The French Baker brings a lot to the table for the lunch crowd
Lunch Rush by Shari Goodman
METRO OTTAWA July 2010
Nothing beats a good sandwich. The key is great bread and The French Baker has the best bread in town for their sandwiches ($5).
Between this impeccable bread were layers of arugula, tomato, cheese and ham. The bread is baked daily in an old French oven using quality ingredients, and its delicious taste comes in part by allowing the dough to ferment and develop flavour in the traditional ways.
The sandwich options change daily depending on what their sister kitchen, Benny's Bistro, is cooking up.
Another favourite at this bakery is their lime coconut lime cake ($1.95).
It's moist and the flavour so subtle that you have to let it linger in your mouth to enjoy the full benefit of all the components.
Their Illy coffee is strong and made fresh. And on your way out, you can pick up some tarts or croissants to go. They have the best croissants in Ottawa.
I have been at the French Baker several times and I find their Croissants totally out of this world their texture melt in your mouth flaky and scrumptious to the palate the taste lingers for a long time after you have devoured them, you can just eat them just like that or perhaps with a little marmalade, they are frankly the best between Ottawa and Montreal and other cities to name of few. You can easily have two of them to go, with their delicious coffee "Illy", they are a piece of heaven in your hands (Croissants), actually everything in the French Baker is amazing their pastries "Blow you Away", rich creamy and did I mention their filling of belgum chocolate in their Croissants the best "AWESOME"
XPress Ottawa May 2009
Head to The French Baker for the finest croissant in the city
The world economy has everyone abuzz with ways to curb spending. First up on the chopping block is your daily cup of coffee. Writers seem to be tripping over each other in an effort to condemn this morning ritual as though our collective coffee consumption were responsible for propelling us all into recession. As if things weren't bad enough already, now we have to feel guilty about stopping by for a latte on the way to our soon-to-be-outsourced job?
So it was with great pleasure that I decided to throw caution to the wind this week and review one of the nicest places in Ottawa to grab your daily hit of caffeine - The French Baker. I must admit it was hardly my first trip to the bakery. I discovered The French Baker in college when I moved just a few blocks away from the Market location. It wasn't long before a stop at The French Baker became a part of my daily routine. I'd pass by on my way to the bus, ready with a handful of change, greedily awaiting a pain au chocolat, still warm from the oven. It was a small luxury I afforded myself, even on a student's budget.
The newer Glebe location features bistro tables and a sleeker aesthetic. A pair of spectacular plants in the window and a beautiful array of brightly coloured mid-century modern chairs perk up the bakery's stark white interior.
Early one morning, I eyed the classic French pastries showcased along the lengthy counter, unable to make a decision. Hastily, I decided to get one of everything, and a cup of Illy coffee to go. I tried the pain aux raisins first, a gorgeous combination of pastry cream and plump raisins soaked in rum. The next morning I tried an almond croissant, twice-baked and made from a day-old chocolatine. It was an indulgent treat to be sure, but at only a few bucks apiece, it's hardly something to feel guilty about. Their brioches, croissants and tart apple turnovers are also exceptionally good.
As we enter this new climate of financial responsibility, I wonder if we can't make a little room in our budgets for life's simpler pleasures. Just enough room perhaps, to enjoy a decent cup of joe and a perfect croissant.
- Colleen Johnson
The Ottawa Citizen April 2008
5. The French Baker
Why it's good: This ByWard Market bakery makes its bread fresh every day in small batches in the French way -- using a traditional fermentation technique that uses no sugar, fat, eggs or dairy and very little yeast or salt.
What's available: Three types of baguettes -- denser, strong-crusted Parisienne; lighter-textured, fine-crusted country; and wheat-sheath ("epi") that tears apart in little buns. The flavourful sourdough (pain de campagne) contains no additives. Other breads include nine-grain, olive, ryes and organics. Availability varies each day.
Pedigree: Jerome Mantel, a Sorbonne-educated, French government-certified Parisian baker, opened the bakery in 1994. In 2000, Citizen readers voted his croissants the best in Ottawa.
Tidbit: Peek in at Benny's Bistro at the back, a popular unassuming eatery of high accolades.
- Ute Mikula
"This sunny and simple bakery is home to the flakiest croissants in town. Order yours en francais at the counter, pull up a stool by the door, and watch the locals wander in..."
Five Stars out of five:
"...During Winterlude, shacks along the Rideau Canal sell a deep-fried whole-wheat pastry shaped like a beaver's tail. More delicate palates can savor the city's finest croissants and pain au chocolat at Boulanger Francais."
“For steaming cafes au lait, luscious cakes and perhaps the best croissants this side of the Atlantic, head to Jerome Mantel’s charming patisserie. The Parisien’s sweet and savoury treats are baked on the premises each morning to mouthwatering perfection. Ah, la vie est bonne!”
French baker Jerome Mantel's philosophy is simple: use the finest ingredients and bake fresh every morning. His formula has been a roaring success. Close to the Byward Market, this spacious bakery has a colourful eat-in area at the back, making it a perfect lunch stop. Check out the art on sale at the coffee bar.
"...Best Bakery - Winner: The French Baker (119 Murray)..."
Bank Street store best reached via Fourth Avenue
The French Baker is featured in the 2011 La Presse survey of the best croissants ... in Québec!