Beaucoup Bakery & Café
For anyone searching for a place worth breaking every single one of your New Year’s resolutions, look no further than Beaucoup Bakery & Café, the latest addition to the South Granville dining scene. Tucked away at the foot of Fir Street, this unassuming bakery is well worth the detour off the main Granville drag, though potential patrons beware: the delectable, sinful treats on offer will have you abandoning any notions of calorie counting and promises of healthy eating in 2013 – in the best possible way. With designer-turned- pastry chef Jackie Ellis at the helm, Beaucoup features an array of French-inspired pastries, home-style treats and impeccably prepared desserts served in a small, but inviting space. Ellis’ background in design is discernable in both the contemporary French country décor and the appealing graphic design; clearly as much attention and care has been put into aesthetics as has been directed towards the culinary delights.
When we headed to Beaucoup on its opening day in December we found the place teaming with neighbourhood residents enthusiastically indulging in the quite beautifully prepared baked goods. Nearing the end of the day the selection had dwindled and we were only able to sample the chocolate chip cookie and the brownie, both of which feature the famed French Valrhona chocolate. The quality of the chocolate really distinguishes what is otherwise quite standard fare, as does the purity of the ingredients. Both were incredibly sweet and buttery, reminiscent of the baking of our childhood, a time long before vegan and gluten-free became all the rage. While we were tempted by the French drinking chocolate and the salted hot chocolate, we opted for a large cup of 49th Parallel coffee, which paired perfectly with the saccharine treats and made for the ideal indulgence on a cold, rainy afternoon.
We’ve since returned a number of times to taste the full gamut of wares on offer. From the breakfast items we sampled the decadent cheese and green onion scone. Crispy on the outside and soft in the middle, this was perhaps the best scone we’ve had in Vancouver. The buttery, flakey dough combined beautifully with the tartness of the cheese and onion; this savoury, decadent delight is not for the faint of heart but makes for a sinful extravagance when you’re in the mood. The cinnamon scroll was another highlight; this crispy yet flaky pastry was simple and surprisingly not too sweet. The cinnamon flavour was made to shine through and while there was undoubtedly a robust use of butter in the dough, it was not overpowering.
While pastries are clearly Beaucoup’s mainstay, the bakery also has a number of more conventional desserts on hand that from an aesthetic perspective alone would make excellent hostess gifts. We were enticed by both the pear spiced vanilla cheesecake – impeccable, tiny domes of cake sitting atop circular crusts – and the yuzu lemon tart. We chose the tart and were not disappointed. The sharpness of the creamy lemon was offset by the sweetness of the expertly prepared crust. With a candied lemon peel garnish, this dessert was pure heaven. We’re already clamouring to return and can’t wait to try the salted caramel blondie bar and the peanut butter sandwich cookie. With hot drinks, tasty treats and enticing sandwiches for lunch, Beaucoup is a welcome addition to the neighbourhood and a great place to retreat after hitting the stores on the South Granville strip.