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Baked Goods

Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Cafe

Posted by Daniel Kuseta / Posted on February 7, 2010

Thobors TorontoThobors Boulangerie Patisserie Cafe is packed on a Sunday afternoon with regulars popping in for their daily baguette fix. Amid the rush, the cafe's owner/baker emerges from the kitchen, greeting patrons by name and conversing in rapid-fire French. Amid the aroma of freshly baked loaves and hiss of the espresso machine, one could be forgiven for thinking they'd stepped into a Parisian boulangerie.

Located on Mt. Pleasant just south of Eglinton, this convivial bakery is owned and operated by Marc Thobor, a Parisian trained baker who previously worked at Le Comptoir de Célestin. In 2008 Thobor bought the business and re-branded.

ThoborsThe new space allows Thobor more room to express his formidable bread-making prowess, drawing on a repertoire that on any given day may include Roquefort walnut loaf, raisin brioche and fougasse aux bacon (an olive-oil based bread with bacon). And of course baguettes and pastries - lots of them.

Thobor's also caters to the lunch crowd with a small but tempting sit-down menu boasting quiches, feuilettes, baguettes and tartine's, all topped, served or stuffed with assorted goodies. My companion and I decide on the baguette sandwich (Brie, avocado and tomato, $6.50), a Croque Monsieur with turkey (also available with ham, $7.10) and a cafe latte thrown in for good measure.

BaguetteThe baguette arrives laden with generous chunks of Brie, and things are off to a good start. Things quickly accelerate to extremely agreeable as I take my first bite of the dense, nutty baguette, so chewy it's like I've popped a pack of gum, but in a pleasant way. The creamy Brie complements the resistant bread and the tomato adding a cleansing note to the mighty mouthful.

Croque MonsieurThe Croque Monsieur comprises two hearty slices of house-made pain de mie (white sandwich loaf) covered in a rich béchamel sauce. It is a large, indulgent dish that is best not hurried. Mine is served warm and when cut in two a minor sea of cheese oozes forth. The sourdough tones and firmness of the bread balance the stronger tastes of the béchamel; however the turkey, in two thin, rather sad slices, was overwhelmed by the whole affair and became relegated to texture.

In keeping with the cafe's dedication to authenticity, my cafe latte was over-extracted, unnecessarily large and moderately bland.

ThoborsSteeling ourselves for our final onslaught my intrepid wing man and I consider the siren selections of house pastry chef Ryosuke Kita, who honed his art in Tokyo and Osaka and brings a Japanese sensibility to his litany of pastries and deserts.

MacaronsAlas, the sheer scale of Kita's oeuvre puts impossible demands on patrons, sort of like 'Saw' for sugar junkies. How to choose between the almond cream croissant and the meringue mousse cake with raspberries? Do I indulge in the opera cake (almond biscuit, chocolate ganache and espresso butter cream topped with chocolate glaze) or the flourless chocolate cake? Or shall I throw caution to the wind and pounce on the Saint-Honore (pâté brisé pastry filled with cream and dipped in caramel) and hand-made nougat frais? Overwhelmed, I go classic and opt for an almond croissant, beignet and lavender macaroon.

Almond CroissantThe croissant is (predictably) rich, with the almond cream fusing the pastry into a soft, sugary cluster. Best shared between two.

BeignetThe beignet, a lightly fried donut covered with icing sugar, is more manageable and has a rewardingly firm exterior, though I prefer them served piping hot. The macaroon ends up being the perfect note to end our adventure on: light and with a reassuringly even texture that highlights the delicate lavender flavor.

Thobors TorontoThe imagination, quality and range of its breads and pastries makes Thobors a must-eat destination for any fan of French baking or general happiness. Just make sure to get two baguettes when you go, one for later and one for the trip home.

Discussion

19 Comments

jack / February 7, 2010 at 03:41 pm
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obviously, this article is for rich blogto readers who live at the Four Seasons Private Residences and Hotel.
S / February 7, 2010 at 05:45 pm
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Jack wrote: "is fo rich blogto readers who live at the Four Seasons Private Residences and Hotel."

Uh? It's a long walk for the rich from Avenue Road and Bloor to all the way up to Mount Pleasant and Davisville area.

