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Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Paris on the Saigon (on Rainier Avenue)

Posted by on Tue, Oct 9, 2012 at 3:58 PM

The newly opened Paris Bakery & Deli in Columbia City appears to be more deli than bakery.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • The new Paris Bakery & Deli in Columbia City appears to be more deli than bakery.

For months the almost-opened Paris Bakery & Deli stood 90 percent finished at 39th and Rainier in Columbia City, teasing passersby with the unfulfilled promise of French style baguettes. I love the crusty baguettes from the Columbia City Bakery down the street (arguably one of the best bakeries in the city) but they're not authentic Parisienne fare. And so I found this new bakery's name alluring.

A bánh mì option in Columbia City.
  • Goldy | The Stranger
  • A bánh mì option in Columbia City.

Well, it finally opened last week (although it was closed when I stopped by), and from the menu, the Paris Bakery & Deli appears more deli than bakery, and of the Vietnamese variety. Not that that's bad, or anything. Columbia City would benefit from reasonably priced bánh mì. But it doesn't look like the authentic French boulangerie I was hoping for.

But I'll give it a try soon, and let you know.


Comments (10) RSS

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So with Columbia City Bakery, Bakery Nouveau, Tall Grass, Macrina, who else would you put in that league? Besalu? Le Fournil? Grand Central? Best croissants I've had outside of Paris were in Montréal.
Posted by Chas Redmond on October 9, 2012 at 5:00 PM · Report this
When my friend and I saw that the Paris Bakery & Deli had finally (FINALLY!) opened, we decided to have a croissant-off. We decided to taste-test croissants from both the Columbia City Bakery (we knew we already loved these) and the Paris Bakery. We were almost giddy with anticipation - who doesn't love a delicious pastry?

We purchased from CCB first and left with a plain and a chocolate croissant. Then we went to the Paris Bakery expecting to have ... options. There were none. Just the plain croissant and very few other pastries to choose from. I even asked if there were other varieties in the back. Nope.

Feeling undeterred, we moved forward with our taste test. After a bite or two of the Paris Bakery & Deli croissant, it was composted. It had a chemical aftertaste and I have a sneaking suspicion that it might have had a previous life as a member of a Costco twelve-pack.

The CCB croissants were pretty much perfect. No surprise there.
Posted by amiable.willow on October 9, 2012 at 5:17 PM · Report this
wisepunk 3
I'm waiting just a bit longer to let them get their shit together. I saw them open for the first time on Saturday.
Posted by wisepunk on October 9, 2012 at 5:34 PM · Report this
Paris has been open, sort of, about 10 days. Their oven isn't installed yet, and they're bringing some stuff over from their other location down on Lucile St. One of the two pastry cases is completely empty.
I liked the pork banh mi I had; along with all the expected delights of a good Vietnamese sandwich, this one also had chopped fried peanuts. With tax, it was $5; a little more expensive than the delis at 12th & Jackson but still a good price for lunch.
Posted by alight on October 9, 2012 at 6:03 PM · Report this

Since when does 100% denote "a little" more expensive? Banh mi in Little Saigon go for $2.50.
Posted by N in Seattle on October 9, 2012 at 6:36 PM · Report this
For what it's worth, it is my understanding that the owners Paris Bakery supply many of the delis in Little Saigon and Uwajimaya with their baguettes. I think their bread is delicious and look forward to seeing what is in store once their fully up and running.
Posted by Dod on October 9, 2012 at 6:54 PM · Report this
Posted by Dod on October 9, 2012 at 6:55 PM · Report this
I too was incredibly disappointed to learn that the Paris Bakery and Cafe would more properly be called Vietnamese Restaurant. Not that I don't like Vietnamese, but it's like getting OJ when you were expecting milk. I picked up a baguette anyway, as that was what I came for. It was dry.
Posted by JSilver on October 9, 2012 at 7:10 PM · Report this
It's worth noting that this "bakery" isn't open until 10am and doesn't have espresso - or coffee of any kind last I saw. Great sandwiches and french bread but the pastries and cake look like they came out of a factory and I know I saw a cake come from a plastic shell container and then get sliced up for the display case. I want them to get their oven going!
Posted by Anon5678 on October 9, 2012 at 11:00 PM · Report this
Q Bakery @ MLK and Graham (off to the south side of Viet Wah) is my go-to for Vietnamese deli, bread and pastries (about 50 different kinds). Plus iced coffee. It's not Columbia City, but it's not far away either.
Posted by banana fritter on October 10, 2012 at 1:06 PM · Report this

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