In case you haven’t heard, Bien Cuit, the popular Brooklyn bakery, has opened a branch in the Grand Central Market. My blog post about it is here.
Passed thru GCT last week. Everything looked great. I bought a ham and cheese croissant which was good but I prefer the same from Ceci Cela or Maison Kayser.
I’ll have to try some of the other baked goods.
Looking forward to trying Bien Cuit at some point…
I bought some stuff from them a few weeks ago, and I must say I was disappointed. The plain croissant was soft, and a bit soggy (it was 3 p.m. and it had probably been sitting around all day), with no “shatter”. The two breads I tried – olive and campagne – were both dry and overbaked. The crust was hard rather than crisp-hard, and the crumb was dry. That may be their style, but it wasn’t to my taste. I’ve read of people so excited by their olive bread that they tear off chunks of it on the way home. They must have stronger hands than mine. My olive loaf was hard enough to make it hard to cut with a good bread knife, let alone to be amenable to being torn apart barehanded.
The problem with this type of place is the time factor. Lucid Café is across the street from my apartment. I see the Ceci Cela delivery truck there at 7 AM. They sell out of croissants by noon so they still have the “shatter.”
Maison Kayser is constantly baking so everything is soooo fresh. They are not far from GCT. Love their Gruyere cheese bread. I buy two loaves and by the time I get home I only have 1 1/2.
Fika, just down Lex from GCT makes a great croissant. If I am lucky it’s still warm from the oven.
I’m posting a link below to a thread that is a couple of years old.
You can see from the Bien Cuit pictures I posted that the Danish I
had maintained its shatteringly crisp exterior even after having traveled from NYC to Westchester
County in addition to sitting outside on a display table for a couple of hours. I found the raisin
walnut bread to be life changing. It was baked as fooddabbler describes, but
IMO it added to rather than detracted from the bread.
Pret a Manger also has a few locations in the GCT area an decent fresh made croissants.
I’ll try something else from Bien Cuit when I am in the market.
I passed by there last week and I have to say, the pastries did not look good. I was excited to try them (I’d seen Chowdom’s pix), but these looked dry and very unappetizing - and it was only 10:00AM!
I wonder what is going on
I honestly posted those pictures because of
how insanely good that Danish was … I thought
the pictures captured the crisp and freshness
They did - they looked amazing in your pictures !That’s why I was so disappointed when I saw the ones in Grand Central - they really did not look good.
I picked up an olive loaf last week and it’s certainly not the style of bread to tear apart, the outer crust is very sturdy! My loaf was baked well, not overly dry, and had a nice distribution of olives- it was great dipped in my soup and as toast. I sliced and put some in the freezer since it takes me a while to finish a loaf
I had a few minutes to kill before my train today so I brought home an apple cardamom Danish and a mini gateau Basque with apricot preserves. There may be a freshness issue with the Danish (haven’t gotten to the gateau Basque yet) as I bought it at 3ish and I imagine it must have been sitting for a while. I found the pastry tough and not very flaky or butter. The filling was excellent, not too sweet and a very natural apple flavor. I didn’t taste any cardamom. I’d definitely like to try some of their breads but I wonder if it’s better to get this stuff early in the day. I may be more inclined to try more at a farmers’ market closer to home like Chappaqua.
I was there too!!! Last time I was in I got an almond/chocolate croissant. Bordering on stale, and I think they coated it with sugar as it was impossibly sweet ( I can’t believe that was me saying that!). I also got a small caramelized onion “bagette” and, though I love a good crust, I could have broken a tooth. I’ll check out Chappaqua and see if they look better, but from this go around, nope!
This is so bizarre … There was no mistaking that cardamom was used in the apple filling of the Danish I purchased from the FM, and you can almost see how light and crisp the pastry itself was. What is also a bit strange is that the folks who sell the goods at the market are in no way connected to the bakery itself … Please someone sample something of theirs from the market.
I’ve had bread direct from the Brooklyn location so I know that they are capable of quality. The mini gateau Basque was more successful-- the outside was as I remember eating in France and the filling was creative-- apricot preserves and a light ricotta filling. However I swear I tasted a rosewater syrup, not mentioned in the description, and I would have not gotten it had I known that. It’s a very strong flavor that should be mentioned in a description.
I think their wholesale operation is separate from the Brooklyn store. Could be the other location and FM sellers are supplied via wholesale. (I may be confusing them for someone else, though.)