La Petite Grignote is the little brother of La Grignote on Duval Street. Here, a block away from the main drag, a downsized version of the bakery offers a sense of quiet retreat and a spectacular array of French pastries, just-baked breads, eggs cooked to order, fresh-squeezed juice and smoothies, sandwiches, and salads.
“We make everything from scratch,” boasts the menu. Of that, there can be no doubt. The simplest slices of sourdough and multigrain bread to accompany eggs are soulfully delicious, even unadorned: crusty with muscular crumb and fetching yeasty savor. Danish pastries are nearly as fragile as mille-feuilles and croissants taste as much of butter as of bread. The croissant’s elegant fragility does suffer in its somewhat smothered ham & cheese variation, but house-made bechamel inside more than compensates.
Quiches — Lorraine, goat cheese, broccoli — are textbook-right. Eggs are nothing short of magnificent, baked in cups with gruyere or creme fraiche and/or bacon. Egg cocottes are cooked in little crockpots along with cheeses, vegetables, bacon, ham, or smoked salmon. And, of course, there are omelets — lovely enough to make Julia Child smile.
La Petite Grignote is a welcoming place where a coterie of regulars easily mixes with visitors at chest high counters inside or tables out on the sidewalk. If you get a pastry, service is instant; but anything that requires cooking or even mixing (such as the brilliant smoothies, hot chocolates, and cafes au lait) will take a while. Nothing at this place is slapdash. Everything is done with deliberation and presented with style.