The French Bakery Kirkland
- THE GOOD: good location, mocha and pastries.
- THE BAD: lunch items not up to par.
- THE NEIGHBORHOOD: Kirkland, Greater Seattle.
We regret to report that even the French Bakery’s desirable location cannot save it from receiving a mediocre review.
Sitting across from the Library and Transit Center in Downtown Kirkland, the bakery and coffee shop’s busy foot traffic lured us in. Glossy delectables displayed behind shiny glass, and sweet aroma of coffee and cream filled the room.
“An enticing setting and promising prospect,” we thought.
The menu, offering an assortment of beverages, pastries and lunch items, hung above the counter, where we ordered, paid and awaited our food.
The woman who took our order carried a thick accent and startling aloofness, but performed her job correctly. Others behind the counter presented friendlier attitudes.
Space is tight. You might feel squeezed.
Bathroom is unisex, but quaint and clean.
We sat at the counter by the entrance, next to windows that faced the street.
The stools were too tall for an average-height woman like myself, and caused me to slide off twice; but eating by the window while people-watching was fun–until someone swept the floor next to our seats, clinking her broom against our stools.
But we looked forward to our Roasted Turkey and Havarti Panini and Vegetable Quiche…
only to be dissappointed on both first-bites.
I recall other panini sandwiches I had to be packed with fresh meat and melted cheese, inside soft, plush bread that’s doughy within and slightly crispy outside.
This one was ever-the-opposite: store-bought turkey and cranberry sauce, both a bit cold, partially melted cheese, and tough-to-chew bread that was cooked too long and tasted like last night’s leftover.
The worst was the dressing on the salad: too much vinegar!
Note: though we cannot confirm that turkey and cranberry sauce were store-bought, they certainly tasted so.
Not enough filling!
Equally distasteful was the quiche.
Instead of a buttery flaky crust, ours fell flat, sunk in the middle, and lacked flavor. The filling contained some savor, but was watered down, possibly from improper dehydration of the vegetables.
Perhaps bakeries should stick with coffee and pastry?
Our mocha was heavenly! It comprised of rich and distinctively-fresh chocolate and coffee, topped with a foamy layer of steamed milk–all in beautiful presentation.
The Mille Feuille and Cream Cheese Danish also tasted fresh, with a balanced combination of buttery, creamy and crunchy.
Thank God for a positive ending!
Currently The French Bakery has four locations on the East Side (of Greater Seattle).
Kirkland being the flagship. Judging from the quality of its pastries and coffee, the store has potential, implied by expanding into multiple locations.
If owners–or franchisers?–remotely care for our opinion:
Please make lunch better! Especially your panini.
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The French Bakery
219 Kirkland Ave., Kirkland – map
Mon-Fri 7am – 5pm,
Sat 7:30am – 4pm,
Sun 8:30am – 4pm
Café(Inside the Food Court)
15600 NE 8th Street, Bellevue – map
Mon-Sat 11am – 8pm
Sun 11am – 6pm
Downtown Bellevue (In the Elements building)
909 112th Ave. NE, #106, Bellevue – map
Mon-Fri 7am – 6pm
Sat-Sun 8am – 6pm
15600 NE 8th Street K-4, Bellevue – map
Mon-Sat 7am – 7pm
Sun 7am – 6pm