I’m sure you’ve heard of the Cronut (half croissant / half doughnut) by now. They were first made here in NYC by Chef Dominque Ansel. The process takes 3 days to make and they only produce 300 a day so by 10AM, they are sold out. They have a different flavor every month. I had read about the Cronut craze in the middle of April in one of the daily NYC e-mails I get. I wanted to check it out but I knew even with Tara’s love for breakfast, there was no way I was getting her up at 5:30AM to stand in line with me on a weekend.
So I waited for her birthday to grab us one as a surprise. Boy was it worth it. Here’s the lowdown.
Dominique Ansel Bakery is located in Soho.
The line for Cronuts starts as early as 5:30AM. That was a little too early for me so I got up and was in line by 6:00AM with 25 people ahead of me. It turned out to be the perfect timing because by 6:30, the line was 150 people strong and starting to curve around the block.
The bakery staff started coming out of the bakery around 7AM and continued every 15 minutes or so to make sure the line was against the park to make room for other pedestrians who were on their way to work and passing by on the sidewalk.
By 7:30, one staff member came out and served fresh hot samples of one their other pastries to everybody in line. I can’t remember exactly what the sample was, but it was SO good! Tasted fresh and was a good preview of what was to come.
At 8AM, the line started moving inside at a pretty good pace and the head chef, Dominique, greeted everyone at the door! Talk about customer service!!
By the time I got in the door, I noticed they had two lines. One was the cronut line (where you could order other things as well) or there was a separate, much shorter line for ordering anything other than cronuts and you didn’t have to get in the big line that started around the block for that one!
I passed by the display window and saw some other amazing looking pastries…they all looked SOOO good!
Confession time: I’m a sucker for almost any “fruit” type of food. I ALSO ended up ordering the Blueberry Blackberry Pavlova. What is it you ask? Let me tell you. It’s described as light-as-air blueberry meringues filled with ripe blackberries and smooth lemon vanilla cream (Gluten Free might I add).
But then, as I turned a corner, I saw Chef Dominique applying a blow torch type utensil to what appeared to be a marshmallow. Come to find out, it’s one of his newest creations (after the cronut and just a seasonal summer treat), the FROZEN S’MORE! Are you kidding me?!?!? What is that??!?! It’s vanilla custard ice cream that’s wrapped with crispy chocolate wafer chips inside a marshmallow that has been blow torched around the sides and then put on top of an apple wood smoked branch! So yes, that was ALSO ordered!
By the time I got to the front, the cronuts were pre-boxed and ready for pick-up. I even liked the quality bags they put your selections in (looked more like a high-end gift bag). That said, the cronuts aren’t exactly cheap (what isn’t it NYC) at $5/ea so I ended up spending about $30 in breakfast treats along with an OJ and coffee. Geez!
Side note: Apparently, on the black market (Craigslist), cronuts are going for as much as $40/ea!
As you might expect, the cronut was DELICIOUS! Definitely try and eat them right away. If you wait too long, the freshness goes away. The flavor for the month of July was blackberry. It had a blackberry glaze with bits of pulverized berries mixed in and rolled with a mix of course sugar and lime zest. They inject it with blackberry swirled vanilla cream!!
I ended up taking the Blueberry Blackberry Pavolova home and saved it in the refrigerator for another day. It tasted great when we finally devoured it a few days later.
Their lunch items looked phenomenal and the other pastries were so good that I’d definitely head back there again and pass on the cronut line (since I’ve already been there / done that) and try something else. You can eat inside (though it’s a bit crowded) or they have a garden in the back that is more spacious.
Fast forward to a few weeks later and I had one of our FL DJs in town and he wanted to try the cronut. I made him wait in line at 5:30AM and I joined him at 7AM to enjoy August’s new flavor…the Coconut Cronut (pictured at the top of this post). On this visit, I didn’t order the Frozen S’more (my buddy did, however) but I did order and take home a box of 3 of the DKAs (Dominique’s Kouign Amann). It looks like a carmelized croissant shaped like a muffin. They’re not cheap either at $5.25 each but they are soo good! It’s got a good balance of the sweetness of the sugar and the creaminess of the butter. If you don’t want to wait in the cronut line, this is another EXCELLENT option!
So I guess the question begs to be asked…is the cronut really worth the wait? I think so (at least once)! The people watching is fun (there are definitely some funny characters), you meet new friends and the experience makes the food that much more worth it! That said, don’t settle for JUST the cronut. The other options are just as good! Highly recommend this spot!