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Sunday Brunch

Le Brunch du Dimanche: Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie

27 January 2013

Back in September, we explored the Boulangerie Patisserie France Bakery in Epcot, and with the new year comes the new Les Halles Boulangerie & Patisserie, now located in the rear building that also holds the gift shop and exit to the Impressions de France attraction. The move more than doubled the size of the bakery, expanded the pre-existing seating area, and added restrooms.

New Bakery in the France Pavilion at Epcot

The look and feel of the new bakery reminds me a lot of Penn Station in Manhattan: a bustling and busy cafe with diners going in and out in the middle of a busy underground. Some may sit and chat over cafe and pastries with companions or stand at a high table for a quick on the go meal. This design seems appropriate as the name 'Les Halles' refers to a marketplace that opened in the 16th century that was later converted into an on open air, yet below street level shopping precinct in Paris in which the central station for Paris's commuter rail system lies beneath.

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
The posters on the back wall of the dining area make it seem like a turn of the century metro station

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
The wall by the cutlery station gives further indication of an underground marketplace 'Les Ventre de Paris' translates into Belly of Paris

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
No Translation needed for this

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Get a spoon and learn French!

For those who've frequented the previous version of the France Bakery, guests to the new one will feel an immediate sense of openness and comfort as a large portion of the new bakery holds a queue and again two sides in which to view and order the bakery's goodies. While the building and some decor maintains the classic architecture of a centuries old city, digital screen menus and other touches give the bakery a feel that modernism and technology has brought the bakery from a past era into the future.

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
The bakery

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Digital menus

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Some modern art with bread

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
A walk-up counter for hot beverages

New Bakery in Epcot
New open kitchen let's you see your meal baked before you

New Backery in Epcot's France Pavilion
French cook Morgan brulees the creme

More space, more technology, what about the food? Well it seems like the majority of the favorites from the former bakery have survived the move, while new entrees and some new desserts were also discovered. An assortment of salads was added to the menu as well as some hot and cold sandwiches.

New Bakery in Epcot's France pavilion

Quiche and Croissant Sandwiches return with new entree salads such as the Salade Lyonnaise and Salade Nieoise. In addition to hot and cold baguette sandwiches, one sure to be new favorite the Croque Monsieur, a French cafe classic, is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich. My friend and frequent dining companion Bekah ordered the croque and it was simple and plain, white bread with ham and cheese (which I'm guessing was gruyere cheese) and tasted exactly what it was described as. The new Be Our Guest restaurant in New Fantasyland at the Magic Kingdom also has a croquet monsieur, which is better in my opinion.

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Fancy gold trays add a touch of French elegance to your quick caf' meal

We also tried the Brioche de sucre and the raspberry mousse dessert (Framboise). For a brioche, we found the rich egg bread to be quite dry, but the coarse sugar crystals on top added a nice crunch of sweetness to the otherwise dull bread. I'm hoping we just got a fluke roll as brioche is usually rich and tender. The Framboise was a delicious and tart mousse, not for those craving sweet. On my most recent trip, my friend Randi tried the new Napoleon, now in a smaller portion with an elegant wrapper. She loves sweets and was a bit dissatisfied that this Napoleon did not appease her sweet tooth, but still the dessert was good and of the high quality one expects at Disney.

New Backery in Epcot's france Pavilion
Brioche de sucre

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Napoleon!

With just two visits to the new bakery this year, I've tried some new things I found to be great to just okay and was pleased to have some old favorites. I hope to try all the new items as the pumpkin soup caught my eye last trip. We'll learn more about those on future Sunday Brunches, but for now enjoy this feast for the eyes!

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Exotique - a mango and coconut mousse cake

New Bakery in France Pavilion

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion

New Bakery in Epcot's France Pavilion
Duo au chocolat - white and chocolate mousse cake

 

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