Mornings were made for fresh-from-the-oven baked goods and a hot cup of coffee, and that’s exactly what they’re serving up at Trompeau Bakery. Owner and operator Pascal Trompeau — a third-generation baker and a graduate of The French National Institute of Baking in Rouen — has been serving up some of the tastiest pastries in the Mile High for over a decade and just over six years at the SoBo location. Pastry patrons realize that this place operates on a first-come, first-serve basis and I was determined to be one of the earliest to trickle through the doors for first pick of the buttery goodness that Trompeau had to offer.
The kitchen is open for observation from the street and is lined with body-length glass windows, leaving nothing up to the imagination. Bakers can be seen kneading, cutting, garnishing and glazing the morning’s freshest morsels. The transparency felt honest and proved inviting when combined with the sweet smells that lingered curbside. Upon entry a warm, comforting scent tickled my nose and whisked me past displays filled with dozens of fresh pastries, cookies, croissants, tarts, baguettes and breads. I eventually looked up from the fresh-made fare to meet a welcoming smile that was prompt with suggestions. I decided to go sweet and savory for the winning breakfast combo.
A croissant is often a true tell-all for a bakery, especially for one that adheres to French “golden standards.” Trompeau nailed it with their rich and buttery chocolate croissant ($2.75), with a gluten gift wrapping housing a hidden chocolate surprise. The filling consisted of deep, dark chocolate — a great bitter-sweet counterpart to the pasty’s delicate doughy body. A flakey crunch effortlessly gives way to a moist, airy interior. The proportions of chocolate to dough allowed a balance that showcased the dough and the method, rather than the chocolate. The thin strip of chocolate is strategically added to the center, keeping the subtleties of the croissant in tact while simultaneously delivering to the sweet tooth at heart.
The Trompeau not only does the morning sweet fix well, but their savory breakfast offerings are just as delicious. The dense personal-sized portion of jalapeno cheddar quiche ($4.15) had all the qualities I look for in an egg-filled pie. The spicy green pepper-filled pie stuck out like a sore thumb in the display case among fan favorites such as the lorraine and broccoli swiss. Golden brown crust fanned from the edges of the pie like a buttery bakery blossom housing a fluffy egg filling — a notable quality you want in a quiche. The cheesy egg inside was airy and baked to perfection, each bite revealing a new layer of flavor and heat from the jalapenos and cheddar. The baker’s ability to mask ingredients like cream, egg and cheese in an airy, light way was evident throughout each bite. These classic French baking methods were thoughtfully executed — a French quiche made with western ingredients.
Trompeau Bakery 2950 South Broadway, 303-777-7333
All photography by Andrew Horton.