Maison Kaiser is a pâtisserie and boulangerie by way of Paris. With the opening of his first New York outpost, Eric Kaiser has enriched the lives of those on the UES, especially me. Never have I gone into Maison Kaiser when there isn't a line at the bakery counter or a seat open in the dining area. Usually I grab my treat to go, whether it be a Plié Chocolat or one of their famous breads in mini form. I have to admit, though, I always envy those enjoying their espressos and tartines at a cafe table, leisurely sipping the afternoon away.
Today was a different story. I was quickly seated at little table with a menu placed in front of me. Everything sounded so good but I came with a purpose. A latte with soy milk and madelines, s'il vous plaît. And then I was thrown for a loop in the form of flour, yeast, and water. A bread basket filled to the brim with all those mini-loaves I love so much and, usually, take home for breakfast the next day. There was the cheese bread, the traditional baguette, the seeded baguette and a loaf with turmeric, oh my! I looked at the basket and at my fellow dining companions. I knew if I started on the bread I would be overcome. You know the person who ruins dinner by finishing the bread basket? That's me! Maybe, I could sneak the bread into my purse. But no, I thought, I am being French and that certainly is not what happens in Paris.
And then this arrived.
Don't be fooled. There were three madelines on that plate but after the first latte-soaked bite I knew I was in trouble (remember the whole bread basket thing, that applies to cookies, too). I tapped my neighbor on the shoulder and said, "Madame, voulez-vous un madeline,". "Mais, oui," she replied. How lovely to share this crisp-on-the-outside-but-so-creamy-on-the-inside cookie with someone else. With one cookie enjoyed by another, I devoured the other two and sipped my latte, not for the whole afternoon, but for a good forty minutes as I read for class and people-watched. Just enough time to escape to France!