Friday, March 4, 2011

Bouchon Bakery

I know what you're thinking: "What happened to the diabetes?"

Not to worry, everyone: I still have diabetes. Thomas Keller's Bouchon Bakery was a nice reminder that nothing is entirely off-limits when you have diabetes. It's all about smart portioning. And when it comes to baked goods and pastries, one, small, strategic bite is all you can afford and really need.

A few tips off the top of my head when eating sweets, pastries, and baked goods:

- Don't waste your bites on portions that are all bread and no filling, or all filling and no
bread. Make the bite worth it.
- Make sure this isn't the first thing you're eating; eat a good, hearty, less-carby meal to
slow down the speedy carbs.
- Don't take a bunch of these bites all at the same time. If you want to try a lot of things,
eat the stuff that should be eaten fresh first, then save some of the others for after another
meal or for the next day.
- If you have more than one opportunity to go to that particular bakery, don't order
everything and save some for your next visit.

The space of this particular branch of Bouchon Bakery stands opposite the Phantom box office in The Venetian. The line stays long throughout the day, but the bakery is more of a grab-and-go setup. There's no seating and no formal space to escape the buzz of the casino floor. Though it's not one of my favorite spaces to enjoy a pastry, I enjoyed the street-corner feel of it all. Let's get to the food.

The first thing I looked for when I got there were the Macarons. A couple years ago, Steph C. was thoughtful enough to restrain herself from vacuuming a box of macarons on the drive back to LA from Vegas.

The first thing you notice about the macarons are how large they are. This is what a small child must think a normal macaron looks like. The macaron could literally fill up my entire palm.

From left to right, the flavors were: chocolate, espresso, vanilla, orange, raspberry, and pistachio. My favorite this time around was the vanilla macaron. The flavor was perfectly simple, which really helped to feature the texture of the macaron. The crumbly shell easily gave way to a smooth center. Each chew got progressively chewier. Steph C.'s box came with the same flavors, except there was a lemon macaron instead of an orange one. My favorite from that batch was the lemon one because of its sweet, citric bite.

The bread selection was great, but they were all a little bit disappointing. The pecan pastry was way too sweet, while the almond bread was appropriately sweet, but nothing special. I was looking forward to the croissant the most, but maybe because it wasn't a fresh batch, it was really underwhelming. I'd take a croissant from Cafe Besalu (post coming soon) over what I had at Bouchon Bakery (on that particular day) any day. Because it's Thomas Keller, and because this branch doesn't seem to lend itself to fresher goods, I'd be more than willing to give the pastries another shot at another branch.

Steph C. also saved me a bit of the TKO a couple years ago. How she refrained from gobbling the whole thing without a second thought is still a mystery. My second encounter with this cookie was similar to the first. The smooth white chocolate ganache filling is a worthy substitute for the "white stuff," and the thin, crispy cookies are great in both texture and flavor. The cookie crumbles and mixes with the ganache in the way an Oreo would after being dipped in milk. You can tell that this isn't an Oreo, but every few chews you get a quick glimpse into memories of eating Oreos as a kid.

My favorite item, though, was the Carrot Cake Cookie. The thick cookies themselves are rich, soft, and chewy and are a literal interpretation of a carrot cake. Sandwiched in the middle is a delicious cream meant to mimic the frosting on a carrot cake. The overal effect made this cookie sandwich exceptionally more delicious than most carrot cakes I've had, but it's also one of the heavier renditions of carrot cake I've had. Then again, I didn't purchase this cookie with the intention of having something light and refreshing. In any case, I definitely wouldn't pass up this cookie if you get a chance to hit up a Bouchon Bakery.

I wish I took a picture of the result of all my portioning. It looked like a rat had found its way into the bakery boxes and took tiny bites of everything. I probably looked like a rat while I was eating these, too. Luckily, I had my parents with me to polish off the rest over the next couple days.

There's a lot more I want to try here, and with more branches popping up each year, I'm sure I'll get another chance soon enough.

Bouchon Bakery
The Venetian
3355 Las Vegas Blvd. South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
(702) 414-6203

GET: Macarons; TKO; Carrot Cake Cookie.


  1. Mmmm so good. There's going to be one in L.A. too! I can't wait.

  2. Dude diabetes? :( I have like 90% chance of getting diabetes, but wow that carrot cake cookie looks bomb

  3. Steph: Man, if there were one by me, I'd be getting real fat real fast.

    dj: Yea, not my favorite circumstance haha. No worries though. As long as I can still get my small fixes of delicious like that carrot cake cookie.

  4. Pretty good, thank for sharing this beautiful blog. We provide bakery boxes with best quality printing material.
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