Duchess Bake Shop, Edmonton

Yesterday afternoon, when I saw this post on Chowhound and saw Crazy White Girl With a Kitchen’s post and photos, I knew I HAD to stop by the Duchess Bake Shop after work. It is a stylish little place and makes a welcome addition to the shops and restaurants on 124th Street. (For those who are address-challenged and need visual landmarks to find their way around, the bakery is across the street from Koutouki Taverna.)

Look at these pretties! Can you guess what I picked up?

Duchess Bake Shop goodies

Duchess Bake Shop goodies

Oh yeah baby. Macarons and madeleines! Say goodbye to the diet (at least for the day). Hellooooo yummy sugar.

Duchess Bake Shop - macarons and madeleines

Duchess Bake Shop - macarons and madeleines

The madeleines I chose were lavender flavoured. I quite liked the floral flavour of the little sponge cake. I think I would have preferred them to be a tiny bit less dense, but I gave the other one to someone else to try and that person commented that the madeleine was very light tasting. At the bakery they told me the lavender came from Salt Spring Island.

They had three flavours of macarons available so I had to try them all. A lemon (which was fabulously lemony), a pistachio (excellent but maybe a touch too sweet for my preference), and a lavender (just a very faint floral taste, mostly tasted of vanilla). I ate one each, and gave the remainder to the aforementioned other person, who promptly scarfed one like a glutton instead of slowly enjoying it. Yeah, that person got a dirty look from me. Humph.

I was so excited about seeing the macarons that I forgot to ask them what kinds of cakes were in the case. Covered in egg whites with toasty peaks, they looked like stylized cake-shaped baked Alaskas. If anyone knows what they are, please let me know.

They’ve been open for less than a week, so I was told that their hours weren’t absolutely set yet. However on their front door it says that they’re open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

I am so fucking ecstatic that I can buy macarons in Edmonton now! Pardon my français. I’m so happy that I had to write this up right away instead of working on other delayed blog posts. I was starting to wonder if I would have to figure out how to make these things myself… or book another trip to Vegas so that I could raid the Bouchon Bakery. Too bad this means I have to do more exercise to work off all the calories… but I think they’re worth the pain for the yummy pleasure. And honestly, as long as you only eat one or two the calories aren’t too bad.

And while I was writing this I noticed that Only Here for the Food posted about the bakery as well. Looks like word is getting around fast.

Duchess Bake Shop
10720-124 Street, Edmonton
www.duchessbakeshop.com

Duchess Bake Shop on Urbanspoon

Bouchon and Bouchon Bakery, Las Vegas

When we decided to take a trip to Las Vegas, I knew immediately that I wanted to put a stop at Bouchon, Thomas Keller’s French bistro, at the top of my to-do list. I’ve been dreaming of The French Laundry for years — way before I started this blog, and before Ratatouille (which used his kitchen and food as inspiration) — and this would be my first chance to try any food by Thomas Keller.

Both Bouchon and the Bouchon Bakery are located in the Venetian hotel, but are in two totally different locations.

Just getting to the restaurant is an adventure in itself. Instead of being located in the main part of the hotel itself, the restaurant is actually in the middle of the Venezia Tower and I had to get permission from a security guard to take the hotel guest tower up to the correct floor.

The decor inside the restaurant is amazing; as soon as you step inside you forget you are in a hotel tower and are transported to a French bistro. Tall windows let in plenty of light, the patterned floor draws your eye, and the wood warms the room. Menus are printed on brown paper and wrapped around your napkin.

Bouchon - table settings

Bouchon - table settings

Daily specials are written on a couple of chalkboards – one posted near the entrance and one near the windows.

Bouchon - daily specials

Bouchon - daily specials

Service was warm and efficient, and along with our server we had water service from someone else who I think was the sommelier (but I never asked). Continue reading