I guess you could say I'm a little biased. French bakery, La Baguette Magique in downtown West Chester, PA is like stepping into France, only you don't need your passport and $2000 for airfare. For about $6 you can experience the tastes of the chicest country in the world. If only that cool French girl je ne sais quoi attitude and hair (why do they have such good hair?!) could come as a side with your chocolate almond croissant.
My biased opinion is based on the fact that I was an employee at the bakery the first 6 months they were in business. As a self-proclaimed dessert addict/genius and having lived in Paris for 9.5 months, I have done my fair share of croissant and pastry eating. Once I found out that the owner (Catherine) was a woman, who actually is French, I knew this was not another American fast food hub serving wannabe French cuisine.
You know what I mean. Dunkin' Donuts you have coffee that can give me more energy than a monkey on adderall, but that thing you serve is not a croissant. It's okay Dunkin', no one expects you to be authentic. America runs on you because you're cheap, quick, and easy. Own it. And my college campus would have been catatonic if it weren't for your three locations within a five mile radius.
Back to the baguettes...while LBM's main focus is the bread, I need to start by talking about the aroma that sweeps you off your feet upon entering. It's like you left earth and went to a planet made out of bread and butter. A nightmare for anyone who believes carbs are evil. Lucky for me, and hopefully all of you reading this, carbs are a way of life and I don't care if I never see another piece of kale for all of eternity. Seriously, I dare you to go in and not smile. You can't do it. You may even shed a happiness tear.
That chocolate almond croissant though. Words can't describe its decadence. Filled with melted chocolate and almond cream, it takes over your body and makes you beg for more. Yes, you can taste the butter, but you never feel like you imagine you would after eating something so rich. Using fresh ingredients and only the best (very French of them) dare I say it, but you feel a bit rejuvenated after giving yourself such a scrumptious treat. Sprinkled with powdered sugar and almond slices, it all blends together filling your need for sweet, savory, and heavenly.
As hard as it may be to imagine, the rest of their products are just as delicious. May I recommend the bacon quiche (quiche Lorraine), the baguette sandwiches, and a slice of peach tart. And to wash it all down you have many options, including locally brewed kombucha.
Like any respectable French eatery, a good espresso or cappuccino is a must. And now that I am no longer making them they will taste even better. Rumor has it, some of the current employees can attempt a design or shape in the foam of your caffeinated beverage. Not sure if a full on mermaid in your latte is doable, but test it out and let me know if this is indeed true. Always a little envious of the regulars who could consume two espressos in one sitting, my heart would explode if I drank that much of the potent liquid. But from the scent alone, I can promise you it'll get the job done.
The atmosphere is not the kitschy eiffel tower, fluffy beret wearing cat that we have all become so accustomed to. Giving off a very real French country vibe, Catherine has decorated the space with items that adorned her home in France and things her family has given her. Subtle, simple, and well done, the beauty is in the details. Tile that looks like it was woven onto the walls will make you stop for a moment to stare. Everything about this place makes you slow down. It's as if one believes they are actually in Europe and mimics that of a European (no longer includes the UK #Brexit). Not in a rush, people take their time choosing just the right item to buy. Sitting alone or with friends, you become mellow and all the trivial matters of your day are put on hold if only until the crumb from your last bite of croissant falls to the floor.
Overall rating: full lip nudity, obviously.