We took the long way to the original Monterey location of Parker-Lusseau Pastries, which turned out to be across the street, but was closed for the week. Luckily, Brittany native Yann Lusseau and local Anne Parker Johnson had a nearby branch, fully stocked and spectacular.
Parker and Lusseau opened a bare bones bakery in 1996, expanded to the location we visited in 2002, and completed the triumvirate in 2009 with a Ryan Ranch location.
The Hartnell store occupies the two-story Fremont Adobe, which dates to 1847 and originally housed John Charles Fremont, a Union General during the Civil War and the eventual Governor of Arizona. During our visit, charming décor consisted of plush Easter “eggs” hanging from the ceiling and residual chocolate animals from Easter, including a hedgehog and a badger. No, it wasn’t the overexposed honey badger.
We worked our way through the display case for two days, but never made it to the savory side, which included different quiches, and we didn’t delve into the tarts or cakes, though we did take a good bite out of Parker-Lusseau Pastries, and everything was great.
We returned the following day. Unfortunately, they only carry the lemon bichon and apricot kouign amann during the week, but we still had plenty of enticing weekend options.
Parker Lusseau’s croissant didn’t deliver the buttery satisfaction of the butter croissant from Tartine Bakery, but it was still plenty enjoyable given the restraint. Their Almond Croissant is also arguably the best in the land, with a crisp exterior lined with almond scales and an almond cream filling.
Parker-Lusseau Pastries doesn’t have the variety of Tartine Bakery, but what they do bake is excellent. If the couple were in a larger city, they would no doubt have even more acclaim.