Fresh Baguette review

New bakery in McLean holds its own

McLean students junior Caitlyn Lee (left) and junior Natalie Vu (right) examine the pastries on display at Fresh Baguette.

Fresh Baguette, a local French bakery, opened its fifth location in the McLean area over Labor Day weekend. It promises authentic and decadent pastries for customers, but has yet to truly prove itself and solidify its spot as a permanent addition to the McLean area.

The Parisian Baguette: 9/10
The approximately two foot loaf of bread was certainly one of strongest items on the menu. The crispy crust was bursting with a wonderful traditional nutty and buttery French flavor, and the inside was fluffy and chewy. However, it certainly wasn’t fresh, as the bread itself was a bit dry. It was a good deal for a price of $3.90, but a point had to be removed for the lack of freshness.

The Traditional Baguette Sandwich: 5.5/10
This sandwich was somewhat of a letdown. Consisting of salami, arugula and small pickles on a buttered traditional baguette, the sandwich seemed promising. The focal point of the sandwich was easily the arugula and butter combo, as the cool and creamy butter balanced out the crunchy and peppery arugula perfectly.The cornichons, or french pickles, were crisp and refreshing with their own distinct flavor. However, the rest of the sandwich somewhat dragged down the good elements. The sandwich lost 2 points for the baguette, which was chewy and tough, making the eating experience more of a battle than an indulgence. Additionally, the salami was of slightly below average quality, costing the sandwich half a point. The sandwich was altogether middle of the road, but the $11.90 charged for it was certainly not worth it and easily docked off another 2 points.

Plain Croissant: 10/10
The croissant was truly an eye-opening experience. Its buttery, crispy, golden brown layers were enough to make one’s mouth water just by looking at it. The thin and crispy layers made for a perfect introduction to the fluffy and pillowy interior. The best part was the fact that the croissant was larger than the size of a hand, so it was easy to share and enjoy with friends. For $3.70, this croissant was effortlessly worth every penny.

Pumpkin Spice Cruffin: 6/10
The Pumpkin Spice Cruffin rightly stood out as the most unique item on the menu. With vibrant orange and black stripes, the croissant shaped into a muffin was an eye-catching wild card. The muffin was sweet, fluffy, and decadent. Interestingly enough, the interior was filled with a seasoned pumpkin puree with a taste resemblant of pumpkin pie filling. Though it seemingly used the same croissant dough as the plain croissant, the crust wasn’t as delightfully crispy, which was rather a letdown and cost it a point. Disappointingly, the majority of the filling sank to the bottom of the cruffin, leaving for an unequal distribution of flavors, losing another point. The cruffin was an alluring experiment, but its so-so quality for the hefty price of $4.75 brought down its overall rating to a modest 6/10.

Though their items tend to lean towards the expensive side, Fresh Baguette is a respectable bakery with some true gems within its selection.