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Baked Goods

Rahier

Posted by Robyn Urback / Posted on July 11, 2011

Rahier TorontoRahier Patisserie is said to offer some of the best French baked goods and pastries in all of Leaside. Of course, many would say its croissants rival all others in Toronto, but some questions, alas, are just meant to be left unanswered.

What is for certain, however, that if you come much later than 10 a.m., you'll probably be out of luck if you're looking for a plain croissant. I arrive a little after 1 p.m. and know that I don't stand a chance. I keep my fingers crossed still for getting the chance to chat with owner/pastry chef Francois Rahier, but when I arrive I'm told, "He's here, but he's asked not to be bothered." At least I have Rahier's counters, coolers, and displays of colourful treats to keep me occupied.

Rahier TorontoI begin examining the cake and tarts, which look just too perfect to be devoured. The Balzac caramel mousse, cognac sautéed pears, and cognac soaked sponge cake ($5.50) looks absolutely pristine (and delicious) and the Mixed Berries fruit tart ($5.75) seems perfect for a cool summer afternoon on Rahier's patio. But I moved on, looking for one of Rahier Patisserie's signatures.

Rahier TorontoThe macarons definitely fall under that category, sold by weight ($8/100g) in six flavours including mocha, blueberry, and praline. I scan past them to Rahier's shelves of breads, though they're left to slim picking even by this early afternoon. Perhaps a taste of the bread in a sandwich? But just my luck (or tardiness), Rahier's famous green apple, walnut, and Brie on a demi-baguette ($7.06) had already been sold out by that afternoon.

Rahier TorontoSo I decide to count my losses and settle on an almond croissant ($2.10). A few bites in, however, I realize "settle" is the wrong sentiment. The croissant is incredibly light and flaky, chewy and buttery with a sweet almond centre. Though prepared several hours earlier (the chefs come in at 2 a.m. every day) the croissant tastes as if it was just removed from the oven.

Rahier TorontoAlthough I had just vowed to stop by Rahier much earlier next time, after a taste of the croissant told me it really wasn't necessary. Unless, that is, I was hoping to snag a regular morning croissant.

Rahier TorontoRahier TorontoPhotos by Jesse Milns

Discussion

5 Comments

Aydin / July 11, 2011 at 08:46 am
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These articles confuse me. You seem to write a lot of them.

It's not a review, as you don't taste more than one item they have. I've never read a review before where the reviewer writes something to the effect of, "they have a bunch of stuff that looks amazing, but I only tried the single, most simple, cheapest item they had, so I can't tell you if the place is any good". What kind of journalism is this?

But it's up on the site, so now we'll never get a proper review of this place - just Robyn's impressions of what stuff looks like, with a few photos and description of one croissant. So, you're not only giving us a crappy review, you're ensuring that this place is denied a real review in the future, as it's already been done!

It's a lot like the strange street review write-ups that we've been seeing lately. Everything is written so vaguely, based on first-glance impressions, and in the end, we really don't get any critical opinions.

If you want to do a "profile" of these places, at least interview the owner, or some customers - like you did in that wonderful write-up for Royal Beef a few weeks ago. Otherwise, do a proper review. On the flip side, I really enjoy Robyn's writing style and I look forward to many of her articles - I sometimes just question the choices in content.
Tim replying to a comment from Aydin / July 11, 2011 at 10:51 am
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As Robyn mentions in the post she wanted to speak with the owner but he didn't want to be disturbed. Unfortunately, local businesses owners' schedules (and priorities) don't always align with the blogTO's writer's so sometimes we just do what we can.

To address your other feedback, this post is really meant to function as a profile of the place, and not a comprehensive review of all the products sold there. I'd encourage you and other readers who have visited the place to add your comments below what you thought about the specific items you ordered.
Sasha / September 28, 2011 at 08:21 pm
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Its ok - but dosent come close to Thebors on Mount Pleasent.................Staff are not friendly and the bread dosen't even come close!!!
Karen / May 23, 2012 at 10:32 pm
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As I know lots of other cafés and pusatarie carried their pastries. Therefore I was hoping to the original shop and try their fresh cakes, indeed it turned out to be quite a dissapointment.Tthe fridge in the shop is not cold enough as I ordered a pisatccho moose cake and it was a bit smushed. My boyfriend got a almond crossisant and it was hard and smaller than a palm size. In conclusion, i always like their cakes yet I would probably get their cakes at the other distributed location.
Victor / September 12, 2012 at 08:35 pm
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I love this place.
Everything I had from them reminds me of the best Belgian bakeries I visited growing up in Belgium.
Their sandwich are just the best (that's why it was sold out when Robyn came along).
Their pastries are great because the ingredients are of higher qualities. It is not about the quantity but the quality. I look forward to more places like this one in Toronto.

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