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Baked Goods

Pain Perdu

Posted by Emily Thomas / Posted on December 18, 2008

Pain PerduPain Perdu is small and quiet, adorned with flowers and French music and neat, unimpressive furniture. Regulars sit happily alone in a corner, or quietly chat in French with Yannick, one of the bakery owners. Like the taste of the bread and croissants and sweets, the atmosphere is understated, confident in subtlety.

The croissants ($1.80) are a delicate glory with tons of layers and a dense buttery centre. The almond variety has a hint of sweetness on top wrapping around a sweet custard filling that seeps into the inner layers.

The goat's cheese and spinach quiche ($5.95) tastes deceivingly light, with a discreet crust and airy filling. Like the croissants, it has a rich but subtle flavour rendering it immediately addictive.

Pain Perdu SandwichThe Croque Monsieur ($6.90) is enthusiastically recommended, a glorious invention of Swiss cheese baked over bread and black forest ham with bechamel sauce, garnished with a single split grape tomato. The sandwich is heavy and I can have more of it than I should in the presence of the pain perdu ($7.95), the best and most surprising dish ordered.

Pain Perdu FoodPain Perdu translates as "lost bread," originates as an attempt to save the stale or hard. It varies all over France (all over the world i.e. the fried Dempsters sandwich bread with corn syrup I grew up on). Yannick boasts of his grandfather's recipe; a thick wedge of bread soaked in a milky creme anglaise sauce and stuffed with organic maple syrup and raisins. Small chunks of pineapple are scattered over the dish with berry coulis drizzled on top, balancing the sweetness of the eggy insides.

Pain Perdu TablePain Perdu BakeryPain Perdu CafePain Perdu St. ClairPain Perdu Bakery CafePain Perdu InsidePain Perdu OutsidePain Perdu TorontoPhotos by Alyssa Bistonath

Discussion

25 Comments

chephy / May 22, 2008 at 10:24 pm
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The quality of stuff is superb, but the prices have really crept up in the last few years, while the pastries have shrunk. :-(
mikeb / December 19, 2008 at 09:52 am
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I've enjoyed what I've bought there, but this summer I found it quite warm in Pain Perdu on a couple hot summers day. Those fans just don't cut it. Or is it just me?
jamesmallon / December 19, 2008 at 09:57 am
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Whatever. Never bothered to join the impossible line for that tiny place on a weekend.
b. / December 19, 2008 at 10:20 am
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after reading this, i do want to go to pain perdu, but i must say, i'm kind of shocked about the lack of editing - there are just so many spelling errors!

i hate being so damn picky, but you guys are better than this!
abreen / December 19, 2008 at 10:25 am
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I wasnt really impressed this summer when i ordered a few croissants and a cookie and the total was over $11. I will stick with World Class.
Colin / December 19, 2008 at 12:12 pm
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I've been a fan since it opened, but I agree with the first poster. Over the years the prices have just gone up and up, and the sizes have shrunk.

It *is* damn tasty, but I can't justify almost $15 for a (small) slice of quiche, a few Boston lettuce leaves with dressing, and a coffee.

(And his name is Yannick, not Yarrick.)
magdalena / December 21, 2008 at 03:13 pm
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Bought one croissant there last summer - heavenly but not within my price range.


eagle3 / March 1, 2009 at 01:25 am
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I have gone here for at least 5 years or so for their chocolate croissants. I just went in today after not having gone in a while and I have to agree the croissants used to be a lot bigger, they have indeed shrunk. Still delicious though. Latte was really good and a good size.
sil / August 7, 2009 at 03:57 pm
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I have to admit, I used to go there more often, especially when I was visiting clients, and wanted to take some goodies along; however, the goodies have SHRUNK and the prices have gone WAY UP and I can no longer justify going there. If you take a trip to Loblaws at Christie and Dupont, you can get some pretty good pastries at 1/10 of the price. No, they are not French, but they are huge and delicious and clients, or the lawyer's assistant, or your receptionist will still appreciate the gesture.
I live around the corner from Pain Perdu and I'm very disappointed that they are the most expensive shop in the area, making it impossible to go there on a regular basis.
buddyholly / November 15, 2009 at 09:43 pm
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I went out to this place because of the writeup. Six croissants, two small pastries and one slice of quiche came to over $30. The croissants were very small, dark brown and had a hard, flaky outside that was more like phyllo pastry. Inside was just ''bready.''
Thanks, but no thanks.
James / November 25, 2009 at 08:20 pm
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This place is heaven!!! The croissants are the best in the city. They happen to taste the way proper croissants are suppose to taste. The mushroom quiche is ridiculous. Soooo tasty! The pastries are numerous in variety and all delicious. And the ambiance is perfectly created by the subtle and spartan design choices that offer a real slice of old school French hospitality!

