I am put off by fads. By lines. By pretention. By elitism. So what the hell was I doing this morning a little before 7 AM waiting for a cronut?
I simply had to see what all the fuss was about?
We were headed out of NYC around 8:30 AM so I knew the logistics had to come together just so. I had to set an alarm, which I despise. I had to pack the night before and creep out quietly in the still early dawn. I ran through smelly streets still sticky from the sweat and booze of Friday night and piled with Saturday trash pick ups.
I went halfway across the historic Brooklyn bridge that didn’t disappoint.
Calling the Bay Area home, I take bridges pretty serious. This oldie is indeed a goodie.
Then about a mile through SoHo I came to the quiet street of Dominique Ansel Bakery, now world famous because of his claim to “inventing” the Cronuts™. That may be debatable but he did trademark it and has the people lined up outside his bakery just to buy them. So tip the cap, which I did by making this effort to try them.
The staff was out front to make sure the line was orderly. They dealt with a noisy transient nicely, held a young mother her spot and take her toddlers to the bathroom and even served coffee (for a price) and sample tea cakes (for free).
Here are the key stats: in line at 6:55 AM about 25th. By the time the bakery started serving at 8 AM the line had easily tripled. I got served my Cronuts ($5 each) at 8:22 AM. By judging from the pace of the line (very orderly- no soup nazi here) pretty much every one will wait about 90 minutes until they run out.
So worth it?
Yeah. Once. Still too fadish, pretentious, elitist, etc. But really damn tasty.
The true artistry is the finished product. This baker has a talent for presentation that matches his talent for baking.
Beautiful. Effin artistry. Respect.
Cronuts may well be the Statue of Liberty of NY pastry, the thing you have to see once, but never really want to go back and deal with the crowds after that. Having done it once I’ll stick to the Italian bakers in the East Village who make cannelloni every bit as good and no waiting.