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Celestin vs Jules, Toronto

July 23rd, 2008 · No Comments

Celestin Celestin Celestin Jules Patisserie Jules Patisserie Jules Patisserie
So this was it. Like Plimpton and Hunter Thompson covering Foreman vs. Ali, we decided to immerse ourselves in the hot action going on uptown .

The debate has been raging for years over who has the best pain au chocolat in Toronto; a couple of contenders have emerged on both the bulletin boards and in our experience as being the best.

In the brown trunks: Jules patisserie, a new contender to the Toronto scene, rumored to be a talented fighter with a sharp left hook.

In the blue trunks: Le Comptoir du Celestin, a town favorite that has been around for years – with the height and reach of a champ.

The venue: the corners of Mt. Pleasant Road and Manor Road East in Toronto. Celestin is on the north corner, Jules just a few doors south.

Celestin had been our favorite for years – a quick Saturday morning run uptown to pick up a couple of croissants that wouldn’t even last a few blocks before our butter-stained paper bag was empty. There was so much to love – the buttery, crisp, paper-like consistency coupled with superb chocolate – almost perfect.

But then, things changed. We don’t know what happened. This week we stopped by and had our first pain au chocolat in about 6 months (we’ve been out of town) and…what had become of our old friend? Doughy, thick – the chocolate was still the same, but the pastry was…well…in need of re-evaluation as the sole winner in town.

Enter Jules – a quick check on chowhound revealed that the new kid on the block was a worthy contender. And so we went – the friendly staff (a change from Celestin’s often…well…’minimalist’ service) – a clean, well-lit place that any self-respecting gourmand would be happy at home in.

And what did we find? Light, crisp, buttery, with excellent chocolate. We went across the road to Celestin to double-check, and yes, again we found that the once-proud winner was now…doughy, still in the light of day, with the comparison being a fair one.

And so – it was a unanimous decision: Jules patisserie is the new champ. Light, flaky, buttery – everything that a proper pain au chocolat should be – and with a smile to boot.

But, the consolation prize definitely goes out to Celestin’s fig bread. We hadn’t tried this before but we’d heard rumblings about it on the net. It tastes a bit like oatmeal brown bread, with figs – the crispy fig seeds adding the equivalent of bubbles to your champagne, and a crispy-but-not-too-hard crust, with deliciously soft body, this fig bread is a winner all on its own.

We can’t explain the sudden change in Celestin’s pain au chocolat – perhaps it’s doughiness is just from not enough training – too few sessions in the gym on the speed bag – but we really shouldn’t speculate. All you need to know is that the new kid on the block is no Buster Douglas – he’s here to stay, and he’s got a style all his own.

Restaurant Le Celestin
623 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2M9, Canada
Phone: (416) 504-9035

Celestin on Urbanspoon

Jules Cafe et Patisserie
617 Mount Pleasant Road
Toronto, ON M4S 2M5, Canada
Phone: (416) 481-1666

Jules Café & Pâtisserie on Urbanspoon

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Tags: Baked Goods · Toronto

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