Tired of cupcakes? Bored by gelato? Pastry chef Sandia Horng has just the thing to tame even the most savage sweet tooth.
It's a shop dedicated to macarons, the little sandwich cookies made from meringue with a variety of flavorful fillings.
Horng and her business partner Gabo Lo opened Bite Macarons adjacent to Paciugo Gelato space on Buffalo Speedway earlier this month. Lo tells CultureMap that Horng approached him with "The concept of bringing a little bit of Europe to Houston" in the form of a bakery that specializes in macarons.
Despite the name, Lo says they "Don't want to brand themselves as only macarons.
After living in Europe where her father owned several restaurants, Horng came home to Houston to earn a baking degree from the Culinary Institute LeNotre. Prior to launching Bite, she worked at the Dessert Gallery and made cakes for private clients.
Despite the name, Lo says they "Don't want to brand themselves as only macarons. (We plan to expand to) French pastries that are higher end, more restaurant style" than he thinks are typically seen at Houston bakeries.
For now, Bite Macarons is serving about a dozen recipes from a "core flavor set" that includes pistachio, blood orange and Earl Grey but it has plans to broaden the offerings to more exotic flavors like maple bacon. I stopped by on Saturday and found some inconsistency in the meringue's thickness (some were too thick and chewy), but the fillings had vibrant flavors that tasted exactly like what I expected them to.
Not bad for a bakery that's only been open for about two weeks.
Are macarons a sustainable concept? Lo cites similar bakeries in New York and San Francisco to support his claim that they are but cautions that no one "Knows how Houston will react" to a dedicated macaron shop.
The city's embraced cupcake bakeries and plenty of places are already selling them as part of a wide array of offerings. Those seem like reasons for optimism.
Watch the video above to see Horng make macarons and explain her philosophy behind baking them correctly.