Poupon Cafe

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French-trained Joseph Poupon has been cranking out crusty bread, flakey choux and ornately embellished wedding cakes since he opened Patisserie Poupon in 1986. The tiny East Baltimore Street storefront is familiar to Francophiles, sweet-toothed cognoscenti and the soon-to-be-married but is otherwise unspectacular—at least from the décor perspective. Not so the recently opened Poupon Cafe in Mount Vernon’s Grand Historic Venue. The café’s menu is similar to that of the Georgetown sandwich shop the baker opened in 1997—sandwiches, salads, ham and cheese croissants, quiche—as well as coffee drinks and plenty of alluring treats, buttery and sweet. Oversized vintage posters advertising such everyday French products as breath mints and laundry products, bistro chairs with bamboo frames and high ceilings with bowl chandeliers give the place an aura of authenticity. But the truth really hits when you bite into a mille-feuille, oozing pastry cream, the thousand leaves crumbling between your lips. When Poupon came to Baltimore nearly 30 years ago, he’d already made sweets at some of New York’s fanciest patisseries—including Bonte and and Dumas—and delivered baked goods to the iconic restaurants La Delice Pastry Shop and Le Côte Basque. Now he’s found a new home on Charles Street. C’est si bon. 225 N. Charles St. 443-573-4620, patisseriepoupon.net
—M.T.

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