Miami's Top Five Croissants
|Paul's croissants stack up.|
Otherwise, we have some worthy specimens closer to home. Here are five places to find crisp-on-the-outside, buttery-on-the-inside croissants.
5. Paul Bakery Café
Yes, we know it's a chain -- no need to raise your voice. Thing is, the Paul folks have been baking croissants since the first branch opened in Lille, France, in 1889. Paul uses the same basic ingredients as anyone else, but I guess a century or so of tinkering with the recipe helps one achieve a nice crisp crust ($2.45). We frequent the Lincoln Road venue, but there's also one at 14861 Biscayne Blvd.
|The spread at La Provence.|
Another chain, another story. This one involves David Thau, a native of Aix-en-Provence, who in 1995 visited South Beach and noticed there were no quality croissants (actually, it was quality bread he noticed lacking, but we're tweaking things a bit for the sake of narrative flow). So David went back to Provence, trained at bakeries for two years, and returned to open La Provence French Bakery and Café in South Beach. There are nine shops in and around Miami now, so one could be excused for thinking perhaps something gets lost in the mass production of croissants -- but like at Paul, they've simply gotten the process down pat ($2.31). It won our Best Croissant in 2005.
4017 Prairie Ave., Miami Beach, FL