it. The Italian bread had a perfect crusty exterior and a light but chewy interior. The sugar cookies that I bought were also excellent. The extra that I purchased and took into the office disappeared in seconds. Parisi also had a great selection of other breads, biscotti and other traditional Italian cookies. I still hope to find a good Italian bakery closer to my home in Park Slope but all my future visits to Astoria will definitely include a stop at Parisi's.

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Overheard on the 3 train on Ash Wednesday

A female American passenger, presumably in an attempt to be a good "tour guide," was explaining to her male companion with a British accent why some of the other people on the train had crosses marked in ash on their foreheads. As accurately as I can remember, she said, "Catholics get palms on Palm Sunday and hang them upside down in their houses. On Ash Wednesday, which is today, they burn them and use the ashes to make those Xs on their heads. Some other religions do it too but Catholics more so; because of all the idolatry." She then immediately segued into telling him about a club in Manhattan where "everybody sits in old wine barrels."

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Patagonia's New Spokesmodel