[media-credit name="Sarah Tse" align="alignright" width="300"][/media-credit]Miel Patisserie
204 S. 17th St
Don’t Miss: Chocolate Croissant
Honey is the epitome of sweetness, so Miel Patisserie is justly named. Right off the bustle of Rittenhouse Square and Walnut Street shopping, it’s a quiet bakery/cafe that can please any sweet tooth.
French bistro–style woven chairs outside are the perfect place to sit and sip a cappuccino while people watching on a spring day. Inside, the hand written chalkboard menus and bounty of pastries are immediately welcoming.
I went early in the morning, so customers were mostly coming for coffee and breakfast on the go. The staff was friendly, and the cashier even recognized one woman, an assumed regular, and knew her order. However, if you’re looking for a quick coffee grab, Miel may not be fast–paced enough. In the spirit of its French inspiration, it was evident that quality was valued over speed.
It was tough to decide what to order amidst the allure of pre–packaged biscotti and cookies in addition to rows of decorated cakes. I finally opted for a toasted chocolate croissant ($2.50), which the servers recommended. The flaky layers melt in your mouth, and the chocolate–to–pastry ratio was not too overpowering. When a croissant can be done as perfectly as Miel’s, it’s hard to believe that anyone would feel the need for the overkill of a cronut.
[media-credit name="Sarah Tse" align="alignleft" width="300"][/media-credit]I paired the croissant with a hot chocolate ($3). Its milky but not overly rich taste complemented the croissant and made for one hell of a chocolate breakfast.
But Miel has more to offer than just sweets and drinks: they sell grilled sandwiches like the croque monsieur, a French staple, and have daily soup specials as well. I ordered the vegetarian sandwich ($8.50, including potato chips) for lunch. I expected the bread to be the selling point, so I was delighted to find that the filling of portabella, mozzarella, red pepper, asparagus and pesto was just as delicious.
For good measure, I topped off lunch with some macarons ($1.75 each). Miel offers a variety of flavors, from typical vanilla and pistachio to more exotic offerings like basil lime and pomegranate walnut. I chose the brightly colored basil lime and orange blossom. They had great bursts of flavor but were chewier and denser than I would have liked.
Overall, it was truly a “bon appetit,” as one of the restaurant’s decorative signs wished its customers. If you can’t quite make the trip over to France, Miel Patisserie certainly holds its own as Philly’s little alternative.