The Marvelous Spirals At Marvel Cake
It seems that just about everyone has wound themselves into a tight tizzy over spiral croissants.
Ever since the original “Supreme” was launched in New York City at Lafayette Grand Cafe & Bakery, the lines have grown legendary for the tightly coiled laminated pastries that have a hidden filling and a fanciful drizzle of glaze on top.
So, it’s no surprise that when Campbell’s Marvel Cake started turning out a similar version called the “Spiral Croissant,” it started drawing fans near and wide, with queues the norm.
I’m happy to report, though, when I took a chance last Tuesday and showed up five minutes before the bakery opened at 10 a.m., there was no line at all. Hallelujah!
They are $7.50 each. Because of their enormous popularity, the spiral croissants are limited to four per customer, with a cap of two of the same flavors per order.
The bakery, opened in 2020 by husband and-wife Reza Mirzadeh and Maryam Menbari, typically features three or four flavors of the spiral croissants daily. On the morning I visited, there were three: raspberry, chocolate, and pistachio.
Given how beautiful these pastries are to behold, it’s no wonder they’ve grown into an Instagram star. They are golden, finely layered, and blissfully crisp. It does pay to get them early, just when they’ve been filled, because they are at their crackling best then, as I found when I sampled one right when I got home. When I tore into another one about four hours later, they had softened more, especially toward the center, and lacked that audible crunch when biting into them.
That’s not to say they weren’t still delicious, though. The fillings are runny rather than thick like paste, and there’s plenty injected into the pastries. I didn’t find any of them overly sweet. The raspberry had a nice berry tang, the dark chocolate had a bit of sweetness that mellowed any bitter edge, and the pistachio, which was probably my favorite, had a pronounced nuttiness.
While Marvel is best known for these croissants, a visit will surely tempt you with other treats on display.
I also tried a spinach and feta croissant ($7.25) that sported a pretty lattice top and a very buttery taste. The Mediterranean flavor was nice, though, the feta-spinach smear inside was modest, leaving the interior fairly hollow.
On the advice of a prominent South Bay chef who raved to me about the macarons, I also splurged on four of those: pistachio, strawberry, lemon, and salted caramel ($4.50 each). He definitely didn’t steer me wrong. Some macarons can be aggressively sweet. These were not. These had delicate shells that were crisp and chewy, and fillings that were smooth, balanced, and with depth. I especially liked the strawberry and lemon ones for their pop of brightness.
Look for Marvel to expand on June 3 with the opening of a second location in downtown Palo Alto at 250 University Ave., Suite 107 — and get ready for more lines to come.