This place is a can't miss destination for those looking for
a moringing after cup of coffee with that special someone or
a quite place to read the paper and fritter away a weekday morning!
Doreen replying to a comment from abreen / December 22, 2009 at 09:14 am
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In regards to earlier comment: "I will stick with World Class"
I have bought bread there once, never again. Can`t stand them & don`t care much for their Breads. Plus, if you want fresh it is best to go early. Tre Mari, there`s a Portuguese place across *North side of St Clair*. They always have great bread. Centro Trattoria is great for bread too, if you go early enough.

I so Heart♥ Paini♥Perdu - I recall my Quiche, Goat Cheese & Spinach. The crust on this Quiche was to die for, "Sublime".
Light, Fluffy. I could never accomplish a Quiche like that on my own. I should of opted for the salad, too. But didn`t, the taste of the Vinaigrette, that I did sample on my "Cornichon" & "Tomato", was heavenly. The wait was worth it, seeing as how they didn`t use the ever so dreaded "microwave". Love the french radio in the background. Great Mosaic art from local artisans on display. And the staff ever so friendly. I met a man from "Basque" Region. In addition, I received free Macaroons, the classy french imported kind !
It`s best to go at a time when it is not busy, small space to begin with but oh so, quaint.
Doreen replying to a comment from Doreen / December 22, 2009 at 10:53 am
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macaron***
millie / February 18, 2010 at 08:52 pm
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pretentious atmosphere
Doreen replying to a comment from millie / February 19, 2010 at 10:41 am
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By the people who work there ? - I am not a "Regular" there, as I am not made of money. But I do recall some of the crowd.
Two women in particular going on about Yoga, then complaining about their co-workers, I do recall.
I speak french, went to a French school. And have been to France, I miss Travel. I figure that`s going to be as close as I get to France, or anything reminiscent of, next to Quebec.
I find some of the crowds on St.Clair.W - Are "pretentious" to begin with. I go alone for the peace, when it`s not busy. Or, when a friend visits.
Elle Tea / March 26, 2010 at 11:41 pm
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This place needs renovation. I couldn't breathe inside the cafe. It's so small its ridiculous. The croissant wasn't bad but would probably never go again.
N / April 12, 2010 at 11:16 pm
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I have to agree with Doreen in terms of going when it isn't busy... I often have found the crowd on the weekends overwhelming to say the least. The pastry and coffee is worth it (to go) to take to the park instead...
Robert / June 20, 2010 at 03:51 pm
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I went here full of positive expectations but will not give them any repeat business. Baked goods not all that great. Portion size too small and prices way out of line. A croissant even at a Metro is far better than this so-called authentic French and a full third of the price! Staff make you feel like they are doing you a favour by even looking your way. Strong on pretention and short on value.
Anne / September 23, 2010 at 04:42 pm
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Croissants were too dry, as if they have been made several days ago, and for this price...no thanks.

But there's definitly no comparison with a croissant from metro, they're not made with real butter, the taste is completly different.
cindy / December 8, 2010 at 11:32 am
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They have the best croissants in the City. (period)
Steph / March 25, 2011 at 11:32 am
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Best croissants in the city, hands down. Proper croissants should be dark and small; that means they were made with strictly butter and no shortening. Butter burns and shortening has a high tolerance to heat. That's why the croissants in grocery stores are big and light but taste like wax.

Scoop & Bean on Follis ave. at Bathurst also sells their croissants, but you gotta get there early!
Hailey / December 21, 2011 at 12:22 pm
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Love the croissants
john / April 11, 2013 at 10:25 am
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I'm a critical bastard and difficult to please, and let me just say that Pain Perdu is a jewel.
I don't have a decent job and so I cannot afford much of what they sell, but I have had the chance to try some of their food and it is outstanding and authentic.
When I can, I drop by on a weekday for an Americano coffee; it's the best in the entire city.
And yes, their croissants can be a surprise for anyone who hasn't had a real French croissant before.
Pain Perdu is like a portal into Paris.
adam / April 20, 2013 at 01:57 pm
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rude staff.. Lady at cash seemed bothered that I had asked a question. I asked for a croissant, she barked out the price and put out her hand..unacceptable. too bad I had been looking forward to going in. will never be back.
SSSasky / September 15, 2013 at 12:25 pm
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Their croissants are the best in the city. The Common on College (and the new location on Bloor) sell their croissants, and they are to die for. Totally worth the $2. (and Americanos at the Common are only $2, so it works out to a great price for a morning treat).

Love love love.

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