I finally made a visit to Pikolo, a rad Pacific Northwest-style espresso bar, only to find that they sell both muffins from one of my favorite patisseries, Rhubarbe, and coffee from one of my favorite Portland roasters, Heart Coffee Roasters! It made me a little Oregon-sick, to see that bag of beans there. There are a few shops around town that sell Stumptown beans (I think Cafe Neve?), but Heart was always one of my favorite PDX coffee zones.
Now, if only some Montreal roaster could import Gimme! beans, then my rounds of homesickness would be complete.
Now that I’ve finally made it over to Patisserie Rhubarbe, I really wish that I hadn’t waited so long! The original recommendation came from my friend and La Presse writer Ève Dumas, who I met there for a late afternoon coffee. (Fortunately, they have Union coffee! Yum).
It was a struggle to not order all of the immaculate, elegant, and affordable sweets — the place reminded me of a teetotaling version of Pix — but with some guidance from Ève, a Rhubarbe regular, I ordered the peanut brittle, a lemon tart, cheesecake, a citrus-brownie, homemade chocolate with nougat (like a super fancy Snickers bar), and passion fruit marshmallows. They also had an alluring shelf of jams and preserves by Anthony and Camilla, as well as their own house-made preserves (and some truly gorgeous pound cakes and breads that I would have loved to eat for breakfast), but I had to exercise a wee modicum of restraint.
As the baker at Le Pick Up, I know that our goods will never have the elegance or beauty that Rhubarbe does. It’s just not our style. But there’s also something comforting and kind of amazing about knowing that the aesthetics of deliciousness exists on a wide spectrum, from messy to humble to simple to sleek — and it’s all equally valid. There is something very special happening at Rhubarbe — now if only they could pull a Pix and add Cava to their menu!