Pan Chancho’s Bakery (Kingston) – My first meal in Kingston

Now that I am in Kingston, I can finally start doing what my blog title suggests: be a glutton in Kingston. Sadly, in the last week of orientation/ACLS training/WOW playing, I haven’t had a lot of opportunities to eat a good meal. My diet so far has consisted of: Shredded Wheat, apples, free sandwiches at lunches, and Chunky soup. Yikes. No hot meals yet (unless you included the Chunky soup).

When my roomie left for Ottawa on the weekend, I decided I’d try to explore Kingston on my own. I walked to the Cataraqui Town Centre (the biggest mall in Kingston, roughly the size of Marlborough Mall in Calgary). It was 8km. That was… a long walk. On Sunday, I decided to try Pan Chancho’s Bakery, a recommendation made by a co-resident of mine.

I’ve never eaten a meal on my own at a restaurant so this was an experience in itself. Here is my table setting with my Sci-Fi book ready to keep me occupied. It is a bit crowded if you sit inside but the patio outside looks quite relaxing. I am going to try to sit there next time.

This is the Soup of the Day: Potato, Leek and Parsnip soup with Parsley. It is pricey at $5.95. The flavour was rich, not too salty, and quite creamy. However, I prefer my soup to be a little smoother. It was a bit chunky.

This is the Daily Sandwich Special: Honey Glazed Ham with Briedemeux, Dijon, and Basil on a croissant with a Cafe Salad. The salad was delicious, with cooked peppers and onions. It had a nice sesame vinegrette.

The croissant itself was a bit on the doughy side, not on the light and fluffy side. The ham was very tender but cold (as it should be I guess). The cheese (a brie I believe) was smooth and was nice with the basil. Overall, the sandwich was reasonable but somewhat unremarkable. It is well priced at $11.

Why oh why did I decide to get a cold sandwich when I’ve been without hot food for so long. Perhaps this was why I was disappointed with Pan Chancho’s. The food was pricey and the textures were a bit disappointing. I will go back and try some of their warm meals. Their roast beef sandwiches are also supposed to be amazing. I’ll make sure to check those out too next time.

Addendum: December 5, 2009

I’ve been to Pan Chancho’s intermittently over the last year and a half. The thing that limits me is the wait (sometimes brutally long) and the fact that it is only open for lunch.

A selection of pastries at the Pan Chancho store front. Tasty but bloody expensive. Also… I came at 2pm and I actually found my croissant a little on the dry side. They were constantly adding more pastries but they should have perhaps rotated a bit more.

A tasty seafood chowder for $5.95. Salty, acidic, and with lots of chunks of fish. I liked it.

The Smoked Salmon Plate (fennel cream cheese, cucumber and light rye) for $9.75. Lox is always delicious so I can’t really comment on the fish. I thought the cream cheese was a little plain and I certainly didn’t taste any fennel. However, my palate is known to not be sensitive to subtle flavours.

The Mo’ Better Meaty Meat Burger (7 oz of ground beef spiced with scallions and rosemary with Stilton pate and crispy pancetta, served with patates frites aioli) for $14.75. The ratio of bun to burger was not good. However, the burger was well seasoned, though a little dry. I really liked the fragrance of the Stilton combined with the saltiness of the pancetta.

The Breakfast Wrapped Up (tortilla with ranchero scrambled eggs and Monterey Jack, refried black beans, roasted corn salad and sour cream) for $10.75. I didn’t get a chance to taste this… but the refried black beans looked pretty bad. Dry, luke warm, and starchy.

In general, I think that Pan Chancho’s has an excellent frontside bakery but their backside kitchen doesn’t quite live up to expectations. There are better brunch places out there!

Addendum April 27, 2010 – It’s true. I rag on Pan Chancho’s a lot for having a eat-in menu that is a bit disappointing. It isn’t that it is bad, it is just that it really pales in comparison to their dine-out menu. For example, I’ve been on my own for about 6-7 weeks over the last few months when J has been away. When I am post-call and wanting to shoot myself, I take a walk to Princess and pick up something at Pan Chancho’s. You have to get the roast beef sandwich (for approximately $8). It is really really tender, juicy, and filling. You also have to get a chocolate profiterole (essentially puff pastry surrounding a big wad of delicious chocolate cream). These two combined really take away the blues.

Don’t eat in at Pan Chancho’s. Eat out!

Pan Chancho’s Bakery, 44 Princess St., Kingston,

Pan Chancho Bakery & Cafe on Urbanspoon

~ by Russ on July 1, 2008.

2 Responses to “Pan Chancho’s Bakery (Kingston) – My first meal in Kingston”

  1. I have a love and hate relationship with Pan Chancho. It is not as great as the hype but good for Kingston.

    • Sadly, J agrees with you. Even some of the best places in Kingston we always have to qualify them with the phrase: “Pretty good for Kingston.”

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