Some time ago, a place in North Melbourne by the name of The French Quarter was run by a gentleman named Neil Mckenzie. Well, Neil sold the French Quarter and went to France to work and learn more about the art of Parisian pastries. Guess where Neil is now? The Parisian Patisserie and Boulangerie on Keilor Road, Essendon is where you will find him. To be honest, this pocket of shops for some time has been rather bland but not since Neil's arrival. So what is so good about it all?
Double espresso. This is a cup of nectar I'd gladly invite back to my abode. Rich chocolate tones, with caramels and a slight tang that makes you recline in your chair and admire the person sitting next to you. This coffee is warming and hugs your tongue every time.
Like I said, I'm not a huge sweet tooth but there are some things I'll cross the bridge for. Some of those things are macarons. This macaron in particular had a candied lemon flavour, but it wasn't sickly sweet or too lemony. It was extremely light in weight and well balanced in all flavours.
They are constantly busy and constantly consistent with their sweets, drinks, coffees and service. Over the year they have been open I have had my share of sweets and coffees from them and while I am not usually a sweet tooth, this place changes me.
This is a shangri-la, a refuge, a 'somewhere' to be in the locale of Essendon. Knowing that around the corner of The Parisian you have a small selection of 'acceptable' cafes, The Parisian truly is a refuge for those wishing to drink, sip, nibble and enjoy something a little more cleansing. Clean tables. Fresh water available. People are still swarming here on weekends and so they should. It can be a little squashy when it is full, so leave the pram or stroller in the car and walk or carry your child. They do catering too!
They are open Monday through to Saturday. They open at 7am and close 6pm weekends and 4pm on Saturday. Now you might be reading this thinking 'Oh yes I'll just pop in at 1pm'. No. Get in as early as you can. There is no other place like this in Melbourne - there I've said it. The Parisian gets packed and I know I say that about a lot of places, but this is no exception. If you're a husband, take your wife here and she'll marry you again. If you're a wife, take your friends here during the week and they'll let your kids stay over whenever you and your husband want a night to yourself. For people like me who are single, take someone special here and they will be texting you the next day.