Welcome to Round 1/Tour 1 of my “Bataille de Macaron” — a head to head comparison of two patisseries’ French signature cookie, le macaron. Today, it’s two west side staples: St. Honoré and Nuvrei.
They’re first because that’s the first place I went. They’re known for their macarons and they have multiple locations in the Portland area. For both macarons I went to their SW Portland location.
Lemon & Cassis
I started with lemon because it’s generally a favorite flavor of mine, and it’s easy to tell if I’m going to like a place based on their lemon choices. I’m happy to report that St. Honoré’s lemon macaron did not disappoint. The cookies had a great crunchy shell but were chewy inside. And the filling was light, tart, and crisp. A perfect lemon depiction.
The cassis macaron was not as great, though it was delicious. It has a black currant flavor, which isn’t precisely like anything else, so it can’t be a bit confusing. The cookies themselves weren’t as flavorful but as an entire bite, it was great.
Overall: I loved the lemon. Probably a perfect lemon macaron. But the cassis didn’t live up to my hopes and ultimately I wish they had more selection. Absolutely acceptable macaron-craving stop.
St. Honoré gets 4/5 “ouis”👩🏻🍳👩🏻🍳👩🏻🍳👩🏻🍳
I tried Nuvrei on recommendation from a coworker who is known as a great reference for good & drink in Portland. It’s in the Pearl and it was an easy streetcar ride from my office.
Lemon & Blueberry
I decided I needed to get a lemon macaron at every location if I was going to provide some sort of real comparison between stores. Unfortunately Nuvrei’s lemon was soft, sweet, and more akin to a sugary lemonade than a tart meringue. It was still a pleasure to eat — the cookies were crispy and chewy in the right ways — but it was the inferior lemon of today’s post.
The blueberry was slightly better and slightly worse — the cookie crumbled in my hand while I was biting, so it was a mess to eat. And the filling itself was more jelly like than cream, so I think it possibly soaked into the cookie (that, or it just wasn’t that much filling). All that being said — pretty good blueberry flavor, tbh.
Overall: Definitely didn’t live up to my expectations. I bought my coworker a box for his birthday and I think I’m jealous of his flavors over the ones I chose. But this is acceptable to eat if at a party or a group dessert.
Nuvrei gets 3.5/5 “ouis” 👩🏻🍳👩🏻🍳👩🏻🍳