illustration by Michael Hoeweler
The best way to combat the cold, gray mornings of late winter is to roll yourself in the covers until surrounded in layers—like the tender center of a Trung Nam croissant. Inside this humble-looking St. Paul bakery, these airy croissants, with crackling exteriors and buttery insides, beg to be torn into. Owner Tony Le grew up in Vietnam and worked in a French bakery in Seattle before moving to the Twin Cities. His croissants’ ethereal dough melts fast on the tongue, and gild the lily with Vietnamese coffee—ground fine and steeped until jet-fuel strength, its bitterness balanced by sweet, creamy condensed milk.