Off of Park Avenue on Morse Blvd, Croissant Gourmet is one of the many joys that I think of when wandering around Winter Park’s popular shopping and restaurant area. In addition to some of the most gorgeous pastries in town this little French bakery, founded by brothers Francois and Phillipe Cahange, also serves up some very delectable sandwiches, quiche, crepes, and salads for lunch. Brother Francois is a patissier, a classically trained pastry chef, from France with a resume that includes several restaurants along the famous Champs-Elysees in Paris. Brother Phillipe along his wife Stephanie have recently started their own bakery shop in nearby College Park called Les Petits Pleasures.
Two display cases hold the wonders of Croissant Gourmet: fruit tarts topped with raspberries and blueberries, éclairs, Napoleons, assorted croissants, apple turnovers, macarons, and many more all made fresh and locally.
Try the almond croissant, a flaky, buttery croissant with a nice sweet, creamy filling of almond paste and topped with almonds and dusted with confectionary sugar. Also good is the rectangular jalousie pastry, similar to a strudel and a play on jalousie-style windows, it’s filled with almond cream and raspberries.
The croque madame sandwich, a variation of the croque monsieur, is deftly made with ham and Gruyere cheese, hand-dipped in egg, then pan-fried in butter to a nice crisp. Finally, the croque is topped with a luscious golden-yellow yolk, sunny-side up egg. The egg yolk oozes down the sandwich when you cut into it, preferably with fork and knife, and eaten together the Croissant Gourmet’s croque madame makes for a truly transcendent experience.
The shop is a bit small and narrow, with only a few tables inside and a bar stool area near the glass case for the bakery items. It can get a bit awkward for patrons who want to sit and enjoy their meal along the bar area with out getting bumped into by others browsing the pastries or lined up to order by the register. Sit outside and enjoy the nice Florida weather with your pastries and people watch those people walking by on the Avenue.
C’est si bon.
Pass me another croissant, s’il vous plaît
Video from ChatChow TV interview with Chef and Owner Francois Cahange
Display of pastries at Croissant Gourmet
Fruit Tart pastry
Almond Croissant and Jalousie
Chicken salad croissant sandwich
Croque Madame topped with fried egg