This coming Saturday, July 2nd, marks the start of the 98th Tour de France. This 21-stage bike race takes over 250 cyclists on a 2,100 mile trek through the French countryside, the Pyrénées mountain range, and ending at the Champs-Élysées in Paris on July 24th.Each year I look forward to watching the Tour. Growing up, my parents who were avid cyclists would always have the TV turned to the race or race recaps during the month of July. Competitive cycling is much more exciting to watch than perhaps you imagine – watching the teams execute their strategy, guessing if the break-away riders will maintain their lead till the end of the day, and of course witnessing the crashes (I always get freaked out when they show close-ups of any injuries but the threat of crashes every time the cyclists veer around tight corners too close to one another definitely makes it more exhilarating to watch). To really get into the spirit of the Tour and feel like you are experiencing it in France, head to St Honoré Boulangerie in Portland! This awesome French bakery will be playing live coverage every morning from 6am to 3pm (7am to 3pm at their Lake Oswego location) and replaying the races throughout the day on large screen TVs. I absolutely love their Portland location on NW Thurman. It is not too far from Forest Park, so it became somewhat of a tradition for me to go for a run in the park then stop in at St Honoré for brunch. During the summer months, they have several bistro tables on the sidewalk and open the large windows making it seem like an open-air café. Grab yourself a table, a café au lait (or if you want to go more my style, order a chocolat chaud – a French hot chocolate), and one (or more!) of their delicious fresh-baked pastries or baguettes and you can almost believe you are in France! What to Get:
Gâteau au Chocolat: Rich and dense, flourless chocolate cake. Especially delicious if you heat it up a tad (about 20-30 seconds on high), and top with fresh berries and fresh whipped cream!
Normandy Apple Toast: Like a sweet baked French toast, this breakfast treat is made with brioche and puff pastry baked in a vanilla and apple wine flavored custard, then topped with fresh apples. It is one of the best ways to splurge for breakfast!
Frittata Croissant: I know, this isn’t a dessert or pastry but it is so good I have to recommend it to everyone! Eggs, chicken sausage, goat cheese, mushrooms and green onions cooked together then placed inside a freshly baked, warm and fluffy croissant.