Have you ever traveled to France? If so, then you are certainly acquainted with the addicting aroma of a bakery in the morning-time. As an intern in the editorial offices of Marie Claire magazine (already 5 years ago, yikes!), the anticipation of passing by that smell every morning on my way to the office was often what pulled me out of bed in the early hours. Whether or not I purchased a croissant or a pain au chocolat, the aroma of delicious treats rising to perfection in the bakery kitchens coaxed me out of bed. If only there had been one just beneath my apartment and maybe I would have risen quicker…
Although most mornings I remain decidedly américaine in my choice of breakfast (Kashi with berries or peanut butter toast with bananas), there are some days that I just. want. a café crème accompanied by a buttery, flaky croissant. One of those cravings hit just last week. (Beware, they can come at any moment after spending any time in France). It was a beautiful day of mild temperatures (hard to imagine with the triple digits we’re enduring this week) that felt almost more like fall than summer.
I had commenced dreaming about a café crème because I’m currently going through a stage in which I don’t like coffee I make myself. Weird, I know, but it happens every three to four months. Just when I thought I couldn’t bear one minute more without said crème, I passed by an unapologetically lavender (my most favorite color!) bakery called Bonjour!. Now, I’m not going to act like I had never passed it prior (nothing lavender escapes my appreciative gaze) but that day it pulled my car over seemingly for me and beckoned me inside.
Now, before you read any further, you must know one more thing: I am unapologetically snobby about anything that claims to be “French.” I turn my nose up at most baguettes found here, poke and prod before deigning to purchase Camembert in the States and examine crêpe menus with, if not an expert, then an amateur conoisseur’s eye. So I really did not expect that much upon entering Bonjour!.
But you guessed it (or else I wouldn’t have given that lead-in, right?). It’s di-vine. The authentic French bakery smell assailed my senses upon crossing the lavender establishment’s threshold and the cases, oh the cases…
Row after row of gorgeous, shining pastries were patiently waiting their fates while croissants, pain au chocolat, and other such delights nestled next to each other. There was even a basket overflowing with fresh baguettes.
I ecstatically ordered my crème and croissant and being that I was in the States took it with me to go. Needless to say, the coffee to milk ratio was perfection, the croissant had just the right amount of flaky layers, and I, happily, succeeded in satisfying my Franco-fixation for the day.
In short, I highly recommend Bonjour! to anyone in search of authentic French pastries and goodies in Baltimore. The next time you in Charm City, take yourself there. If you’re a city resident and don’t already know about it (I bet you do, I’m a newbie), it’s in Mt. Washington on Falls Road. Also, it has a great little space for seating which seems like just the nook to enjoy a quiet, light breakfast.