Thursday, May 8, 2014

SLC Noon: Les Madeleines

In Salt Lake City, Kouing is king.
 Part of the series SLC: Morning, Noon & Night.

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Shortly after arriving at my hotel in Salt Lake City, I ran out to grab some food. My first stop was Les Madeleines Patisserie and Café. Upon entering, it was very clear that this French bakery had more than few items that I wanted to take home with me. (I believe the phrase vous le vous coucher avec moi, ce soi? is appropriate, oui?) But the pastry du jour was to be their famed Kouing Aman.

"I'll have the one I can't pronounce."

Crispy on the outside with caramelized sugar and airy/chewy on inside, I knew from my first bite that this was one of the best pastries I've eaten in my life. Pronounced kween ah-MAHN, it is no wonder that this treat national treasure has won awards and has been featured of the Food Network. It has a Food Network price attached to it as well, but, trust me, when the person behind the counter asks how many you want, do not say "just one." Once you taste it, you'll join me in bowing to the Kouing.

While you're in the area, I recommend checking out the roof of  nearby City Library. It offers a lovely view of the city and the surrounding mountains. You may also want lunch, so walk north up nearby State Street--Yes! A street with a name instead of a number!--to Alamexo. Their Cochinita Pibil (achiote & bitter orange marinated pork shoulder, cooked in banana leaf, served with habanero pickled escabeche) was extraordinary and their free chips and salsa were the best I've ever had.

Other mid-day pastries I consumed were a chocolate chip coconut macadamia cookie from Tony Caputo's Market & Deli--so much yum in one city--and the vanilla liege waffle from the Belgiumphilic hole-in-the-wall Bruges Waffles & Frites. But the Kouing Aman at Les Madeleines was far and away my favorite. As for the other restaurants I tried, check out SLC Night.

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