Petit Piquant now serving kouign-amann pastries

Full disclosure: I was invited to Petit Piquant for a tasting of the new kougin-amann pastries in exchange for my opinion and feedback on my blog. Opinions are my own and do not represent Petit Piquant.

Delicious pastries from France? I am on-board. I visited Petit Piquant last week to try their new pastry that launched this past weekend: kouign-amann. The pastry comes from Brittany, France and can be identified between a croissant and brioche. Piquant decided to make the pastries both sweet and savory with a variety of flavors.

On the savory menu: LOX, Braised Short-Rib, Roasted Tomato & Goat Cheese.

On the sweet menu: Lemon, Guava, Strawberry, Cinnamon Sugar, Passionfruit, and Raspberry.

Kougin-Amann at Petit Piquant

I tried an assortment of these pastries and truthfully enjoyed them all. My favorite was the Guava – I felt like it pays tribute to the City of Tampa and Ybor City as well as played well to my Spanish roots. The Braised Short-Rib was a close second and would be a great snack in the afternoon hours.

Petit Piquant is located just off Howard Avenue maybe one or two blocks from I-275 and just north of South Tampa. The bakery and shop is quaint and reminds me of a cafe you might see in San Mateo or San Francisco.

I tried Piquant’s privately sourced coffee from Colombia during my visit and enjoyed both a cold brew and latte that definitely paired well with the pastries at Piquant. The coffee has chocolate notes.

I also enjoyed an Arnold Palmer made with TeaBella tea which was excellent as well…if you’re not feeling up to coffee during your visit.

I see Petit Piquant as a great place to stop by in the morning on your way to go to a meeting or a place to grab a quick coffee and bite before you head to another part of town and hope to visit again soon.

The kouign-amann desserts from Piquant will also be available at the Tampa International Airport’s Illy Coffee and Bay Tea & Coffee Company.  I recommend giving it a try and seeing what flavor you like – I’m definitely curious to find out what other people enjoy.

Restaurant name: Petit Piquant

Neighborhood: South Tampa

Cuisine: Bakery, Cafe

Address: 1704 N Howard Ave, Tampa, FL 33607

Phone Number: (813) 251-1777

Hours: Monday-Friday 6:30AM-6PM, Saturday-Sunday, 8AM-3PM

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/PetitPiquant/

Website: http://piquantbrands.com/

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Carlos Eats Seoul: Caffe Bene (카페베네) in Sinchon (신촌)

During my first weekend in Seoul I was really hungry and wandering around looking for something good to eat in Sinchon. My rusty hangul was preventing me from reading many of the signs around me and I somehow ended up wandering into Caffe Bene or 카페베네 (It wasn’t hard for this to happen as Caffe Bene is seen almost as frequently as Paris Baguette). You’ll find cafes practically everywhere around South Korea. Coffee is actually really expensive in South Korea, it can cost more than 7,000 won for a drink…and I thought Starbucks in America was expensive. I normally pay around $3/$4 (~4,000 won) maximum for a coffee. Coffee is so easy to make at home it really should not be an expensive luxury item unless the taste is phenomenal.

I did see something that looked very appetizing on the menu: Caramel Cinnamon Bread. This large piece of bread was a sweet and satisfying (though certainly an extremely indulgent and unhealthy) choice and it has to be one of the best desserts I have had before. You’ll find many dessert shops throughout Seoul and you have to really wonder how Koreans manage to stay so skinny with waffles and ice cream literally everywhere.

There was a bit of language barrier problem here when, despite me pointing and saying the name of the item, the cashier had no clue what I was trying to say. Luckily, she grabbed someone who spoke some English and helped me out some. She got me my honey bread item, but gave me the wrong beverage: a sparkling organic blood orange drink, which actually ended up tasting quite good but probably cost me more than I really wanted to spend.

Cafes are also a nice place to lounge and usually have Wi-Fi. It sure isn’t no Cafe Kili, but I’ll take the desserts here anyday.

Restaurant Name: Caffe Bene (카페베네)

Cuisine: Cafe, Desserts

Neighborhood: Sinchon

Website: http://www.caffebene.co.kr/

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/caffebene

Twitter: http://twitter.com/caffebenehq