Since last summer French Grocery has been serving up a taste of the Big Easy here in Phoenix. Owner Kevin Lentz was inspired to open the little French-Creole market and restaurant while living New Orleans. The original idea was to open a "cottage bistro" but things developed differently and what we have now is a nice neighborhood spot for a coffee, baked goods, groceries, wine and more.
We've enjoyed the French Grocery's grab-and-go eats every now and then but mostly what keeps us coming back are the pastries.
On our most recent trip we snagged one of the day's last blueberry ginger macarons in the French Grocery's alluring pastry case. At first glance the eye-catchingly vibrant blue treats don't look like the subtly flavored pastries they are, but if you can get over their unnatural color you're in for a real treat.
French Grocery's blueberry ginger macaron offers the delicate crunch required of a good macaron and a lightly fruity flavor that avoids becoming overly sweet. The ginger flavor makes itself known at the back end of your bite; it's definitely present but in no way overpowers the blueberry flavor.
(And if you're a fan of black licorice, don't skip the -- very purple -- blackberry anise variety either.)
The only problem is that French Grocery offers a rotating selection of macarons every day. So you'll want to call ahead to see what flavors are available that day. And if you want to pick up more than a dozen, you'll have to put in a special order.
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French Grocery 5345 N. 7th Avenue, Phoenix 602-277-0101 http://frenchgroceryinc.com
Tue - Fri: 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sat: 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.