Cross-posted from Calgary is Awesome.
I recently reconnected with someone I met at a conference two years ago who recently moved to Calgary. Yen Yi had been reading my blog and making some of the recipes (!) and wanted to meet and find out more about the local food scene. She mentioned that she liked pastries, so I suggested Manuel Latruwe, a Belgian patisserie on McLeod Trail that I had always been meaning to try.
Upon entering the cozy shop – named for its eponymous Belgian-born owner and head patissier – we were greeted by rows and rows of elaborate-looking pastries behind the glass counter, with shelves of golden-crusted fresh-baked breads overlooking the scene. In addition to its sweet treats, Manuel Latruwe also offers savoury sandwiches, soups and quiches. We arrived at around 2 PM last Saturday, therefore just missing lunch, and the shelves were starting to dwindle as regulars came in for their weekly loaves and business began to wind down for the day.
Yen Yi had already eaten lunch before, so she settled for a coffee and a Merveilleux ($6.50), which had whipped cream sandwiched between two layers of meringue and coated with chocolate shavings.
The Merveilleux (prounounced “Mair-vay-euh”, not “mervelloo”, for you non-French speakers) was creamy throughout, but not too sweet and not too rich. The meringue was so cold it reminded us a bit of ice cream. Yen Yi was impressed by the little flecks of vanilla bean throughout, but wished that the cream was a little smoother.
I had just come from the gym, so decided to get something savoury as well as a small dessert (I was in a patisserie, after all.) Since there were no more ham and cheese croissants (again, end of the day!), I grabbed a spinach and tomato quiche ($11.50 for a small), a lemon tart ($6.50) and a pot of Earl Grey.
I really enjoyed the quiche – the flavours were very mild, the egg was soft and the crust was light and flaky. I hadn’t planned to eat it all, but I did. The lemon tart was a great little treat – I loved the texture of the shortcrust, the soft, caramelized, marshmallowy meringue and the thin wedge of chocolate on top. I think I would’ve preferred the lemon custard to have a little more zing, and that my pot of Earl Grey would’ve lasted a little longer! We ended up chatting for two hours, and was thankful that we never felt rushed to leave the store.
I was naive in not expecting it to be so pricey – I ended up paying a total of $24.50! Because of this, unfortunately Manuel Latruwe probably won’t be on my regular rotation of places to go, but I will keep it in mind when I’m looking for something a little more special!
1333 1 St SE
Calgary AB T2G 5L1
Open Tues-Wed 7:30 AM-5 PM; Thu-Fri 7:30 AM-6 PM; Sat 7:30 AM-5 PM. Closed Sundays and Mondays. Parking available.