Sometimes I set mini goals for myself, stupid shit I can accomplish, so I can then reward myself. Big goals are great, but the little ones keep your happiness in check. Last week I actually accomplished one of these little goals and it turned out to be one of the best buttery breakfasts of my life, involving three croissants.
Anyone in my family tell you that I love a fresh croissant more than anyone else, dead or alive, in my family. I. Just. Love. Croissants. You’d think France would have the best ones, but Belgium’s got freaking fantastic ones, considering the two countries are connected in geography and war.
Ffter dropping Noah off at daycare last Friday, and on the way to open my place for lunch service, I managed to collect three freshly baked croissants, from the three closest places to Rice House. I wanted to taste-test them all at once and decided whose was best. So I did just that.
First, Croissy Annelies, which nobody actually calls it. Everyone calls it “de franse bakkerij” or as Noah and I call it “the French bakery.” They have a godsend of a playground, and small farm on their property, so it’s nice to be able to sit there and have coffee while Noah plays and has ice cream.
Then there’s Bakkerij Debacker which actually sounds in Dutch like “Bakery The Baker” because the kk and ck are pronounced the same in Dutch, and de is “the” and bakker is Dutch for baker, and I could go on forever about this. But Debacker is the name of the baker who owns the bakery (bakkerij) and the whole big family is adorable, especially their youngest son who’s enthusiastic about just about everything.
And last but not least there’s Pistoletta, which is right on the square of the town center in Evergem, before I turn right to get to Rice House. Pistoletta is a very tasty sandwich shop that is also a breakfast stop and overall cozy soup bowl kinda place. The ladies run a tight ship and I admire them. And I believe one of the ladies used to work at Annelies for a very long time before jumping ship for the newly-opened Pistoletta. Scandalous.
So these three shops make up one of of my routes to get to Rice House.
Here’s a view of then (1930) and now (2010), of my view heading into the center of my town of Evergem (population of 32,000 that feels like 320 on any given day).
Heading into Evergem Dorp (Photo credit: Het Nieuwsblad Online)
On this route I’ll grab an occasional croissant from anywhere randomly.
Except last Friday when I got three:
I know. The croissant from Annelies looks like it’s doing something dirty to the Debacker croissant. I’d wondered, while I stood in line at Annelies, if I’d get the defective croissant when I saw it in the display case. Of course I did. It felt like the croissant was trying to punch me for eating it.
I took two bites at a time, from each croissant, left to right, comparing the texture and flakiness and the butteriness of their respective croissant layers.
The Annelies croissant was like a mouthful of butter and goodness with a light crisp shell and doughy-chewy inside. It was glorious. And the croissant from Debacker was crispy and flaky on the outside and layered forever on the inside, and butter was plenty. And Pistoletta’s croissant was super flaky and light on the inside and extra crispy on the outside, and definitely the lightest on the butter of all three croissants.
I reported back to my husband that night, and he asked me which croissant I liked best. I answered that if I was dying tomorrow and had to choose one croissant to die with, it would be…
I now have to stay away from croissants after gaining at least two pounds last Friday. Then I can reward myself with something else…
Incidentally, when I turn right at the church (the same church our Noah was baptized in this year), to get to Rice House…
This is the then (1910) and now (2010):
Leaving Evergem Dorp (Photo credit: Het Nieuwsblad Online)
Rice House stands “just down that street from ING.”
How times have changed. Croissants are forever.