Arely's French Bakery
4961 Clairemont Dr
San Diego, CA 92117
I don't like to say much if I don't have anything really good to say. Especially when it comes to food reviewing- people have different tastes, preferences, palettes, etc. So I'm going to keep this review short. I love French pastries (though cringe at what they do to my wallet). While there are many bakeries that sell French pastries, there are very few, I think, that sell very good ones. My go-to place in SD is Bread & Cie, which I'll review next time I visit. While browsing yelp a few weeks ago, I came across good reviews for Arely. My interest was piqued. I had never noticed this little cafe despite being in the plaza it is located in many times. I was excited at the prospect of finding a French bakery closer to home and cheaper than Bread & Cie.
I was disappointed. The shop is small, but offers a decent variety of pastries including chocolate croissants, almost croissants, berry tarts, apple tarts, chocolate mousse, and eclairs. I got a few different pastries to try them out. While they look pretty, I didn't think much of them. None of them tasted that great and cost about $3.10 each. I'd rather pay a dollar more and drive ten minutes further and go eat at Bread & Cie.
The blackberry tart was okay. It didn't taste bad, but it wasn't anything special. Typical sweet tart crust with blackberries glazed with sugar syrup on top. The almond croissant was dry and not that soft. The eclair was also a disappointment. For me, what makes or breaks an eclair is the filling. If you don't have a filling that has the "wow" factor, you just end up with an expensive pastry shell with some ordinary pudding type filling. The filling in my eclair tasted like the ones I've sampled at Vons' bakery –not very good. Overall, a disappointing experience for me.