Viva la France! Paris Gourmet

The Dish: Panini Gelato
The Place: Paris – Gourmet, Macarons & French Pastries
The Location: DESERT RIDGE MARKET PLACE – 21001 N Tatum Blvd – PHOENIX Az 85050

I am about to make a pretty bold and controversial statement. I’ve mulled over this idea all day – weighing it, contemplating it and solidifying it as truth.

After much thought on the matter I can say with confidence – Panini Gelato is the best dessert I have ever eaten. Ever.

And you can find this wonder at Paris Gourmet, a vibrant and bright little boutique cafe tucked next to the AMC Theater.

Upon entering you will be seduced by happy little rows of cheerful French macarons, and that’s ok, they’re beautiful and tasty. I strongly encourage you to partake in a couple…dozen, but take them home to indulge later. And don’t settle for just a scoop or two of the dreamy gelato, no, no, that just won’t do. If you want to be wowed, if you want your senses to be delighted and teased with the very essence of heaven you’ll want that gelato served up with some bread.

Yes, the Gelato Panini is exactly what it translates to – an ice cream sandwich. But an ice cream sandwich like no other; instead of cookies or wafers your choice of gelato (I chose Snickers) is hugged by a split brioche bun, toasted and spread with a layer of Italian chocolate spread flecked with crispy bits.

The warmth of the brioche gently melts the gelato allowing it to seep into all the nooks and crannies and the toast on the bun keeps it sturdy enough to stand up to the melty cascade of chocolatey peanut goodness without getting too soggy. The chocolate spread was reminiscent of a Ferrero Rocher with the light crunch it added to the gorgeous treat on my plate. Every part of this dessert was perfect and it played with my emotions, I was elated with every bite, giddy with joy at the juxtaposition of the hot bun and cold brioche thrilled with the cold gelato, then suddenly somber when it was gone, devoured with relish and gluttony. Now I feel nothing but longing to indulge again. And anticipation – when will that be? Soon. Very soon. Not soon enough. Now! 

Owners, Michael and Laurence Rousselle, are a husband and wife team who take pride in the confections and sweet delicacies of their homeland. Their passion shines bright and warm in their immaculate cafe. Laurence is the chef behind the macarons and pastries and Mike runs the front of the house with a French accent, enthusiasm and a smile.

Paris Gourmet celebrates one year next month and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate them then with a trip to sample the sweets. They also serve lunch including Quiche Lorraine, a savory crepe and croque monsieur. Just be sure to save room for the Panini Gelato.

Vive La France! Vive La Paris Gourmet! Vive La Panini Gelato!

All statements I can stand behind.

Paris Gourmet, at Desert Ridge Marketplace
21001 N. Tatum Boulevard
480- 404-6378

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