The home of a former hot dog shop didn't stay dark very long. A French bakery opened last month in the old Uncle Franky's near the University of Minnesota campus.
The Hot Dish touched base with owner Donald Thao to find out more about Le CrazyTaste's origins and offerings.[jump]
After living for several decades in France, Donald Thao and his wife moved to Minnesota with Donald's brother, Paul, who had trained as a baker in their adopted country (the family is Hmong, originally from Thailand). Now Paul runs the kitchen at Le CrazyTaste, turning out everything from French eclairs to American cheesecake to Southeast Asian soups.
Thao says they've kept prices low--nothing is more than $5--in order to attract Dinkytown's budget-conscious students. The shop offers basic soups, sandwiches, and soft pretzels, plus sweets such as chocolate croissants, raisin rolls, and macarons. "The first week we baked only French pastries, but some of them were not very familiar to the customers," says Thao. They asked us about doing donuts and cookies--more American products--so those are things we added a couple days later."
Le CrazyTaste also makes genoise birthday cakes, and, between now and the holidays will offer the traditional French yule log cake, or bouche de Noel. And if you're wondering how Thao came up with the bakery's French-American fusion name, he says he liked the way Americans described food as being "crazy good" and used it as an adjective.
Le CrazyTaste 1316 SE 4th St., Minneapolis, 612-331-4388 Hours: Mon-Fri, 10am-8pm