No, it's not Timbits or fast food stuff, but even if you go once a year, say for an anniversary, it's a great treat. It's quality food and baking there.
smiley / February 7, 2010 at 05:50 pm
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I come here regularly for their sourdough loaf and baguette. There's a hint of sweetness and a bit of sourness, and the bread is always fresh. I can't think of any other bakeries in Toronto for fresh sourdough French bread than this place.
jack replying to a comment from S / February 7, 2010 at 06:42 pm
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rich people don't walk, they get their chauffeur to take them there or get their filipino maid to go buy some
Jeeves / February 7, 2010 at 10:38 pm
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Hey Jack, if you had anything positive to add to the conversation, you would know that the Four Seasons residences won't be open for another year or so.
Nico / February 7, 2010 at 10:47 pm
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Best place to get pains au chocolat, chausson aux pommes, french bakery.
Go anywhere else to get same thing, you'll pay the same price, here you'll get quality and always a smile !
smiley replying to a comment from Nico / February 8, 2010 at 01:57 am
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oh yes, that chocolate pastry is deadly... and I forgot to mention their Pain de Mie! tastes great fresh and still good next morning, too. mmm... and yes I do always get 2 baguette, one for later and another on my way back home:) This place used to be a special treat for me after my dentist visit, but now I make a speical trip whenever I crave that fresh sourdough taste. My neighbourhood has Pain Perdu and I like it too, but I don't mind going an extra mile on the city transit (I don't drive) to get what really satisfies my taste.
Alex / February 8, 2010 at 08:15 am
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@Jack: Go to Timmies and buy a double-double and a pack of timbits, that's all you deserved... and stop bothering us by being jealous to the others...
@The others: The is not the cheapest place but not the most expensive one neither. Even after a little price adjustments made this year, the quality is always there and this is the only place in town where I can have a bite into a chausson aux pommes, close my eyes and getting back when I was a child eating the same thing, with the same taste. Priceless !!
I searched a lot a place like this, now I 'm living very close and that's perfect for me !
Enjoy !
Linusbb / February 9, 2010 at 10:36 pm
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I dreaded the day Blogto writes about Thobors, our favorite secret place for brunch and baguette. Now this place is going to be packed with BlogTOers.
Jack, I don't know what you are talking about but food here is very reasonably priced. In fact I never spent more than $10 for a brunch at this place.
smiley / February 9, 2010 at 10:51 pm
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So thank you, Daniel, for posting this review:)
david / March 13, 2010 at 04:28 am
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Spring and summer Sunday mornings here...mmmm.:)
amanda / April 13, 2010 at 06:08 pm
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oh. my. goodness. that croque monsieur looks to die for..
Marc replying to a comment from jack / May 2, 2010 at 10:32 am
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Jack, there are quite a lot of Eastern European maids, Latin American and African/Caribbean maids going around as well. Even more these days - all while the numbers continue to decrease!
Anyways, those breads look great!
Zee / December 21, 2011 at 10:21 pm
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I have been a few times at Thobors Boulangerie Patisserie Cafe and I simply loved baguette sandwich. It is not too pricey for what you get and taste is amazing. Just cheese that they put into baguette is more expensive than any sub sandwich that they sell in any sub franchise. Definitively must for Euro baguette lovers!
TOBoy / December 22, 2011 at 01:29 pm
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Went their today after reading positive reviews. The sesame baguette is pretty good, though a bit too chewy, and the macarons are average. This would be OK, more or less, except the service was terrible! Indifferent at best. The place wasn't busy for lunch, and judging by the demographic it's a geriatric hang out. Not that there's anything bad about the latter, but don't ya just love it when you end up feeling as if you interrupted someone to do business? Not going back - gonna tell everybody.
преподаватель / March 21, 2013 at 05:36 pm
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I every time used to read post in news papers but now as I am a
user of net so from now I am using net for posts, thanks to web.
David Selley / August 1, 2013 at 05:59 pm
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Most of the stuff looks delicious, but we came for the baguette, based on its ranking. We were very disappointed. It bore very little resemblance to a real French baguette. The crust was way to hard and solid, like Ace and the interior was nothing like a real baguette - much too heavy and tasteless.

I'm still looking for a real French baguette in Toronto. Perhaps it's impossible because you can't get the right flour. But this was a very poor attempt. If we go back it will be for the patisseries etc.
Sam / November 22, 2013 at 10:08 am
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Very nice place! Clean, good atmosphere, pleasant (family) staff.

My family and friends drop by often. A nice relaxing yummy atmosphere.
FO / April 24, 2014 at 10:00 am
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Best almond croissant I ever eaten. It's ridiculously good!

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