Paris Baguette. They're not as small business as the mom-and-pop places I try to patronize; in the US, they have 15-22 locations in California, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania and they're actually a subdivision of a much larger food and food services company based in Korea. But they were nearby and they got good reviews on yelp so I decided to throw them on the list.
|Apple Pastry - pretty good|
|Cannele - overbaked|
Fortunately, the taste test ended on a good note with the castella. It was almost exactly like mamon (French sponge cake) that I've bought from Goldilocks, a Filipino bakery chain known for its mamon. The castella was similar in taste and texture, very light and fluffy, lightly sweetened - think of it like a yellow chiffon cake. It was only slightly more dense than a mamon which tends to be more chiffon-like but it wasn't a heavy denseness, just that there was less airiness and more cake fluff, if that makes sense. In any case, I enjoyed it. Of the three, I'd have to give the nod to the apple pastry as the winner though.