This is an open letter, to the bakers of the world:
You have lost. Joe Logsdon, of La Mie Bakery in Des Moines, has won.
I don't want to sound mean, but really, you should try harder. I have traveled quite a bit- from LA, to London, to Ireland, to Spain, to France, to Germany, to Copenhagen- and his croissants, brioche, puff pastry, breads and cinnamon rolls are better than anything you have made, bakers of the world.
Have you ever made any chocolate croissants like his? If so, you've been hiding them from me! When I bite into a La Mie chocolate croissant, the dough fights back. It holds it shape, it resists. It doesn't just yield: it crunches and rebounds, so that every subsequent bite is just as chewy and toothsome as the first, sublimely textured-crunchy and chewy at the same time. And the chocolate! Never too sweet, never even the slightest bit melty, or overly hard. I could wax poetic about the chocolate croissants forever. But I will move on!
And his rhubarb puff pastry- my god! Who else could take some Rhubarb, the most quintessential Iowa foodstuff, and turn it into a masterpiece. At any other bakery, anywhere, the rhubarb puff pastry would be a product that would bring people from miles around. Logsdon turns this humble cousin to celery into one of the best pastries I have had in my life.
Every time I go to the shop, walk in and take a box, I look for the worst thing on the self serve tables. What looks like it is going to be the worst pastry? What is his weak point? Doesn't he suck at making something? I mean, no one can be good at everything.
Or so I thought.
So far, I have just found that the man has no weak spots. He is as proficient in puff pastry as he is in cinammon rolls. He can make a baguette, a dinner roll, a loaf of multigrain bread, like a champion. His baguettes could make the most devout Francophile repent, or the most ardently militant multi-grain bread hater start using them for all of their sandwiches.
"OK Ben", you might say. "He can do sweet pastries; fine. He can do breads, whatever. How are his savories? And who are you to judge, you arrogant blogger you?"
First off, his savories are perfect. His omelets, impeccable. His quiches move me, frequently, to a state near tears. If I ever need to convince a girl that I do have a soft side I will take her there and then order one of his soups. The tears of joy that stream down my face would convince anybody of my softer side.
To conclude: Joe Logsdon's cafe, La Mie, produces the best baked goods, whether sweet or savory. Period. And I will back that assertion to the hilt.