If you’re a discerning foodie, there’s a good chance you’ve eaten Pain D’Avignon’s bread, but have never heard of them. For over a decade, this Long Island bakery has been selling their goods to high-end restaurants and last year opened up a tiny stand in the Essex Street Market. Surrounded by about 40 different bread items—hand-made in their LI bakery—I was unsure of what to get. I eventually settled on an Onion Roll ($0.75) and a Pain au Chocolat ($2.50).
I started with the Onion Roll, which had a crisp exterior, and a soft, moist interior that was a delight to eat. Even though the outside was hard, biting through it wasn’t tough at all. I actually enjoyed it. The savory onion flavor really came through and I would have gone back for a second one.
I then picked up the Pain au Chocolat, which was light and buttery. I ripped it open and saw little chunks of chocolate embedded inside the pastry. I nibbled on a piece and confirmed that they don’t skimp on quality. I did find the butter to be a bit much, falling short of greasy. This was problematic because I wasn’t given a napkin. Still, it was a fantastic treat.
I look forward to coming back to this little shop. They are obviously masters at bread-making and I hate the idea of not tasting everything they make. They brew Stumptown, but I’m a fan of Porto Rico Importing (also in Essex Street Market). A bite of the Pain au Chocolat with a sip of hot coffee = chocolate melting in your mouth. Heavenly is the only word I have to describe that feeling. Experience it yourself!
Pain D’Avignon ★★★★★
Essex Street Market, 120 Essex St map
Manhattan, NY 10002
Neighborhood: Lower East Side