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The almond confection featured crunchy sliced almonds and a sweet, almost grainy filling. Photo by Christina Berger.
Patissery, 425 W 3rd St, FW. 214-888-8031. 8am-7pm Mon, Wed-Sat; 8am-4pm Tue.

“Two and a half weeks. We were waiting to get more attractive people behind the counter … and now you know I’m French!”

The lone jovial monsieur working at Patissery — their confounding misspelling, not mine — in the downtown space most recently occupied by 3rd Street Market declared this in a booming voice, his arms stretched wide in a manner reminiscent of a proud Tevye from Fiddler on the Roof singing a triumphant ballad. The self-deprecating (or “-aggrandizing”?) assertion came in answer to my question of how long the boulangerie and patisserie had been open under new ownership. His smile and joie de vivre were enchanting, and I couldn’t help but laugh along with him.

Patissery has expanded to the downtown brick-and-mortar corner spot most recently occupied by 3rd Street Market.
Photo by Christina Berger.

Light sleuthing revealed that Patissery — is anyone else’s eye twitching? just mine? — was founded by a man named Kader Garnier Aw, who grew up in Paris and has a passion for crafting handmade French pastries using the highest-quality ingredients.

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Garnier goes so far as to import ingredients, like Les Grands Moulins de Paris flour and beurre d’Isigny (a special salted butter from Normandy), an endeavor that surely means extra wait time and money spent. Garnier has said, “If we cannot get premium, then we won’t do it.” Is that not the most French thing you’ve heard? But also, respect.

The operation began as a wholesale service that delivered its specialty offerings to various local vendors. In fact, Garnier’s confections started popping up in town at Bodega South Main in September 2023. Just six months later, Patissery has expanded to a brick-and-mortar corner spot.

Despite some rearranged furniture and a few notable differences, I was struck by how familiar Patissery felt. The building’s façade is still adorned with the same circular crimson sign that’s hung there since Frankie’s Sports Bar opened in 2011 — maybe before. Even the window decals showcase the 3rd Street Market name but with the added “Patissery” in larger lettering below.

The 8,000-square-foot space at 3rd and Lamar streets still feels just as vast and open, with its incredible windows and tall ceilings. As you enter, the plush velvet lounge seating in teal, blush, and emerald that once dotted the far end of the main dining area now sits front and center. The piano, too, has taken up residence by the door, alongside three small wooden tables with chess and checkers. Artwork depicting French scenes now hangs on the walls, but the same dark wood tables and leather chairs line the windows along Lamar, with the addition of some bistro-style chairs.

On my first couple of lunchtime visits, Patissery had been open only a few weeks and was serving a limited lunch menu: either croque madame, croque monsieur, or “le niçois,” a tuna salad sandwich with lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on a croissant. Both times, I wasn’t in a tuna mood (I rarely am), so I opted for the monsieur and then the madame. Both are fancy variations of a toasted ham-and-cheese sandwich but far better — and that’s no croque of shit.

The monsieur was topped with rich, creamy béchamel sauce, melted onto thick, toasted bread and the savory ham within. The madame, while not as saucy as its “male” counterpart, was equally delicious, elevated by the thin yellow yolk of the sunny-side egg atop. Both came with a simple, satisfyingly light salad of fresh greens dressed with olive oil, salt, and vinegar.

One cannot frequent a patisserie and not indulge in its pastries. I’m fairly certain that’s a mortal sin, if not the 11th Commandment. Did it not fit on the tablets? Seems like that should have been in the Top 5 …

The pistachio and raspberry croissants both lightly oozed with a jam-like filling of each respective flavor, a perfect complement to the flaky, buttery shells.
Photo by Christina Berger.

Little did I realize, when I returned one morning for that very reason, that Patissery now offers breakfast, complete with classics like omlettes, breakfast crepes, and granola parfaits. The lunch menu has also been rounded out with quiche, soups, salade niçois (with tuna, boiled eggs, green beans, onion, tomatoes, potatoes, and olives), grilled chicken sandwiches on baguette, seared salmon, and more.

By the time I realized breakfast was an option, the four different kinds of croissants I had ordered appeared on two plates before me. The Weekly reports, “At press time, Christina emphatically stated — in a strangely put-on French accent and covered in croissant flakes — that she had ‘absolutely no regrets.’ ”

The pistachio and raspberry delights both lightly oozed with a jam-like filling of each respective flavor, a perfect complement to the flaky, buttery shells. I’m a sucker for an almond confection, and this one, with crunchy sliced almonds and a creamier, almost grainy filling, has won a top spot on my list. Likewise, the pain au chocolat had a wonderfully crisp exterior, an airy interior, and delectable slivers of Nutella at the center.

Perhaps it’s because there are few places in town (that I know of, at least) where one can find a truly exceptional croissant, but each pastry blew me away. Or maybe it’s those specially imported ingredients Garnier and his pastry chefs use to ensure authentic, high-quality fare. Whatever the case — I suspect both are true — those buttery, flaky buns live rent-free in my mind.

What goes best with pastries? (Tea drinkers, go ahead and sit this one out.) A steaming hot cup of coffee is the only right answer here. Lucky for me, Patissery’s java wasn’t some weak diner joe. When I praised its robust flavor, the woman at the register replied, “We love strong, dark coffee here.” Say no more, mon amour.

The sandwich board propped outside Patissery promises, “The best croissants in Texas!” Whether or not that’s true — or could even possibly be verified — you won’t find me refuting the claim. As the French say — OK, you caught me; I have no idea what they say … and now you know I’m American! Bon appétit, mes amis.

Patissery
Croque madame $16
Croque monsieur $14
Croissant raspberry $6
Croissant pistache $6
Pain au chocolat $6
Croissant Nutella amandes $6.50
Black Coffee $1.85
While not as saucy as its “male” counterpart, the croque madame was elevated by the thin yellow yolk of the sunny-side egg atop.
Photo by Christina Berger.
One cannot frequent a patisserie and not indulge in its pastries.
Photo by Christina Berger.
Perhaps it’s because there are few places in town where one can find a truly exceptional croissant, but each pastry blew the author away.
Photo by Christina Berger.
The 8,000-square-foot space at 3rd and Lamar feels vast and open, with its incredible windows and tall ceilings.
Photo by Christina Berger.

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