In honor of the New Englanders, you can go for another kind of pie. In fact, this pie is no more a true pie than a pizza, but still is delicious nonetheless. I'm talking about the classic Boston cream pie.
This dessert icon from was created in 1856 at Boston's Parker House Hotel, and in 1996 was named the official dessert of Massachusetts. But this pudding and cake combination with two layers of cake filled with vanilla custard and topped with chocolate isn't so easy to find in these parts. Many bakeries make them, but the only one I could find that offers it daily was La Baguette in Norman.
It's absolutely no surprise that Johnny Jazzar, 63, and Rudy Khouri, 51, are doing something in their bakery that no one else does, because that's been their modus operandi for more than a quarter of a century.
The brothers-in-law with impossibly high standards run a 7,000-square-foot production bakery that supplies some of the state's top restaurants, hotels and markets with the highest quality baked goods — including their own La Baguette Bakery and Cafe, 1130 Rambling Oaks Drive. The La Baguette at 924 W Main St. in Norman still serves baked goods, soups, salads and sandwiches from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The two Lebanese immigrants opened their first bakery in 1986 thanks to Khouri, who saw the French patisseries he grew up with were nonexistent on the prairie.
And they run a pretty mean little cafe, too, serving top-notch soups, salads and sandwiches by day and bistro fare by night. The La Baguette Bistro on May Ave. began with Jazzar and Khouri. When Michel Buthion was food and beverage director for the Skirvin, he was a loyal La Baguette customer. When the hotel closed, he approached Jazzar about running the restaurant at 7408 N May Ave. Eventually, Michel and his brother Alain bought the place, promising to use only La Baguette pastry in return for the right to use the name.
La Baguette in Norman sells Boston cream pie slices daily, and they are spectacular. The cream is sweet, the cake delicate and the chocolate rich. And in true La Baguette form, the simple topping isn't enough. Rudy adds chocolate swirls all over the top as a garnish.
Not many places where you go for dessert and stay for lunch or dinner, but La Baguette is one.
Both Papa Angelo's and La Baguette are open Sunday. If you plan to order a whole Boston cream pie, be sure to call La Baguette in advance at 329-1101. You also may order pies through the May Avenue store; call 840-3047.