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Balthazar Beirut: Breakfast is so Good!
This is not a restaurant review since I came into Balthazar just for the Pain Perdu. It was 09:20am on a calm Wednesday in Beirut when we arrived to Beirut Souks, which felt like a haunted city since it was a parliament meeting day and all roads blocked. But this didn't stop me from continuing my search for the best Pain Perdu in town.
Balthazar was preparing for the day calmly but they were not fully ready to welcome any guests. Although they don't have a breakfast menu, we were welcomed to have some coffee along side some croissants and pastry selection from La Mie Doree, the sister company. Thankfully, Pain Perdu can be served.
I was here for the pain perdu and the pain perdu only; but a lunch review will be scheduled later on to discuss the broken and dirty espresso cups, the uncleaned salt and pepper shakers, the not-so-shiny cutlery...
Pain Perdu for two, or bread pudding soufflé is for LBP22,000. We ordered one and sat on the terrace enchanted by the calmness.
The Balthazar Pain Perdu comes in a bowl. A square bowl, 15cm in width and 15cm deep filled with a baked bread. A crunchy toasted top covering the soaked bread beneath.
As you take it from top, the envelop is crunchy with dark borders that crunch giving a gentle burning flavor followed by a fluffy bread full of milk, egg and sugar. Different textures and flavors combined together give you a couple bites that are good... And it stops here. As you go deeper and deeper, the bread becomes condensed, bulky, over cooked and heavy on the stomach. A strong unpleasant buttery taste that's too fatty stays in your mouth for a long time. It's exactly the same feeling I had when I tasted Metropole's pain perdu which also comes in a cup-like dish. The only thing that gives it it's taste is the fine caramel sauce that comes with it. Add caramel and enjoy the sweetness; the bites without caramel are unpleasant to eat.
If only it tasted as as it looks. I was really unimpressed not to say deceived by a Pain Perdu claimed to be one of the best in town. We had an illy espresso and continued our day for more discoveries.