83: Croissants at Essence Bakery Cafe

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We're working up our appetites for our huge Best of Phoenix issue, out September 30, with daily servings of Chow Bella's 100 Favorite Dishes from across the Valley -- in no particular order

Leave your suggestions for upcoming favorites in the comments section.

Visit our sister blog, Jackalope Ranch, for a companion series on 100 Creatives who make Phoenix a little more interesting for all of us. We'll be posting the next 82 picks daily through the rest of the summer.

Number 83: Croissants at Essence Bakery Cafe

There were already plenty of reasons to love Essence Bakery Cafe: great salads, lovely open-faced sandwiches, and such perfect French macarons that the restaurant does a healthy mail-order business selling the classic confections.

But since the beginning of the year, Essence chef-owner Eugenia Theodosopoulos has begun selling fresh, buttery croissants that are love-at-first-bite delicious.

Thanks to the guidance of an old friend and mentor, Jean Louis Clement (reciepient of an elite Meilleur Ouvrier de France award in boulangerie/viennoiserie), Theodosopoulos was able to perfect a croissant that would stir the appetite and fool the palate of any proud Parisian: buttery, flaky, golden, and seductive.

A rare treat to find in Arizona.


The Favorite Dishes, so far: 84: Coronado Coney at The Main Ingredient 85: Green Chili at Rito's Mexican Takeout 86: Soup Gyoza at Sens Asian Tapas & Sake Bar 87: Pop Cho and Sweet Ginger at The Breadfruit 88: La Jawab Kadahi Gosht at The Dhaba 89: Chicken & Waffles from Lo-Lo's 90: Burrata at Humble Pie 91: Bruleed Foie Gras Torchon at Posh 92: Moroccan Nomad Stew at Chakra 4 93: Peking Duck at Gourmet House of Hong Kong 94: Mozzarella Sandwich at Pane Bianco 95: Egg White Omelette at Fez 96: Machaca From Los Dos Molinos 97: Shish Taook from Baiz Market 98: Pasties From Cornish Pasty Co. 99: Clams in Black Bean Sauce From Asian Cafe Express 100: Bruschetta From Postino

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