Review: Chantal Guillon University's new sweet spot

Paige Esterly, Author

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A customer orders at Chantal Guillon, a new macaron shop that just opened at 444 University Ave. Photo by Paige Esterly

There are macarons downtown. Yeah, you heard me right. It was indeed a macaron shop that opened up next to the ghost-town that was once Borders- not another froyo place, thank God, because the last thing downtown Palo Alto needs is another shop selling the frozen, “it’s-healthier-than-ice-cream-at-least-before-you-put-all-the-toppings-on-it” fad.

Chantal Guillon Macarons & Teas, which opened up at 444 University Ave. in Augest, has decidedly nothing frozen about it . This is bad luck if you, by some miracle, are not completely tired of constant froyo runs, but for the rest of us it seems almost a blessing that, true to its name, Chantal Guillon sells nothing but macarons and teas.

For those of you not pretentious enough to know the difference between macaroons and macarons, never fear, I am here to enlighten you. Macaroons are the soft, coconut-flavored, occasionally chocolate-dipped bite sized desserts. Macarons, on the other hand, are a French creation, consisting of two little cakes stuck together with frosting. And, if you’ve never tried one, please haul your butt across Palo Alto to Chantal Guillon ASAP.

The little shop has a snazzy glass front, displaying the neat, orderly interior. Admittedly, there is nothing homey or cozy about the sterile, white color scheme, but the woman being the counter is all smiles and greetings. Across the counter, an impressive array of colorful, flavorful macarons is displayed behind a protective glass wall.

I chose to order red velvet and dark chocolate, which both turned out to be delicious. The cake was soft and stuck together with sweet, sticky frosting, which is what Ms. Chantal Guillon herself prizes her deserts for.

“When I arrived in the US, I did not find the macarons the way i liked them: light, crunchy, moist and with honest flavors,” Guillon said. “So I decide to come back to the traditional ‘Parisian Macarons’ made with Ganache filling instead of other techniques that use butter cream.”

The only drawback to the delicious little shop is the price. Each macaron is $1.75, which can get to be awfully expensive when, like me, you are overcome with the desire to sample every single colorful cake in the store. But even if you have a bit more self control than that, it can get kind of pricey. With each macaron being barely a mouthful, $1.75 seems like a pretty steep price. Nevertheless, for a special occasion, or even a not so special occasion, I would be more than willing to splurge on a visit to Chantal Guillon.

To wrap things up, I leave you with these parting words. Good luck, farewell, may the force be with you and go to Chantal Guillon. You won’t be sorry.

Intrigued? Please visit the Chantal Guillon website at http://chantalguillon.com/