|Excellent croissant and red bean donut|
Of course, Mrs. HowChow and I saw Seoul's coffee shops last year when we went to meet and then bring home our boisterous toddler. But it was this morning's daycare closing that got me into Tous les Jours for opening day.
And it's worth getting in there even if you've never been to Korea. This is a terrific coffee shop -- heavy on caffeine and sweet pastries rounded off with croissants, a few sandwiches, smoothies and bing soo. Clean, modern design. Big spaces with tables and easy chairs.
Lil's Chow and I split a croissant and a red bean donut. I drank the espresso on my own. These were delicious pastries -- as were the other samples that the Tous folks pressed on us. A light, flaky croissant with a crisp outer shell that reminds me of jet lag in Seoul. One of the best red bean donuts that I have ever had -- and I've been posting about them for six years. Lighter and fresher than most local bakeries with a perfect scattering of sugar on top.
The Korean bakeries have really expanded along Rte 40. First, La Boulangerie in Ellicott City. Then Bon Appetit and Shilla. Now, chains actually from Korea seem to be coming -- Caffe Benne that will open next to Soft Stuff and Tous les Jours. The Tous is on the north side of Rte 40 west of Rte 29 in the shopping center with a Boston Market and Lighthouse Tofu.
Bon Chon. Folks have wondered how Rte 40 can support all these coffee shops, but I have to say that Tous les Jours tops my list now -- exceptional food and a really nice space.
If you're interested in the Korean coffee shops, I absolutely recommend checking them out. Pastries, drinks and desserts are a few dollars each. Right now, Shilla and Tous Les Jours are my favorites, but you can read all the posts about Korean bakeries.
If you go to Tous les Jours, look in the corner for the display of trays and tongs. Again, that's right out of Seoul coffee shops. Pick up a set and select what you want from the pastry displays. Then take them to the register to be boxed or carried to a table. I love the modern trays. I'd buy some for our house.
Hat tip to Min who saw an opening day advertisement in a Chinese newspaper. That's how I knew that Lil Chow and I could check it out. The Purim parade was postponed again today because someone fed our daycare stories of ice and snow. Since Lil Chow couldn't have hamantashan, it seemed only fair to get him out of the house and feed him red bean donut.
Tous les Jours
9338 Baltimore National Pike (Rte 40)
Ellicott City, MD
NEAR: Tous les Jours is in a shopping center with Boston Market and Lighthouse Tofu on Rte 40 in Ellicott City. It's on the north side of the road west of Rte 29. Coming from Rte 29, you'll see signs for Asian Court, a Chinese restaurant with excellent dim sum. Then watch for Tous on the right. It is in the "back" of the shopping center so its windows look parallel to Rte 40, not onto the road.