Tuesday, March 29, 2016
This almond croissant was delicious - light, flaky and with a beautiful, refined almond filling. Somehow I never really paid attention to the Faubourg on Hornby St. (between Robson and Georgia) until recently even though it opened in August 2013. I had visited the one on 4th ages ago, and loved it, but just never found myself in the area needing coffee and pastries very often. I'm so glad to have "rediscovered" the downtown location now for many reasons.
1. I love almond croissants and I still miss the old version of the stand alone bakery at Granville Island (La Baguette et l'echalote) where their almond croissant used to be the centre of Granville Island...for me, at least. It was maybe not the actual geographical centre, but what everything else at Granville Island revolved around. You had to get them before they ran out, often by early afternoon).
2. The drip coffee that I bought with this croissant was fantastic! So smooth, and very sweet and rich.
3. I seem to find myself wanting a nice coffee and or snack in that area often. Plus, I sometimes take classes at UBC Robson Square and it's great to be able to get a coffee to make sure I stay lively during class.
4. I have been trying to avoid the Caffe Artigiano next door. Not because of their coffee, which I quite like, but because the service that I've experienced there has been rude and weird on multiple occasions, which is saying a lot considering an interaction is typically only a few minutes long at the counter. Most people need to work pretty hard to annoy a customer within the span of a few minutes. May sound like I'm being picky, but I will point out that another local coffee chain, JJ Bean, in whatever they are doing in their hiring/training/management of their staff seem to be able to deliver a pretty consistently friendly (and generally efficient) style of service across several locations in just as busy times and neighbourhoods). And they finally got on board with the free wifi thing after resisting the idea for a long time to try to nurture a different culture at their cafés. But JJ Bean does a twice baked almond croissant (which is a way to take "stale" croissants and re-purpose them). And I can't remember whether Artigianno has almond croissants, but if they do, they certainly wouldn't be as good the Faubourg's.
5. Service at Faubourg (granted it was only one visit) was both very friendly and efficient.
6. They have an enticing array of other baked goods, including bread, macarons, and beautiful fancy dessert pastries. I just noticed on their website that they even do a little assorted box of pastries which I think could be a delightful treat if you're having some guests over for tea (small box has 8 pastries for $16). They also have sandwiches, soups, salads, and quiche!
7. The place looks really nice as a place to sit and have your treats there and chit chat. I didn't in my case, but I will in the future. I would even say it might be a nice choice for a coffee date, since it was not too loud/hectic, seems to have a good amount of seating, easy to get to and find, looks pretty and sophisticated (like you're making an effort and have taste if you suggest this one versus a Starbucks), and has great coffee/food. And as suggested on their website, you can pretend it's a little escape to a Paris Café without leaving town.
8. There's outdoor seating!
Hopefully they are consistent. I will need to investigate further, hehe.
Sunday, March 13, 2016
I was taking a course at Robson Square and visited Shuruku on Granville Street just off Robson twice, a week apart for my hour long lunch breaks and they got me out of there quickly in time including walking time. I had great service (some servers nicer than others but everyone very efficient), and I was well fed for the afternoon hours with a great lunch box set. The one pictured above included pork back ribs which were not super tender, but very tasty and served on a layer of bean sprouts. They were not glazed like the pictures of their dinner time signature pick ribs. The next time, I chose the same type of box but with beef short ribs - a bit awkward to gnaw on for me, but tasty. The tempera was really nice and light and it was a lot of food. I like the green beans in the gomaae. I've been to this restaurant several times for dinner and even to a sake tasting event too (they bring in stuff from Japan that you wouldn't be able to buy in the BC liquor stores) but it's nice to know that they can do a good week day lunch. Not cheap (around $15.95), but good.