Sometimes the best pairings are the ones we never saw coming: croissants and doughnuts, leotards and pencil skirts, Bradley Cooper and perm rods.
Our favorite combo as of late comes from Sweetmue, a new bakery in the Mission where owner and pastry chef Müller Luo makes classic French desserts infused with traditional Taiwanese flavors. Luo says the mishmash works because Asian ingredients like green tea, red beans and black sesame meld well with the buttery yet delicate doughs she mastered in culinary school.
After some careful research, we wholeheartedly agree. On a recent visit, we fell hard for the jasmine-tea-and-salted-caramel macaron ($1.50), which has a crisp exterior and a chewy filling. We?re also fans of the rich taro-and-brown-butter cake--Luo?s take on a French financier--which has an earthy sweetness to it ($1.25). On the lighter side, the tiny matcha-green-tea meringues ($6 for 15) are satisfyingly crunchy.
We suggest making a weekend visit to take advantage of the full menu, but the breakfast-oriented weekday options are also worth your while. Try the caramel-topped banana bread ($3.50) and French-press-brewed Gimme! coffee.
3414 22nd St.; sweetmue.com