Le Macaron French Pastries – How Do You Say “Meh” in French?

I love macarons.  Well, I love any fancy sweet, really…macarons, macaroons, madeleines, profiteroles, tuiles, whatever.  But macarons hold a special place in my heart.  There’s just something about that lightly crisp meringue outside along with the delicate melt-in-your-mouth creamy center that gets me every time.  Swoon.  There are a few places in town to get macarons.  So when we saw that a new fancy cookie place opened up recently, I was eager to give it a try.

Le Macaron - Outside

Le Macaron – Outside

Le Macaron French Pastries opened up shop on the lower level of The Avenues Mall just a few months ago.  Le Macaron is a franchise with over 30 locations, most of which are in Florida.  Our Jacksonville location is decked out in hot pink, gray, and silver with accents of crystal and black.  The decor is very froufrou and has all sorts of Parisian art and knickknacks adorning pretty much every surface.  French music plays in the background, setting the proper mood for your fancy cookie experience.  The display case is full of not only macarons, but also chocolates, pastries, and other yummy-looking French confections.

Le Macaron - Gelato

Le Macaron – Gelato

Service was decent, although not overly friendly or super helpful.  I looked over the menu and surveyed the display case for a few minutes trying to figure out what I wanted, but was never offered a suggestion or any additional information to help in my decision-making.  I did ask about where all these lovely goodies were made and was told that everything is made offsite at another location.  From what I could gather, the sweets are made at the Sarasota location and then distributed to the other Le Macaron franchises in the area.

Le Macaron - Macarons

Le Macaron – Macarons

I decided to indulge in a few different flavors of macarons – basil, gingerbread, and chocolate.  I also ordered a café mocha.  We took a seat and waited for our treats to be brought over.  It didn’t take long since we were literally the only people in the shop.  My café mocha was piping hot when it arrived.  The flavor was super chocolaty and very, very sweet.  It was decent and was what you would expect from a café mocha – nothing special.

Le Macaron - Cafe Mocha

Le Macaron – Cafe Mocha

The macarons were about the same – pretty typical as far as macarons go.  The chocolate macaron had decent flavor – it was chocolatey enough, but not overly sweet.  The basil was rather bland and didn’t really have any sort of distinct flavor to it.  It just tasted sweet and sugary.  I definitely didn’t taste any basil flavor, so that was a disappointment.  The gingerbread was the best of the three that we tried.  It had a nice warm gingery spice to it and had a lot of flavor.  I love gingerbread and this macaron packaged that flavor up quite nicely in a dainty, light cookie.

Le Macaron - Chocolate, Gingerbread, Basil

Le Macaron – Chocolate, Gingerbread, Basil

As I ate my macarons and sipped my molten hot café mocha, my daughter and I eyeballed the chocolates at the counter.  They seemed lonely, so we decided to take a couple home with us for later.  The candies were beautiful so I had high hopes that they would taste as good as they looked.  Unfortunately, both chocolates fell flat as far as taste goes.  The Chai Tea was just ok, but lacked the spiciness that I like so much in chai tea.  It was really, really sweet and needed a bit more of the spiciness to balance out the sugariness.  The Pineapple Chipotle was a miss for me.  I would definitely skip it next time.  There was very little pineapple flavor at all – just the slightest hint.  And there was no flavor or heat from the chipotle.  The chocolate was very one-note, and that note was sugar!  All the sugar!  It was so overly sweet that no other flavors shone through, so that was a disappointment.

Le Macaron - Chocolates

Le Macaron – Chocolates

Overall, Le Macaron is just ok.  The service was decent, but not great.  The macarons and chocolates were average and perhaps a bit overpriced, especially considering that they are made elsewhere.  The main thing that Le Maracon has going for it is location.  Its prime spot on the lower level of The Avenues Mall makes it a convenient place to meet up for coffee or to stop in for a snack while shopping.  And I would imagine it would be a dream location for a little girls’ birthday party.  But there are plenty of other spots in town to find better, bigger, locally made maracons and sweets.  If you are looking for the best macarons in town, I would look elsewhere.  But if you are just looking to satisfy your sweet tooth and you happen to be near The Avenues Mall, go ahead and give Le Macaron a try…just don’t expect to be blown away.

Le Macaron - Counter

Le Macaron – Counter

Le Macaron

Le Macaron

Le Macaron - Basil Center

Le Macaron – Basil Center

Le Macaron - Pineapple Chipotle and Chai Tea

Le Macaron – Pineapple Chipotle and Chai Tea

 


For this review we welcome a member of our own JRR family:  Rhonda Kovar is a former call center manager turned stay-at-home mom.  She grew up in the heart of North Carolina and moved to Florida after getting hitched in 2002.  She is a graduate of Lenoir-Rhyne University and a lover of all things crafty, musical, or edible.  Rhonda loves finding new and delicious ways to turn her two tiny picky eaters into future foodies.  You can follow her on Instagram.

8 Comments
  1. I agree and it seems like they freeze there macaroons. I got that just from a sample and decided not to buy any. I will offer an amazing place to get macaroons its sweet motions in 5 points there macaroons are made fresh everyday and are amazing

  2. I agree with this review as my experience this afternoon was dismal. The man behind the countet was just so rude. The macarons are dented and not fresh.

  3. I am very surprised from the negative criticism concerning the Macaron!
    I had a very good experience all the way. The quality of the macarons was very suitable for my palate, not over sugary, with a very subtle flavor!
    I had find out that they where gluten free, no artificial flavor, neither artificial colors.
    The service was very plaisant, I resist the chocolate even though after been giving one to try by one of the owners
    I skip to buy some but it was very good
    I had order a coffee that was served to me at the table, highly appreciated from me, I like good service.
    This lovely place is highly recommendable

  4. What a cute store! I discovered LE MACARON last weekend at the Avenues Mall. The staff was very accommodating – I had many questions, and they took the time to answer all of them despite the rush (customers were coming in non stop).
    I ordered 3 macarons (lemon, chocolate, lavender ). They were very delicate and tasted so good! I love that they bring it to you at your table.
    I took more macarons home for my family. They were gone in seconds! Will be back!

  5. This is a darling and delicious discovery. The quality of everthing is excellent: the gelatos burst with deep flavors and the macarons have the perfect texture and sweetness with so many yummy varieties to choose. The espresso drink and chocolate filled pastry were also outstanding. Service was personable, professional and prompt. Mu friend and I felt welcomed and relaxed while enjoying a variety of this establishment’s delicious treats and beautiful atmosphere. There is also another shop in Riverside; and they serve breakfast – looking forward to visiting that location soon.

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