An app. For finding the best pastries in Paris. An app. For finding the BEST. PASTRIES. IN PARIS.
BEST. PARIS. PASTRIES. APP… Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah!
Yes. I have been rendered incoherent by an iPhone app. But in case you haven’t noticed from my blog, I love pastries and all types of sugary confections. I also love Paris. And, separate from my love of the city and of the food group, I also love, love Parisian pastries. So it really is no surprise that news of David Lebovitz’s Paris Pastry App has reduced me to a mumbling, giddy fool.
First of all, it is an app to find the best pastries in Paris. I know I keep repeating it, but isn’t the idea of it just so brilliant yet so simple? Isn’t that something every visitor to Paris needs? A directory of 300 (!!!!!) of the best chocolate, pastry and ice cream shops in the city and, arguably, the world, all carefully chosen and tested (oh, wouldn’t we want to have THAT job) by David Lebovitz. Yes, the same man who I am indebted to for my discovery of La Maison Du Chocolat’s Rigoletto chocolate, the pastry chef/writer whose blog always leaves me drooling a little bit and pining for a trip to the French capital and its unrivaled food.
And only a pastry fiend like David can come up with an app as well thought of as this. I have a feeling that he has experienced the pain and disappointment of going all the way across the River Seine for a tarte citron (or a cannelle or a millefeuille) only to find the shop closed. He obviously doesn’t want anyone to have to go through that, ever, so the app conveniently includes verified operating hours for each shop.
The app also organizes the shops per arrondisement, all the better for anyone to lay out their pastry plan of attack.
To me, though, the best, most well-thought of feature of this app are the maps. The OFFLINE maps, i.e. you don’t need an internet connection to access the maps, as they are all stored within the app. As David put it, the money would be better spent on croissants & chocolates, than on astronomical 3G roaming fees on your iPhone. I couldn’t agree more.
Other features of the app include gorgeous pictures of the the pastries and breads by David (if you need more inducement to go visit Poilâne or Patrick Roger), a French-English glossary of pastries, the capability to store and share your favorite pages from the app and David’s top 25 shops to help you get started.
It must be said, though, that the app isn’t cheap. In a world of free or $0.99 apps, I know a lot of people will balk at its $4.99 price. But do consider that getting a similar guidebook will cost at least the same, likely more, and that that guidebook will probably be outdated in a year or two. On the other hand, this app will be updated with all the newest information periodically. Also, this has the added convenience of, you know, being inside your phone, versus a guide book that you have to lug around separately (besides, don’t you need the space in your handbag for your chocolate/pastry purchases?).
So in my opinion, the $4.99 would be more than worth it. My only complaint about this app is that it wasn’t available yet when I went to Paris in July. But maybe that’s a good thing, since if this was around by then, I probably would’ve gone home hundreds of Euros poorer and 10 pounds heavier.
App screenshots used with David’s permission.