Comforting and stimulating; the duality of the noble pastry. Rarely has a family of foods been so tied to the act of emotional eating. Whether you’re bored, pissed off, lonely, or sentimental, there’s a pastry for that. No matter if you’re drowning your sorrows in fat, chocolate, and sugar; celebrating a memory with something sticky and sweet; or just digging into a plate of cookies and a glass of milk that are clearly stronger than your sense of self-control, life’s simply too short for two-dimensional textures and bland or absent flavors. The following dependable delicacies are consistently delicious. Just open your mouth, close your eyes, and prepare to make pastry face.
LA BOITE CAFE
Pain au Chocolat
Pain au chocolat, chocolate croissant, uncontrollable addiction–whatever you call them, La Boite’s buttery, chocolatey, golden, not-too-sweet pockets of yum may make you as food aggressive as your Aunt Bernice’s shih tzu. Pair it with a creamy cafe au lait and mellow out, man.
1700 S. Lamar, 377-6198, laboitecafe.com
LA MEXICANA BAKERY
What is it about these pastel-colored gems that can turn the most stoic stick-in-the-mud into a crazed cookie monster? Less sweet than most of their European counterparts, these dense, crumbly, messy little treats are perfect whether serving them at a lazy brunch or shoveling them down with friends at a late-night movie marathon. Actually, they’re pret- ty much perfect anywhere.
1924 S. 1st St., 443-6369, la-mexicana-bakery.com
As Lady Miss Kier once said, “Ooh la laaaa, la la la la la la!” And as I once said, “These are mine. Go get your own.” The macarons at La Patisserie aren’t just sweet, delicious, and coveted; their seasonal flavors are downright inspiring, with choices like Caramel Fleur de Sel, Peach Basil, Lavender, and Rose. And, no, sorry; you can’t just try one of mine.
602 W. Annie St., 912-0033, lpaustin.com
Prepare to regress. The names of the donuts at Gourdoughs are enough to keep you from sitting still. Heavenly Hash, Cherry Bomb, Blue Ball, Slow Burn. These donuts feature flavors ranging from habanero to Heath Bar, bacon to blueberries, and everything in between.
1219 S. Lamar Blvd., gourdoughs.com
THE STEEPING ROOM
Not quite as heavy as most scones you’ll find in town, the ginger scones at The Steeping Room are delicate and delicious, featuring pieces of candied ginger. Set up with a little clotted cream, a hot pot of green tea, a good book, or maybe a little close conversation, and you need nothing more for a perfect evening.
11410 Century Oaks Terrace, 977-8337, thesteepingroom.com
For such a simple treat, a handmade croissant represents a lot of hard work involving folding butter into laminated pastry, refrigerating, lathering, rinsing, repeating, etc. And while it’s important to appreciate the hard work that goes into each croissant, there’s no written rule that you can’t tear into that thing like a hungry javelina. Please pass the jelly!
3339 Hancock Dr., 419-7877, russellsbakery.com
UPPER CRUST BAKERY
Deep in the heart of Rosedale, the Upper Crust Bakery creates a heavier, more dense cinnamon roll that people line up early to purchase. Gone are the night- marish memories of gas-station cinnamon rolls. Instead, these sugary, cin- namony treats are more of a major project than an uninspired afterthought. Please, no cutting in line.
4508 Burnet Rd., 467-0102, theuppercrustbakery.com