La Boîte: Update
Trailer Update: March 26, 2012
Now that the weather is in that tiny slice of heaven between freezer and oven, it's time to revisit one of the best pastry trailers in Austin.
Back when we first reviewed La Boîte on South Lamar, Michelle Savage-Mena noted the delicious flaky and buttery almond croissants created by baker Barrie Cullinan, who was named one of the 10 Best Bakers by Bon Appetit and worked at the renouned Balthazar Bakery in NYC. To quote Michelle, "The tiny cafe created inside a reused shipping container is intriguing because of it's green design and original approach, but what lies inside is much more fun than the box it comes in."
The pastries, tea selection and locally blended coffee (made from Mexican and Brazilian beans by a local roaster) make La Boite feel like a real French sidewalk cafe. The trailer is nicely set back from the road in a large green lawn making it a nice getaway spot from the hustle and bustle of the traffic and road construction going on just a few yards away.
From previous visits, I already knew the croissants and brioche were good. What I came to try this visit were the French macarons and the sandwiches. Both were well done and reaffirmed my love for this spot.
For those who aren't familiar with French macarons, they are petite cookies that are hard to find done right, and even harder to find at prices that aren't outrageous. La Boite manages to do both. The macarons have two light, flaky meringue-based cookies with flavored cream or jam in between. La Boite rotates out flavors such as a traditional "fleur de sel" as well as more unusual options like "honey ginger sesame" and "cherry chocolate chip." The most to-die-for flavors this week were an orange blossom macaron that was light and aromatic - tasting like the flower and not the fruit - and a rasberry cheesecake macaron where the creamy filling perfectly mimicked a traditional cheesecake and the outer layers crunched and flaked perfectly at first bite.
The sandwiches at the bottom of the pastry case in the small box trailer drew my attention and I had a hard time choosing between a ham and roasted red pepper sandwich and a more elaborate veggie option that included goat cheese and meyer lemon. At the suggestion of the lovely lady behind the counter I went with the veggie option and was not disappointed. The sandwich was in keeping with the rest of the trailer's vibe - unusual, fresh tasting and reminiscent of lazy European afternoons. In addition to the goat cheese and preserved meyer lemon, the sandwich included olive tapenade, roasted tomatoes and organic greens. The olive spread was salty, balanced out by smooth goat cheese. The meyer lemon added a very mild tartness that was sometimes overpowering, but at other times took the sandwich to the next level. This kind of fancy experimentation in sandwich form isn't for everyone, but I found it quite lovely.
Since we first reviewed La Boite, the trailer has opened a second location downtown, convenient for Capitol and downtown workers. However, I prefer the South Lamar location for it's open space and proximity to both a Yoga studio and neighboring food trailer Texas Cuban.
La Boite is open from 7:30 am. to 4:30 p.m. during the week and from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends at 1700 South Lamar Blvd. With a new location at 1006 Congress Ave.