Praise Patisserie is a bakery and cafe located at the back of BMVQ. They bake everything from sourdough baguettes and loaves to croissants and bear paws, from scratch on site.
All BMVs are a little different, and when looking for something to distinguish this one, classic French baking was chosen.
The fact alone that it’s in a bookstore presents a minefield of impulse items: it’s almost tough to get past a wall of beautiful cookbooks to get to the cafe at the back. The businesses pair nicely, books and products neatly placed about the high-ceilinged, minimalist space.
Sourdough loaves ($5.50) change up regularly, made using Canadian flour from Quebec and Ontario’s K2 Milling as well as a homemade starter. Bread varieties might range from plain sourdough to multigrain sourdough or a country loaf.
Thick, crusty baguettes go for $2.95, and all bread is 50 per cent off between 6 and 8 p.m.
The multigrain shines in sandwiches ($7.95), fresh and hearty, arguably the best element out of soppressata, Ontario goat cheese, red onion, lettuce, tomato and cucumber. As much produce as possible is obtained from 100km and Kensington Market.
They also use their multigrain for veggie sandwiches ($6.95), and make sandwiches with their croissants and baguettes too, like a classic jambon beurre ($5).
A gratin creation ($4.75) layers house-made puff pastry with creme fraiche, salt, pepper, double smoked bacon, thinly-sliced potato and melty Swiss. Heated up before serving, this is probably the butteriest and most French thing in the case.
It’s the same puff pastry that goes into golden croissants ($2.75), that also come in chocolate or almond varieties ($3.75).
Danishes with raspberries ($3.95) or apricot ($3.75) are made from scratch component by component.
The apricot version is perfectly circular, the crust airy, puffy and buttery with just enough sugar coating the edge. Fruit in the centre is fresh, sweet and nicely glazed without being too sticky.
Coffee for balanced, creamy lattes ($4.25) with a hit of acidity is provided by Propeller, though the cafe might branch out to source beans from equally popular local roasters Pilot or de Mello Palheta.
They also do lots of non-coffee bevvies like hot chocolate ($3.45), chai lattes and London Fogs ($4.25).
With comfy banquettes and access to WiFi, the cafe area impressively seats around 30.