Updated: Jan 23
Whether you are familiar with the decades old Keith McNally restaurant, Balthazar, in Manhattan, or not all that’s required to read further is a love of melt-in-your-mouth baked goods. Something the French know all about. Is there anything better?
You may not have – nor have I - ever paraded Paris’s best loved
boulangeries to talk about the French art of pastry making. Good news, we don’t have to! Balthazar Bakery has us covered. With a combination of technical skill and creativity, Balthazar’s pastry chefs elevated the art form to new heights. Between breakfast pastries, bread for next-level sandwiches, fresh made indulgences for weekend guests or to accompany a delicious cup of coffee, these treasured treats can brighten your day in an instant.
I know what you’re thinking; "But The Shore Book is all about shopping local and shopping small." Yes we are! And we’re also about letting you know where to find All Things Wonderful from Asbury Park to Bay Head.
There's no morning pick-me-up greater than breaking into a warm pastry before powering through the day or creating a lunch-time sandwich with a dense, yet soft artisanal bread. As of late, Balthazar began delivering heavenly pastries and superb loaves to a few local retailers. Here we highlight where you can purchase some of the famous offerings from flaky croissants to delicate scones & luscious loaves of bread. Some of the cult-favorites and where you can find them:
If you had just awoken from 50 years of a Rip Van Winkle state of sleep you might think you’ve never missed a beat having landed in this 1960’s style coffee house. Except their hip environment may be a give-away. With casual, comfy furnishings, well-worn classics (thus the name: Homer’s The Odyssey), cool music and on the walls – a regularly changing gallery by very talented locals artists. A friendly staff and interesting patrons – not to mention those pastries – will keep you coming back.
50 Main Ave, Ocean Grove
Almond Croisants, Everything Croisants, Kouign-amann, described in the New York Times as "the fattiest pastry in all of Europe." New to you?... You'll just have to try one!
Coffee at Noon and Noon Design
Coffee at Noon in Spring Lake and Noon Design Shop in Bay Head are unique shops featuring unusual and hand crafted items along with coffee and delicious Balthazar pastries. You may not think that in this serene environment of curated pieces and current books you will also find great coffee and pastries – but trust me - they can be yours! And the warm and welcoming staff is customer driven and there to help.
Coffee at Noon
1221 3rd Avenue, Spring Lake
524 Lake Ave, Bay Head
Almond, everything & Apple Croisants , Pain au Chocolat, Butter Scones, Pain de Mei and,
Stockroom Modern General
We can't say enough about this creative, contemporary spot - and its brother (men's shop)
around the corner - but we'll get to that in a future article. The Modern General Store is
just that; uniquely modern and uniquely general. And you must drop by with some degree of regularity or you will surely miss something great. Proprietor, Simone Hazel, is always cooking up something not-to-be-missed. She carries a variety of Balthazar items and will special order for you if you have something else in mind for a future date.
Stockroom Modern General
625 Second Ave
Baguette, Pain de Seigle, Rye Boule, Apple Galettes, Almond Croisants,
Pain de Campagne, Cranberry-Pecan Cloverleaf bread
Although we owe many thanks to the French, who got the art of pastry-making down to a science, we have our own very talented bakers right here on The Shore. We will be highlighting 2 local amazing bakers in the near future - so stay tuned!