Saturday, February 19, 2011

City Bakery Hot Chocolate, Pretzel Croissant and Chocolate Chip Cookie was disappointing!

Sad to say, but my recent visit to City Bakery for hot chocolate during their Hot Chocolate Festival was disappointing. Maybe all the hype I heard raised my expectations? Possibly, but as I was sitting there tasting my Bourbon hot chocolate and sharing my pretzel croissant and chocolate chip cookie, I realized -- there is a reason why I rarely come here and why this place hardly comes to mind -- its not good. But I figured I would give you, the reader, the fair shake of the place.

Before I ordered anything, I asked a few regulars what they liked to have there. The consensus was the Pretzel Croissant (and to a less astounding response was the Chocolate Chip Cookies). I had asked about the Bourbon Hot chocolate, but a few didn't try it yet, and others said it was extremely rich. So before ordering anything, I went and had a sample of the Bourbon Hot Chocolate -- the patrons were right, way too rich to have a shot ($3.50) or an entire cup of it ($5.50) (Regular flavored hot chocolate is $0.50 less). So, I passed on the Bourbon Hot Chocolate and proceeded to order the Pretzel Croissant for $3.75 and a Chocolate Chip Cookie for $2.50.

The Pretzel Croissant - $3.75

In addition to positive patron reviews, someone noted that the pretzel croissant is listed in Japanese guidebooks (haven't validated that) as a "must-order"!

As you can see in the photo, the pretzel croissant is covered with sesame seeds as opposed to salt crystals that you would normally see on pretzels. I peeled away a piece of the croissant, the exterior was not as brittle as a plain croissant, but tougher; while the interior part of the croissant had the buttery, flaky consistency of a croissant, with a little bit of a cake-like texture. The taste of it? Butter and it tasted more like a sesame seed croissant versus the pretzel croissant it was named for. So why is this called a pretzel croissant? Perhaps the hard exterior reflects a pretzel? It remains a mystery to me. But the big question is -- was it worth the $3.75 ? Not for me. Why is this in the guidebooks? In all honesty, I'd rather buy a pretzel at the Farmers Market (>$2.00) and a croissant at Starbucks ($1.75).

Chocolate Chip Cookie -- $2.50

Do you want a gooey, soft chocolate chip cookie, with a bit of a crunch? Yes! and I want that too, but here comes the bait and switch -- it doesn't taste good! I was honestly surprised ... It looked great, but didn't taste great. What are people on Yelp raving about here? Perhaps the peanut butter cookie tastes better?

I feel like I need to make a note or a comment to redeem this place, but I'm not sure what I could write other than ... City Bakery is a convenient location to stop by for a coffee/tea and to rest your feet after shopping on the Avenue of the Americas, but just watch your wallets and your tastebuds cause both of them will be disappointed if you choose to eat anything here.

p.s. Note: Eataly has a shop called Venchi that sells shots of Hot Chocolate for $2 (but currently $1 for their Chocolate Month) and I would recommend Venchi's Hot Chocolate for $2 vs. the $3.00 at City Bakery!

City Bakery
3 W 18th St
(between 5th Ave & Avenue Of The Americas)
Mon-Fri 7:30 am - 7 pm
Sat 8 am - 8 pm
Sun 9 am - 6 pm

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