Reasons I Love Walla Walla: Colville Street Patisserie

I fell in love with Walla Walla the first time I visited.  Not only is it a lush oasis in the-middle-of-nowhere Eastern Washington, it also has a small town feel combined with forward-thinking, and an amazingly vibrant culinary scene.  This town knows how to eat well, and values it’s local farmers and ranchers.  Sounds like somewhere I want to be!

A little over six months after meeting Walla Walla, we have relocated here and are starting to settle into the community.  The weather has begun to warm up, so today I jumped on my bike to explore the neighborhoods.  

Needing to find a place that had wi-fi and interesting food, I stopped at the Colville Street Patisserie, as I had heard good things about the place.  I wasn’t expecting much, as I am very particular about my baked goods.  Growing up, the bakery was my favorite place in the world, above the toy store or anything else.  I learned early on the difference between good ingredients and cheap ones.  Those low-quality, bleached white flour-and-margarine bakeries just aren’t worth it to me.

Thusly, I never get too excited when stepping into a bakery, as oftentimes I am disappointed. This was not the case after my first bite of a warm flaky buttermilk biscuit with house-made rhubarb jam from the Colville Street Patisserie.  It was buttery, light, and mildly sweet, just the way I feel a biscuit should be.  The addition of the fresh rhubarb jam, perfectly made so I could taste both the fruit’s natural tang and flavors, without the overpowering sweetness of sugar, won me over.  I savored each small bite, bit by bit, until it was nothing but crumbs, that I didn’t let go to waste.

I had browsed the pastry case as I came in, but didn’t really take anything too serious, until after my biscuit experience.  This place had passed my pastry test!  On my way out, I gave the case another look. 

They have quite a variety of items, from decadent chocolate mousse layer cakes with intricately-formed decorations, to white chocolate layer mini cakes with mango, lime, and coconut, to house-made gelato and sorbet in unusual flavors like ginger pineapple, rhubarb, spiced apple, and fennel.  The fennel gelato I had to sample, hoping it would be something like that licorice gelato I enjoyed in Gaeta, Italy.  Again, I was happily surprised! I’d almost given up hope that any place on the WestCoast would have something like my beloved gelato alla liquirizia.  Thank you Colville Street Patisserie! You have given me hope that there are others out there who can appreciate flavors beyond chocolate and vanilla.

The last pastry case near the register contained all the standard french pastries, like crossaints, palmiers, macarons, cannelle, and savory crossaints, along with something I never heard of: kouign aman.  Tiffany Cain, the warm-spirited owner, explained it as a laminated dough with carmellized sugar and a sprinkling of sea salt.   Of course, with that explanation, I had to give it a try as well.  And it was AMAZING!  One customer, upon hearing me ask about it, raved it’s glories, saying it was his favorite thing in the store.  I think it has become mine as well!  The exterior is crisp and crusty, like a carmellized crossaint, and the interior is flaky layers of buttery goodness.  The salt complements the buttery caramely flavors. Tiffany says it’s one of their consistent items, as the customers love it and come all the way from Oregon for it.  I’m thankful, as this will be one of my new favorite treats when I have a little extra cash and a sweet tooth.

As if all these wonderful foods weren’t enough to make someone want to visit the CS Patisserie, they also brew local Walla Walla Roastery coffee, roasted and delivered fresh daily specially for them, make their own lemon-basil soda and some flavored syrups for their coffee drinks. 

How fortunate I feel,  moving here to Walla Walla, and having all these wonderful culinary possibilities.  Who would think a small town in the corner of Washington state, 3 hours from any major city, would have it’s own fine French-style pastry shop?  I never would have guessed.

Colville Street Patisserie is located at 40 S. Colville Street, just a block off of main street, in downtown Walla Walla, and mere blocks from my house! Lucky me! 



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4 Comments on “Reasons I Love Walla Walla: Colville Street Patisserie”

  1. Angela Grizzle
    June 23, 2011 at 4:29 pm #

    Wow! You are in luck! Now you’ll just have to make sure you ride your bike there every time you go so the indulgences don’t go to your hips! LOL!

  2. June 23, 2011 at 6:02 pm #

    That biscuit looks delish! Wish i was there to have one with you, especially with that yummy topping. I’m still missing your wheat flour muffin with chocolate chips for breakfast. Glad to hear your finding joy in your new travels.

  3. June 23, 2011 at 6:48 pm #

    I’m jealous. Sounds delicious.

  4. Steve
    June 25, 2011 at 5:42 am #

    Yummy foods and nicely written article.

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