In one corner of the Grand America Hotel, which stands majestically tall just south of the downtown core of Salt Lake City, sits the charming little La Bonne Vie. This "pretty in pink" patisserie serves up French pastries (including an assortment of colorful macarons), Italian gelato, artisanal chocolates, cakes, tarts, and more. But what catches my eye is the specialty of the house: the Grand America Bread Pudding ($5).
You can get a fancified version of this in the hotel's Garden Café for nearly twice the price, but the to-go version is quite decadent on its own. Made from croissant pieces and lots of eggs (with extra yolks thrown in for good measure), the bread pudding is rich and remarkably moist, even after time in the showcase. The outside is firm, but yields easily to a spoon plunged into the soft interior.
It's great on its own, but you'll likely be adding a little (okay, maybe a lot) of the accompanying rum sauce to bathe this baby with extra elegance and extravagance. The sauce has a caramel flavor (and just a hint of rum) that sweetens the bread pudding without overwhelming it. I only wish La Bonne Vie had seating so I could enjoy the bread pudding while thumbing through the fine selection of dessert-oriented cookbooks in the giftshop.
La Bonne Vie, Grand America Hotel
About the author: Jay Friedman is a Seattle-based freelance food writer who happens to travel extensively as a sex educator. An avid fan of noodles (some call him "The Mein Man"), he sees sensuality in all foods, and blogs about it at his Gastrolust website. You can follow him on Twitter @jayfriedman.