Artisan Boulanger Eric Kayser

Maison Kayser is my go-to artisan bakery chain for great pastries, gourmet lunches and veggie friendly take-out. I tend to frequent the shops near Gare Montparnasse, around the corner from the Louvre, and on rue Monge — but there are plenty of locations in Paris. *

All products are high quality, but the bread is what made the French baker a household name. In 1994, Eric Kayser invented the Fermentolevain, a machine that keeps dough starter, made from water, flower and honey, at a constant temperature. The result was a sourdough with improved flavor and extended shelf-life.

On a recent Paris apartment stay, I ate multi-course lunches at restaurants, and stopped by the bakery at the end of the day to pick up dinner. I couldn’t get enough of the creamy quiche made with leeks and sweet potatoes. I dined on fresh vegetable soups, and salads made with quinoa and barley.

My favorite lunch anytime of year, but especially for a train ride out of town, is the smoked salmon sandwich, with butter, chèvre frais, and delicate smoked salmon on a chewy roll.

Pastries are a happy treat n’importe quand. My latest coup de coeur is their pistachio financier.

Are you an Eric Kayser fan? What are your favorites?

* There are regulations in Paris about what you must do to call yourself a boulangerie, including making dough on site. Every Maison Kayser makes their dough and bakes the bread on premises.