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Are you Ready for Austin’s Cronut Craze?

23 August 2013 9,712 views 12 Comments

I kept hearing about a cronut™ craze going on in New York last spring — with people lining up over two hours before Dominique Ansel’s bakery opened for the chance to try one. Each cronut is $5 with a limit of two per person, and cronut scalpers were waiting in line and then selling their cronuts for up to $100 each. New Yorkers are fuckin’ crazy….

Cronut Credit MSNBC.blocks_desktop_medium

Cronut photo by MSNBC

Wait a minute — Austinites are also known to wait in line for their favorite food. I actually drove past Franklin Barbecue at 9 a.m. this morning and there was already a line wrapped around the building. And have you seen the guy who rents chairs to all those people? I truly love a good old fashioned American opportunist.

And now that cronut clones are popping up at pastry shops and restaurants all around Austin, are we going to see the lines begin to form? I tasted one this morning and it was damn good. Will Austin food lovers line up? I think they will.

I was up early this morning to staff a photo shoot at the Welcome to Austin mural on Annie and S. 1st at 7:50 a.m.

Heidi in front of mural

Believe it or not, it was truly a coincidence that the shoot took place next to La Patisserie — home of the CroBrio. They begin offering the sweet treats at 8 a.m. each week on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.

There are two kinds of CroBrios — Cinnamon Sugar and Chocolate Glazed, and each sells for $6, with $1 donated to Urban Roots. You can buy one of each if you like — but no more; La Patisserie limits the number sold to two per customer. According to their Facebook page, tomorrow they will have 80 CroBios at 8 a.m. and 20 at 12:30 p.m.

Today, they sold out of their first batch in an hour.

CroBrio

The CroBrio is made with brioche dough rather than croissant dough, and according to a recent Thrillist article, it rests for a few hours or overnight and is then sent through a sheeter to make the dough flat. The layers are then assembled together with generous pats of butter, deep fried, stuffed with vanilla pastry cream, and rolled with cinnamon sugar. Those with chocolate are then glazed.

My friend Cat and I waited just 5 minutes for our cronuts, which we found delicious. We both ordered cinnamon, although in hindsight, I wish one of us had ordered the chocolate so we could try both. I’m not sure that I would wait in line for very long for one, but I’m not personally a big line waiter. That said, it was the perfect blend of buttery goodness, crunch, and sweetness from the sugar and cream. It kind of reminded me of a cross between a cinnamon roll, a churro, and a doughnut.

Cat happily enjoying her Crobrio

Cat happily enjoying her CroBrio

A couple weeks ago, Artisan Bistro in Lakeway began serving their version of the fried treat, which they dub the Crognet. First reported by Way Out West Austin, the french bakery are sold daily beginning at 10 a.m. According to Way Out West, “the name blends ‘croissant’ and ‘beignet’…the dough is croissant dough layered with butter then deep-fried, sprinkled with sugar, glazed, and filled with a light vanilla cream. These are $5 each and Artisan Bistro makes about 100 a day. Since they started selling them, they have been having fun with flavors. According to their Facebook page, they made a hazelnut praline and a Nutella version earlier this week. And tomorrow, they will offer salted butter caramel.

Artisan Bistro Crognets - Photo from Artisan Bistro FB Page

Artisan Bistro Crognets – Photo from Artisan Bistro FB Page

Barley Swine has a version on their menu that’s currently listed as a “Fried croissant, goat’s milk sorbet, coffee, chocolate” and is priced at $9. According to a recent article in CultureMap Austin, “it’s made with fried croissant nuggets, caramel-coffee mousse, coffee pearls, spearmint fluid gel, aerated milk, chocolate peanut brittle powder, goat milk sorbet and crunchy milk.”

For a simpler version, the HEB at Mueller (and probably other locations as well) carries a “Donut Croissant” which is pretty good, although not as delicious as the CroBrio I tasted from La Patisserie. That said, it will do in a pinch for an emergency cronut craving, or those on a cronut budget.

Photo from http://instagram.com/therealdaveshaw.

Photo from http://instagram.com/therealdaveshaw.

And last but not least, Tony Sansalone, executive pastry chef of the Driskill Hotel’s 1886 Cafe & Bakery told CultureMap that he will be offering “the Do’ssaint…in mid-August…our bakers are playing with ideas like a Bacon and Maple Do’ssaint [yes, please!] or a Cinnamon-Sugar combo with cream cheese-based frosting.” It’s now almost late-August so perhaps the Driskill will be debuting the Do’ssaint any day now. They promise to break the news first on their Facebook page.

Have you tried a cronut or anything like it? What are your thoughts? Will you have to wait in line for one in Austin? Probably so — at least until more pastry shops begin making cronut clones to supply the demand.

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  • FoodieIsTheNewForty

    This RIGHT HERE is what all of us desperately needed – a cronut roundup! Thank you! I have tried twice to pick up a cronut at HEB Mueller, but both times I tried, they were sold out. Is it worth getting up early for a cronut?

  • jodibart

    I’m so glad you enjoyed it, Michelle! I’m a morning person, so getting up early for me is no big deal. I know that you are a late-night person, so that’s for you to decide. I would say that the CroBrio at La Patisserie is FAR superior to the donut croissant at HEB. I definitely greatly enjoyed :-)

  • FoodieIsTheNewForty

    I must admit that the CroBrio looked awwwwwfulllllly tasty. Maybe I could snag one of the 20 at 12:30 p.m. (Only 20? Why only 20? Don’t they know that night owls need CroBrios, too?!?)

  • jodibart

    Why not call it even and show up at Artisan Bistro at 10 a.m.? They are making salted butter caramel Crognets and there will be at least 100…

  • FoodieIsTheNewForty

    Salted butter caramel Crognets do sound like the trifecta of amazing.

  • April Dawne

    My buddy in NYC just tried a cronut and said it was worth the hype. I’m with you about lines, in fact they piss me off. I still haven’t had Franklin’s. For reals.

  • jodibart

    I haven’t waited in line for Franklin since it was served from a trailer on the I-35 access road. I used to bring my dog Lucy and Franklin would give her some burnt ends to enjoy.

  • Eddie Wells Ŧ

    The crognet is by far better than the crobrio. I had a crobrio the fist day they were out a few weeks ago& thought it was okay. The next day I drove all the way out to Lakeway & brought 5 vanilla bean crognets & it blew my mind. This past Thursday I kept reading & seeing pictures of the crobrio & thought I would give them another try. I was sadly disappointed when it didn’t meet my expectations. I live close to that HEB & plan on trying those soon. Take my advice & drive out to Lakeway, its worth it :)

  • http://www.mintpeony.tumblr.com/ MJ Kim

    I NEED to eat this!

  • http://breakfastwithbixby.tumblr.com/ Avi Hyman

    But the burnt ends are the best part!

  • Pingback: Are you Ready for Austin's Cronut Craze? – Tasty Touring | Funkin Cronuts

  • fungry

    Great Article. Tomorrow is Cronut day for me!!! You have me searching the interwebz for cronut pics and info…

    http://fungryatx.tumblr.com/post/59682533873/cronuts-croissant-donuts