The place is simply called La Boulangerie. No pun, no treat, simple. Offering a wide choice of pastries and breads, this bakery gave me what I have been looking for since I started this review of Seattle’s French bakeries: the smell of a boulangerie. When you enter here, you can feel the warmth of the oven and the delicate fragrance of cooked bread. Delicious.

Too bad the food is not. The croissants and the baguettes have some French arrière-goût, but something is missing, and only a professional baker could tell me if it’s a lack of butter or an excess of salt. Writing that hurts, since the baker is so nice. Xon D. Luong, the chef/owner, as his visit card says, has been a professional in French baking for 52 years. In a French mind, it means he started when he was 8, since French people don’t want to work beyond 60 years old. But I assume he is not as lazy and complaining as we are.

Au contraire. He does everything in his shop. As we would say, il est à l’eau et au moulin, cooker and register, lonely man in this big room filled with bread. You may have a seat and just enjoy the odour of the shop. That’s typically the place where you want to stay when you wish to avoid all this hi-tech coffee shops with free wi-fi that are located a block further.

The bakery reminded me of all those little cafés far from the trendy places in Paris that do not have much room, a lounge space, and comfortable sofas, but where you just feel good. And it’s not because of the place itself, but merely because of Luong’s smile. (My fingers make a special guest appearance on the picture on the right for all those who wanted to see more pictures of me.)

I should reward this place with a B-.

Good points:
• Xon Luong’s kindness and courage
• The good smell
• Wide choice of pastries

Bad points:
• The taste