Queens bakery Canelle Patisserie has been in East Elmhurst for what seems like forever. They have added a second location in LIC that is more centralized to trains and Midtown Manhattan, but I hope the original location never goes away. I always love the surprise of good food in the most random of strip malls. This seems to be the sort of place you’d normally find in LA, where most restaurants pretty much have to be located in a strip mall. This is a west-coast-centric-quirk: here in NYC, a strip mall usually means blah chain stores. Which makes Canelle, tucked between a (also good) Greek restaurant and small grocer amidst rows and rows of parking, have a sort of strange magical quality to it. The continuous roar of low-lying airplanes about to land at nearby Laguardia airport adds to the strangeness. The planes are only around if a specific runway is being used that day. If so, they pass just over this strip mall where it feels like you can touch them overhead. On the morning I stopped by that particular runway seemed to not be in use, but trust me, you will know either way.
I hear the cakes are good but I have yet to have a reason to pick one up. The pastries are always more reasonable to leave with when you don’t have a special occasion to attend that afternoon. Here we have a Chocolate Croissant, Guava Danish, and Pain Viennois. The croissant and danish are flaky perfection. The Pain Viennois was interesting to taste, like a baguette that’s softer and sweeter. It would pair well with jam and coffee.