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Originally published Friday, October 5, 2012 at 5:31 AM

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Crumble & Flake Patisserie: Long lines attest to bakery's success

Crumble & Flake Patisserie on Capitol Hill is a tiny shop with a big following. Folks are willing to line up long before the doors open to get their favorite pastries.

Seattle Times staff reporter

Crumble & Flake Patisserie

Bakery

1500 E. Olive Way, Seattle

www.crumbleandflake.com

Hours: 7 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday-Friday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday and Sunday (note the bakery sometimes sells out before noon); closed Monday and Tuesday

Etc: Credit cards accepted; no obstacles to access; street parking

Prices: $

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It's easier to find Crumble & Flake Patisserie if you just look for the long line wrapping around the corner on Capitol Hill. Since it debuted in May, this corner bakery has seen devotees lining up 30 minutes before the doors open.

The frequent sight of a bare bakery counter led the staff to limit how many pastries customers can buy. (Currently it's six of any type of pastries.)

Here are tips on how to avoid the madhouse and the disappointment of hearing croissants are sold out. Avoid Fridays, the busiest day, when most pastries sell out by 10:30 a.m. Go on Wednesday and Thursday; usually short to no lines at all then. On weekends, there's a line around 9 a.m., but come at 10 a.m., after that first wave, and the wait is usually a few minutes if at all.

The menu: About 16 different croissants, pastries and cookies are offered, ranging from $2.50 to $3.75. Cream puffs ($3.50) are filled to order — three to four filling options such as chocolate, banana caramel and coconut. There are pastries you often don't see around town: moist and nutty financier and the eggy, vanilla-scented canele.

What to write home about: Some of the city's most interesting savory pastries are offered: a blue-cheese scone ($2.50) mild enough to pair with apricot bits; a brioche ($3.50) with a salty crust and a sweet and sour interior of figs, olive tapenade and balsamic vinegar. The croissant ($3.75) with a salty coat of cheddar and a smoky finish from the Spanish paprika will be etched in your mind long after you've taken that last flaky bite.

"Cheweos" ($2.50), a twist on an Oreo, might be the best cookie in Seattle — with the moist, thick texture of a brownie, filled with peanut or coffee cream.

The setting: No seating, all orders to go. The small shop with an open kitchen can handle only about five customers in the store at a time.

Summing up: A box of 12 different croissants, cookies, buns and other French pastries totaled $37.25, enough to make your colleagues happy they rolled to work early Friday morning. Prices are reasonable, even slightly cheaper than at the high-end bakeries around town.

Tan Vinh: 206-515-5656 or tvinh@seattletimes.com. On Twitter @tanvinhseattle.

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