On 10 August, bon appétit named Arsicault its Bakery of the Year. For 10 days, no matter what time of the day we drove by Arsicault, there was a long, long line out its door and down the street. So on Tuesday after our early workout (what better way to enjoy buttery baked goods guilt free?), we decided to check it out. We got there 15 minutes after it opened at 7am, waited 30 minutes (the line was actually short by comparison, others have waited upward to two hours!), and got our maximum allowance – one type per person, four items total (limit varies from day to day) – a plain croissant, a chocolate, an almond and chocolate with powder sugar on top, and a savory ham and cheese each for $18.50 (about the going rate for high-end baked goods in San Francisco).
The verdict? Let me simply quote bon appétit:
What does it take to stand out in a city of sourdough savants? One, and only one, thing: a croissant that’s simultaneously so preposterously flaky it leaves you covered in crumbs, so impossibly tender and buttery on the inside that it tastes like brioche, and so deeply golden that the underside is nearly caramelized.
And yes, it’s worth the hype. Most croissants this buttery and flaky get very greasy, theirs don’t. Have them fresh and enjoy a slice of nirvana!