As I mentioned earlier today, March 20th is Macaron Day across numerous cities worldwide, including Toronto. Yum! Tiffanie (Mostly YA Lit) and I had plans to go check out at least 4 of ’em after work. With the first day of Spring starting off freezing cold and snowy, waking up with a migraine, I had high hopes for a day filled with delicious macarons to brighten my mood.
My colleague picked up some for the office to share, which were a lovely treat for the late morning. At lunch, I was passing by Petite Thuet at Yonge & King, one of the participating patisseries for Macaron Day, and stepped inside to see if they had any left. I was greeted by a side table with several trays of macarons, and the woman in front of me was also asking about the complimentary macaron. The guy said that they’re not doing that this year because they gave away so many last year and it had gone so quickly. So this year they’re “focusing on the charity” and asking people to pay the donation of $2 to get one, or buy 4 and get 1 free with the 25% to charity. That’s fine and all that – I get it, it’s still benefiting the charity but the woman in front of me made a very valid point: That’s not the premise of Macaron Day. The posters they had right on their window flat-out say to go in and ask for a free macaron. It seemed pretty misleading to say you’re participating and have the posters up to get people in the door, only to then guilt them into purchasing them from you instead. I feel like even if the guy just said they had run out, it would’ve been a more PR-friendly way to not have to give any out. (Though if you didn’t want to give any out, then don’t say you’re participating in it!) Anyway.
After work, I headed to the other Petite Thuet along Yonge Street to meet up with Tiff. They also had the same thing going as the King Street one so since I was waiting around for Tiff anyway, I bought a raspberry one and a cappuccino to sit and enjoy with my book. Tiff gets there, picks up a Cookies & Creme one and we decided to mosey on out to our next stop, which would have been Patachou down the street until we spotted Nadège across the street instead. They weren’t part of the official Macaron Day participants but they were taking part in the celebration of the day anyway. And 50% of their sales were going towards Meal Exchange. I love the location they have out on Queen West, and had no idea they opened one on Yonge Street! We went in and because of their unique flavours, we each picked up 6 macarons to enjoy.
— Tiff Ing (@mostlyyalit) March 20, 2013
Satisfied with macarons in hand, we finally made our way to Patachou where it felt like pulling teeth to get any information about what their offer was for Macaron Day. We were then told they had “closed” the free macaron portion of the day. (It’s only 6pm… didn’t realize there was a time limit…) So we decided to purchase one (TINY) macaron each for $1.75 and sat down for a few minutes to enjoy it. (Me: lemon; Tiff: raspberry). Continuing south along Yonge Street, we were off to the next stop which would be Yorkville Espresso Bar before we realized it had closed for the day (well, at least their doors were locked, but people were inside) so we kept going to our final stop, MoRoCo (along the coldest windiest wind tunnel EVER.).
Besides Nadège, MoRoCo is my other favourite place to get macarons. We see a sandwich board sign out front that says in large letters FREE MACARON – with fine print that then says it’s Gluten-FREE, Preservative FREE, Additive FREE, etc. Hm. A bit misleading, but okay…. We step inside and another girl was also in there asking about it. We’re told that they’re $2.75 each and she asks about the Macaron Day offer. They begrudgingly say she can have one. Tiff goes to buy a Lavender Cassis one (my fave!) and also asks about Macaron Day. Even though we were right next to the first girl, they begrudgingly say they have samples and still doesn’t offer it up. Tiff has to flat out ask “okay… so can I have a sample?” and the girl slowly goes under the counter where teeny-tiny pistachio macarons are hidden and puts one on the counter. One. With me standing right next to her. Tiff says to me, “Do you want one too?” and I have to fully ask if I can also have a sample and the girl slowly goes to get me one. She asks if I also want to buy a lavender cassis one and even though it’s my favourite, I pass – out of principle on the evasiveness (to her obvious annoyance, as very clearly seen on her face) .
Overall what I found surprising was that the macarons I enjoyed the most throughout the day were the ones that I didn’t get from the official participants of #MacaronDayTO. All the places we did check out as part of this event were all not adhering to the description of what the day was. I get it, that you have to make money and some of it is going to charity but we both felt a little misled. Other than the tiny macaron that we were begrudgingly given, there were certainly no free ones to be had.
- Morning | Black currant – good, but pretty crumbly (aka maybe a little stale)
- Petite Thuet | Raspberry – good, also a bit too crumbly
- Nadège | 6-pack variety (Pistachio, Cassis, Rose, Chilli Cherry Chocolate, Salted Butter Caramel, Red Wine) – Red wine is more chocolatey than wine, but still delicious. Perfect texture & consistency.
- Patachou | Lemon – tiny, nice lemon taste but only okay overall
- MoRoCo | Small pistachio sample – Delicious & great consistency, but marred by the attitude