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Sunday Brunch

Sunday Brunch:

30 September 2012

With the close of the '30 Years, 30 Days' countdown to Epcot's 30thAnniversary, the Days of the Week writers bring you a week of Epcot themed articles to celebrate the park's special anniversary. To start off the week, we'll travel to one of the earliest Epcot eateries, opening with the park in the France Pavilion: The Boulangerie Patisserie bakery and pastry shop. As with the dining venues in Italy and other countries, the French restaurants and the bakery and pastry shop are run by a third-party company. In France, the company is headed by Jermoe Bocuse, the current president and owner as well as the son of world famous Chef Paul Bocuse. After 30 years, the quaint little storybook town bakery and pastry shop still serves classic French baked goods and has easily become a guest favorite.

While working at the Board Walk Bakery, I had the fortune to work with Vincent, an International student straight from France, the birthplace of classical pastry. He taught me that in France our bakery would not be considered a bakery, or boulangerie, because we only made desserts and no bread (despite the thematic signs from WDI promising 'fresh baked buns' and 'whole grain breads'). In France, the boulangerie is a place that sells breads while the patisserie ' which is more what the Board Walk Bakery is ' sells sweets and desserts. In the France Pavilion at Epcot, the Boulangerie Patisserie is accurately named since it serves both. The bread selection is minimal ' croissants, baguettes and rustic cheese bread ' but its presence fulfills the definition of a real French boulangerie. Additionally, some baguettes are made into long sandwiches with ham and cheese.


Top row: chocolate croissant, almond triangle, and apple turnovers
Bottom row: the bread selection: ham and cheese croissant sandwich, rustic bread, baguette sandwich, cheese plate


An alternate view of the display, with vegetable quiche and quiche Lorraine in the bottom middle row


It's the French Sub, though back home in South Jersey we call it a hoagie

In addition to bread, as well as fresh quiche, French coffee, espresso, cappuccino and other beverages, the main products of the Boulangerie Patisserie are pastries, desserts, and sweets. Previously on Sunday Brunch, we've explored the Sacristain, a flaky puff, chocolate pastry twist, though this was just one of over a dozen sweet treats at the Patisserie portion of the pastry shop. The menu does change time to time, though typically many traditional French favorites and classical pastries are found here such as palmiers (a flaky cookie like pastry, also called elephant ears), cream puffs, and cr'me brulee. And now a feast for the eyes to inspire a symphony in your belly:


Top row: chocolate chip cookie, palmiers, sacristain, apple turnover
Bottom row: cake of the day (chocolate cake), cream puffs, cr'me brulee, napoleon, meringue tart, strawberry tart, chocolate mousse


Apple Tart, though the way the thinly sliced apples are prepared in this dessert, an Apple Galette would be the more appropriate name


Almond Triangle, a croissant like pastry housing a heavy filling of almond paste, a confection of primarily ground almonds and sugar, mostly used in marzipan


Chocolate croissant, my favorite of the French pastries, is a buttery roll with flaky and puffy layers, a sprinkling of rich chocolate pieces scattered in between

After getting over the wonders of the French pastries found here, it's worth taking a minute for appreciating the shop itself. A tiny, quaint low lit shop, the Boulangerie Patisserie is simply a long store with a refrigerated display counter on either side, both offering the same selection. This set-up allows for maximum efficiency to handle the 'crowds' of guests, usually pouring out the door. Though popular and often busy all day, the shop's small size and location in the tucked away side street of the pavilion makes it seem like it's crowded with long lines. In all of my visits through the shop, typically, guests pass through rather quickly.


With guests pouring out the door, it seems like you'll be in this line forever, though with probably at most 20 people in the bakery and outside in line at a time, the wait is comparable to walk-on attractions in which the wait time is based on the physical length of the queue (e.g. The Seas with Nemo)


Upon entering, an overhead sign instructs guests to use both sides


Cast members serve right from the counter, and also offer to heat up your order in a small oven that warms up your baked goods while you move on to the register


While the current shop has a scattering of tables on the street outside of it, there is no room for indoor seating. Guests can sit indoors by the gift shop at the exit of Impressions de France
.

Whether it is a fancy snack, elegant after meal dessert, or a small, quick meal (I love getting a warm quiche Lorraine and croissant for breakfast), the Boulangerie Patisserie has become one of my favorite places to eat at Epcot. With more than a dozen pastries, breads, and savory goods, I have yet to sample the whole menu. I hope to achieve that goal before the end of the year because the bakery, as well as the two restaurants in the pavilion, is receiving a major renovation, recently announced by Disney in late August 2012. Behind the France Pavilion, a new building is being constructed to house the new bakery. Set to open next year, the new 'modern' bakery/caf' will include a new bread oven, a show bakery kitchen, and a dining area to seat 90 guests. This major expansion will provide all bakery production for all three restaurants and expand the current bakery's menu to add salads and sandwiches with fresh baked bread. The current bakery is set to be changed into a Glacier ice cream shop. With exciting new plans on the horizon for the Boulangerie Patisserie, I know myself and other guests will make sure to enjoy our favorite pastries and look forward to the new pastries to come over the next 30 years.

News resource:

Brandon, Pam. Major Makeover for the France Pavilion at Epcot' 13 August 2012. Disney Parks Blog. http://disneyparks.disney.go.com/blog/2012/08/major-makeover-for-the-france-pavilion-at-epcot/

 

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