Every New Yorker probably has a little imperious and acerbic "Ego" living inside of them (Ratatouille's hard-to-please food critic but a man of great taste and distinction, Anton Ego.) With New Yorkers coming from all around the world, we do not go easy with the fuss about top ranked or the best unless challenged by each and one of our standards... Now I am excited to share another hidden location in New York — there is a particular pleasure to finding great shops that exist in places they shouldn't. This time it's a small-village-in-France level butter baking found in an anonymous 1920's office building in Tribeca. They are home to inarguably the city’s best baguettes and croissants (featured by all Ego's.. ahem food bloggers) and the best pizza too (approved by myself).
紐約好吃的東西真的非常多，有時候會突發奇想，會不會每個人心裡都住著一位挑食刁鑽的Ego先生（電影料理鼠王的奧客美食評論家 Anton Ego）面對熱門餐廳主打著他們絕對是城裡最棒的，還是能秉持著自己的口味去挑戰標準⋯⋯以上是個題外話，不過這次要推薦的隱藏烘培麵包店，是一間在華爾街非常紅的隱藏小店，而它的招牌就正是：我們是全紐約烤披薩、可頌麵包與法式長棍麵包烤得最香的一間麵包店！
Because of the reputation, I had expectations and assumptions of what an in-trend, French bakery would be like. It took me by surprise that it was coming from a low-key, small vending window inside a century-old office building.
也許是因為這樣，在我第一次造訪Arcade Bakery的時候，已經先入為主的帶著超高期待，還沒開始吃就已經對麵包們有了莫名其妙的遐想。而當我走進這棟一百多年前的商用大樓裡，反而有點訝異，因為Arcade Bakery沒有店面，除此之外更像是這棟大樓樓下的麵包店或是福利社，如此的低調與隨意。
The scent of freshly baked pastries will find you the second you step inside. Following a long, sloping, marble hallway with wooden retail windows vending the goodies. One beautiful touch that I can‘t get over with is the interior, a combination of historic high arch ceilings with artful patterns and contemporary designed seats carved into each side of the wall with pulled down tables. People standing or sitting, casually grabbing a bite, or quietly in line waiting; these moments of tranquil makes the crowded subway and bustling street scenes experienced just five minutes ago seemed much further away.
We ordered the popular margarita pizza and almond croissant, it looked usual and even plain, but before you realize you've already devoured it and will agree to the saying that "We are the best in town." The croissant was perfectly flaky on the outside and moist inside, with thick almond paste/butter in the middle. It's a very honest flavor. Sometimes I think that there's no mystery to good food, but the chef being true to his taste and respects the ingredients. Our era filled with artificial flavorings and machine made products; it can be hard to find such a fresh and genuine flavor. Especially when located in Wall Street district where the world's capitalism is built on, Arcade Bakery's existence made an impression.
點了店裏最著名的披薩與可頌，送上桌的餐點外型沒有太多驚喜，甚至有點樸素，沒替它們多拍幾張就趁熱接連著吃了好幾口，我也開始明白為什麼他們有自信說 "We are the best in town" 。至於原因，應該是食物原始的香味吧。這個說法也許有點兩光，但那種味道就是似曾相識卻更有畫面，好像分辨得出小麥味的溫潤、起士裡的全脂牛奶、烘焙過羅勒葉的清爽與火烤後水果的焦糖香。講得誇張點，是像家的味道，是對你坦白的香味。我想有時候食物的好吃真的是沒有太多的訣竅，廚師忠於自己味蕾也尊重食材，這份堅持也替食材保留了它們各自原本的味道。在化學香料充斥與機器取代人力的世代，能吃到一份單純的美味機會不多。在華爾街這樣充滿商業、資本主義和時間就是金錢象徵的一區，Arcade Bakery的存在更是讓人印象深刻。
Roger Gural, the owner of Arcade Bakery wearing a real nice T-shirt.
老闆穿著"The Good Fork"也太可愛！
Arcade Bakery [Tribeca]
220 Church St, New York, NY 10013
Open all week from 8AM – 4PM