“A kouign-amann is basically just butter and sugar, right? Perfect, I’ll have that.” While driving around Brittany, it’s quite common to spy what just might be the fattiest pastry in the Finistère. Of course there are loads of delectable treats to discover across France, but the kouign-amann (pronounced a bit like “queen a man”) is special. Imagine the many succulent layers of a flaky croissant combined with even more butter, sugar and a caramelized interior and you’ll basically have visions of kouign-amann dancing through your head for the rest of the day. In the United States, coming across kouign-amann and a properly butter loaded kouign-amann at that, is basically a cause for celebration.
Which is why upon entering Pamplemousse in Redwood City, California we promptly forgot whatever else we were planning on ordering and stared at the waitress with glee as she pulled our kouign-amann out from behind the pastry case. Originally we gave this post its title because pamplemousse (which means grapefruit in French) is our favorite French word of all time, but we have to admit that clapping your hands together while saying “queen a man” while ordering your breakfast is pretty awesome too.
The sugar plum fairy behind Pamplemousse is Kelli Manukyan who is Québécois. (Which, come to think of it, is another fun French word that means a native of Québec.) These days Manukyan is known for whipping up one of the widest arrays of macarons in the Bay Area. (We’re particularly fond of her juicy passion fruit version.)
Yule log is fun to say in English, but so is Bûche de Noël. For the holidays Pamplemousse is making special seasonal full sized cakes that serve eight to 10 people (orders must be placed in advance). There’s a chocolate chocolate (consisting of dark chocolate chiffon cake soaked in vanilla syrup, chocolate diplomate cream and chocolate butter cream), a raspberry chiffon (a fluffy chiffon cake which has taken a nice long bath in vanilla syrup, layered with raspberry Bavarian cream and finished with vanilla buttercream), a black forest roulade (this is a chocolate sponge cake rolled up with fresh Chantilly cream and brandied cherries) and there’s also a chocolate Grand Marnier (a dark chocolate chiffon cake soaked in Grand Marnier, creamy dark chocolate mousse, candied orange zest and shrouded in dark chocolate glaze).
The vibe at Pamplemousse is relaxed and laid back making it a great place to pop into for a quick cup of tea or a cappuccino.
We have a number of fabulous Frenchie to go style cafés that we’re fond of in Silicon Valley. There are the stunning pastries at Mademoiselle Colette in Menlo Park, the delicious brie and pear sandwiches at Voyageur du Temps in Los Altos and of course the tasty baby beignet trios you can nab at the various La PanotiQ locations throughout the San Francisco area.
Pamplemousse has been quickly added into our regular brunch rotation because of its reasonable prices and the unique pastries it serves up. Whether you’re hankering for a whole wheat spinach and feta croissant, canneles de Bordeaux or an orange brioche you’re sure to come across some morsel of sweetness that will have you gleefully speaking fun French words too.
Address: 2401 Broadway Street
Redwood City, California 94063
Hours: Monday Through Thursday 7:00am to 6:00pm, Friday and Saturday 7:00am to 7:00pm and Sunday 8:00am to 5:00pm
Phone: (650) 599-9714
Pricing (All in USD): Breakfast Items $1.95 to $8.95, Pastries $1.50 to $7.95, Macarons $1.95 Each (or Purchase 12 and Receive One Additional Macaron Free), Sandwiches $7.95 to $9.95, Salads $8.95 to $9.95, Quiche and Tarts $7.95 to 8.95, Drinks $1.35 to $3.75, Full Sized Holiday Cakes $44.00