I am not a fan of lining up. I would never line up for say, a hot dog on a stick at the corner of Robson and Denman. All right, I admit that during this pandemic we have lined up (and patiently) for groceries and other necessities where social distancing was necessary for the welfare of all. So let's say that I've softened a little over the last couple of years and now there are some things that I might line up for (they still don't include a rice hot dog...unless the line was short). So we lined up at Paul for over an hour but I can explain it! First of all, Paul is a French bakery company that is over 130 years old and has branches in 34 countries and this is their first branch in Canada! Secondly, it was a beautiful Saturday in Vancouver so everyone was going to be out and we knew there would be a line up so we had no excuse. Thirdly, it ended up being kind of fun in the line as we joked with our neighbours and laughed cruelly together as new people came along and realized just how long the line was. And fourthly, check out the baked goods at this place!
Paul Bakery, Cafe and Restaurant
So we waited an hour and then felt like the time investment meant that we should try everything on the menu. Paul is not open for dine-in yet but this is a beautiful place and will be a top destination for lunch or a casual dinner. In the meantime, you can get some lovely baked goods to go and there are enough savoury items that you can make a meal out of it.
We started (at the savoury end of things) with Quiche Lorraine. Mharie had never had this before and really enjoyed it. We warmed it slightly in the microwave which worked quite well (15 seconds and then 10 seconds). Lots of Gruyere and a good taste of bacon as well as a nicely creamy custard.
Also savoury was an olive breadstick ( can't remember what it was called) which was chewy and full of olives. I loved this but Mharie is not an olive fan.
When we got to the counter to order at Paul, they had started to run out of a few things (somewhere around noon?) but we could not leave without sampling their brioche. The only brioche available was the rather large Brioche au Sucre. It was rich and buttery and nicely chewy around the edges and it was hard to leave it alone once we had started eating it.
We were perhaps the least enthusiastic about the almond tarte. Still tasty with a nice flaky crust but maybe just a touch on the dry side.
Mharie had never had Mille Feuille and so I told her this would change her life. It did! This was a pretty amazing version of something that is pretty common in eastern Canada and obviously France. The custardy centre is rich and sweet while the puff pastry exterior is flaky but maybe just a little on the tough side. I'm not sure if that is even avoidable. The icing takes it all to another level.
And finally, the highlight as far as I am concerned was this blueberry tart. Deliciously fresh blueberries and creamy custard. a tasty just firm enough crust. This and their other fruit tarts should not be missed.
Food 4 1/2 out of 5Comfort 4 out of 5 (at least, it will be)
Service 4 1/2 out of 5
Value 4 out of 5
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