Back when I drove to an office to work, every so often I’d take a different route that would take me to West Village in Uptown.
I could run in, get a good cup of coffee and an almond croissant that would start my day off just right.
Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie has great baked goods; we’ve raved about it plenty, so let’s get on to what it's up to now.
Turns out, Bisous is still turning out plenty of pastries, but now, it's handing them over frozen, something that's always been available, but with recent demand, the patisserie actually upped production, expanded the menu and kept employees working.
“The last couple of years, we had regular, chocolate and ham-and-cheese; they were popular around holidays,” says owner and pastry chef Andrea Meyer. “We did a modest amount, maybe 10 bags a month … now I think we did like 142 bags in the last 10 days.”
So now that menu also has an everything croissant, cheese danish, almond croissant, chocolate-almond croissant and a variety of scones and cookies. An apple crisp and monkey bread also are in the works.
I recently opted for the butter croissants ($13 for a bag of four) and the ham-and-cheese croissants ($14 for a bag of four).
And now I’m wondering how unhealthy it would be if I made that ham and cheese a regular lunch.
You take it out of the freezer, throw it in a 350-degree oven, and 22 minutes later (in my gas oven, anyway) you have a flaky, perfectly browned croissant that oozes Swiss cheese and contains just-salty, roasted ham slices.
I made it for lunch with a bit of Dijon mustard. It makes working from home so much better, I promise. In fact, that’s a tiny silver lining to working at home: Access to the oven allows such creations to be consumed midday.
And it’s so far superior to other places that serve such a croissant — some are from local places I love that we should still frequent; I’m not here to bash them for their croissants that don’t heat all the way through while the exterior gets burned.
Instead, I’m here to insist you get a bag of frozen ham-and-cheese croissants from Bisous. After all, plenty of effort gets put into them — more so now that they’re not just baking and going on display for the taking.
“Normally we just pull all the croissants out of the proofer and rack it up and it bakes,” Meyer says. “Now we’re bringing it out, freezing it immediately; once frozen, we brush them with an egg wash, let set, also in the freezer, then package all of those. … There are just more steps.”
And label them and coordinate all of the orders for pickup. Luckily, this hoopla caused Bisous to up its website game, and you can order, pay and set the pickup time easily on the site (there’s a two-day lead time).
“We thought initially our croissant numbers were going to tank,” she says, noting that most of them were previously wholesale deals to other businesses.
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“[The frozen products are] keeping us busy,” Meyer says. “The girls are like, ‘Wait, what? How many are there for tomorrow?’
“I will say between the freezer products and all of the pantry items, it’s keeping people busy and employees paid.”
Bisous is still open (limited to one guest inside at a time) so you can tempt yourself with one of its eclairs while they grab your order.
Bisous Bisous Pâtisserie, 3700 McKinney Ave. (Uptown/West Village). 214-613-3570.