Every weekend I drive around collecting desserts.
For a while I was really into doughnuts. Then it was Trung Nam croissants (still love them). For a couple weekends I collected slices of Cafe Latte cake (the best). When I don’t feel like driving to Cafe Latte, Lunds & Byerlys will do. Then, I was really into cookies. Unfortunately, I never found any as good as my own.
Farmers Markets always have pastries and they’re a good excuse to visit a bakery nearby. Pie, biscuits, sourdough bread, I love chasing bready things.
This is all to say that really like pastries and I’ll be damned if I don’t know which ones are good. Really good.
Marc Heu’s patisserie blew me away.
I’m trying really hard not to say I’m shook.
Read more about Heu in the Additional Reading links at the end.
The storefront is tiny. There’s just enough room to marvel at the pastries and place an order. In this Minnesota Monthly article, Chef Heu mentions he hopes to offer seating like Cafe Latte someday.
Customers try to catch glimpses of each pastry as they wait in line. They sparkle in elegant glass displays where tiny gold numbers state the prices.
There are no display names, though, so you can order off-the-cuff or ask. I suppose that’s the only downside. If there is a line, you may need to be patient as the people in front of you ask for a description of each pastry. You may also need a reminder, too, once you get to the front of the line.
Descriptions of many pastries are featured on their Facebook page.
The employees are exceedingly patient and kind. Even if they had to list the pastries a gazillion times, you’d never know.
The passion fruit-raspberry tart is Willy Wonka magic. A buttery crust filled with tangy passion fruit puree and raspberry confit, topped with an edible flower, a glassy glaze, and raspberry (the tag is not edible).
This weekend I chose the blackberry tart filled with almond cream and topped with a shiny orb of blackberry mouse, fresh blackberries, and gold leaf. The passion fruit-raspberry tart remains my favorite simply because I love tangy fruit desserts the most.
If a croissant could melt in your mouth, it would be Marc Heu’s. I’ve never experienced this before. The outside of the croissant still crackles with some chew. But, the buttery layers almost melt in your mouth.
On my second visit I tried a chocolate croissant. The bittersweet chocolate contrasts well with the pastry that is just salty enough.
Prices seem to range between $4-7 dollars. Of course you can order whole cakes and tarts, too. I tried to leave a tip and the employee gently informed me they don’t accept tips.
You know that scene in Garden State where Natalie Portman makes Zach Braff listen to that Shins song?
“You gotta hear this one song, it’ll change your life.”
That’s how I feel about these pastries.
- Chef’s Story – from their website.
- King of Croissants: Marc Heu’s University Avenue patisserie sells paradise by the slice, by James Norton in The Growler
- How Marc Heu Shook Up St. Paul’s Baking Scene With A Paris-Style Patisserie, Andrew Park, Minnesota Monthly