Boulangerie is a bakery that falls squarely into the category of “huh?” It’s a French bakery. Inside a Korean grocery store. In Lakewood. It’s not where or what you’d expect, but Boulangerie should be on everyone’s bakery watch list. In fact, if you’re Lakewood bound, make it a pastry doubleheader with Boulangerie and the German Pastry Shop.
My last few visits to Boulangerie yielded a find – macarons. The chewy Parisian cookies are all over the region at high-end bakeries and grocery stores, but good luck finding them in wide circulation here. They’re meringue cookies that are crunchy on the outside, gooey on the inside, and they’re not the same thing as the chewy coconut cookies, which are spelled macaroons. Boulangerie macaron flavors rotate – mocha and hazelnut on my last two visits. Macarons are $5.99 for a package of just over a dozen.
If you drop by Boulangerie for any other reason, make it the cream puffs. A dozen are $3.80. The display cases are full of layered cakes, fruit tarts, mini tartlets and other French pastry finds.
Beyond French pastries, Boulangerie bakes Korean and Japanese desserts – pastries stuffed with sweetened bean paste, croquettes both savory and sweet filled with chestnuts, beans, corn and other vegetables. You’ll also find pastries curiously stuffed with hot dogs, which is something I’ve seen at other Korean bakeries on South Tacoma Way – namely the former Manmi, as well as the Olive Bakery.
Also in the Paldo World grocery store is a doughnut maker operating out of the same cubby hole where fresh tofu is made just next to the food court. If you’re lucky, you’ll find workers in the doughnut kitchen, filling the walnut-shaped metal molds with a thin, sweetened batter. The molds are finished with a plop of sludgy textured sweetened bean paste before rotating through the baking machine.
Where: 9701 South Tacoma Way, Lakewood (inside the Paldo World grocery store)