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Fearless Critic restaurant review
Portland
Food
Feel
Price
6.3
9.0
$15
Baked goods, Sandwiches, Coffee
Café

Hours
Daily 7:00am–8:00pm

Features Outdoor dining, veg-friendly
Bar None
Credit cards Visa, MC

www.sainthonorebakery.com

Northwest Portland
2335 NW Thurman St.
Portland, OR
(503) 445-4342
St. Honoré
Frenchish pastries and sandwiches in a charming, if overwrought Frenchish space

If Disney were to design a French bakery, St. Honoré would be it. This is not necessarily a bad thing. This boulangerie is named for the patron saint of bakers, and his figure keeps watch over the bakery next to a large gas-fired clay oven. The space is huge with high ceilings, generous windows that open to the street, and rustic wood beams. On any day of the week, it’s packed with scenesters drinking the excellent Caffè Umbria coffee on outside tables under retractable awnings (just like in Provence!). As a place to sit and absorb the vibe, it’s hard to beat this balcony.

A long counter snakes through one corner, tempting with tray upon tray of pastries. Breads sit cooling in baskets on the tile walls. The pastries vary wildly in flavor. Some look beautiful but underwhelm, perhaps because they frequently use out-of-season ingredients.

Best has been a wonderful apple chiboust, with a thin crust atop a layer of cooked apples and another layer of custard, with a brûléed top. For this much money, it had better be this good. Plain croissants are chewy and butter-greasy, but the amandine is better, coming in a hailstorm of slivered nuts. “Normandy apple toast” looks great, but is flat-out dull.

Most of the sandwiches are accompanied by a simple salad of lettuce with light Dijon mustard vinaigrette. We like the croque monsieur, which has just the right amount of cheese and arrives with a light crispy brown crust. Be forewarned: a cold brie sandwich comes, in the French tradition, buttered. Trés Homer Simpson!

Organic salads are large and satisfying, but not terribly authentic and a bit on the pricey side. A roasted-red-beet salad with apples, blue cheese, walnuts, and vinaigrette over mixed greens is great, with mild, creamy cheese that beautifully counters the sweet beets and bitter walnuts.

The breads aren’t cheap, nor are they the best in town. It’s like something is missing on the finish. Do try to get them in the morning, or don’t bother. Unless the Tour de France is on. In which case, pull up a loaf and some butter and get down with your Epcot-Gallic self.

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