I skipped out on a bike race this morning so I decided to use the time slot productively–sampling fresh baked goods and pastry from Chelsea Market. I don’t usually arrive there early enough to really sample the best that Amy’s Bread and Sarabeth’s Bakery have to offer–so this was a great opportunity. The “dirty little secret” of bakeries, as Francois Payard once told me, is that you can have the best recipe and best bakers in the world but if customers don’t consume the goods shortly after their baked–they will always be mediocre.
Sarabeth’s Bakery in Chelsea Market carries all of the jams and spreads that made Sarabeth’s restaurant famous. They also have a full retail bakery that includes a few items that you won’t easily find in NYC. One such item is the Pain Du Matin. It looks like a muffin but it’s really more of a cross between a brioche and a croissant since it has a flaky buttery inside. It’s sweeter than a brioche but still not particularly sweet so it gets a dusting of powdered sugar.
I knew today was going to be a cheese day so I had to hit Amy’s Bread for just the right cheese-delivery-vehicle. I was anticipating a ripened goat cheese so I needed something light and simple but not a baguette (although their baguette’s are excellent) since I wanted to go a little to the “healthy” side. I decided on a small Amy’s five-Grain which is a whole grain bread with a nutty flavor that toasts up well. I also bought (and ate) a wedge of whole grain Irish soda bread (no photo).
I then proceeded to purchase some cheese from Lucy’s Whey, a tiny but super-friendly cheese shop within Chelsea Market. The staff at Lucy’s Whey is always willing to help you choose a cheese if you explain what you are looking for.
The label on Vermont Creamery’s Bonne Bouche ripened goat cheese says “Best American Goat Cheese 2010″. And frankly, after trying about 25 different goat cheeses at the Fancy Food Show, many of them from the US, I have to agree. For $10.00 (you can sometimes find is slightly cheaper elsewhere in NYC) it just can’t be beat. If you want to read more about Bonne Bouche see below.
Chelsea market is located at 75 9th Avenue between 15th and 16th Streets.
Sarabeth’s Bakery: Pain Du Matin $2.50, Chubbies $1.50, heart cookies $1.50 – If you’re looking for a great gift for a foodie or baker see the Sarabeth’s Cookbook/Coffee table book published by Rizzoli here.
Amy’s Bread: 5 Grain whole wheat $2:75, whole wheat Irish soda bread $2:25
Lucy’s Whey cheese shop: Vermont Creamery’s Bonne Bouche. $10.50
If you want to sit down and eat in Chelsea Market don’t miss the casual but excellent Freidman’s Lunch with the best (non-fried) fish Tacos in NYC.