I butcher the pronounciation every time I order it. Pahl-ee-may, palm-me-ey, palm-may. Sometimes I just ask for elephant ears. It's puff pastry deliciousness. What's not to like about a baked treat made with layers of puff pasty, butter and sugar? I visited a total of 3 bakeries and ranked their palmiers. There really isn't a methodology to my ranking. I ate and ate some more.
#3: Cesi-Cela's palmier ($2.50) was my least favorite out of the 3 palmiers. Which isn't to say it wasn't good. It was good, but just not as good as the other 2. I wished it was a little less dense and would flake apart a little more easily. The bottom is nicely caramelized though which gives it a nice chewy texture.
#2: Épicerie Boulud does a nice, tasty palmier ($3). As you can see, the shape is a little different from other palmiers, but it's easier to eat since it's easier to break off pieces. Very buttery, the texture is nice and it's pretty darn tasty. It's super flaky and melts in your mouth.
#1: Balthazar Bakery is one of my favorite bakeries in the city (love their soy lattes) and they do a solid palmier. It's excellent. Just chewy, flaky and sugary enough. It's a great balance and this one was my favorite. Also, at $1.25, the least expensive. They sell out early in the afternoon, so get there before noon if you want one.
Not technically a palmier, the Arlette ($3) at Dominique Ansel Bakery is basically a flattened palmier covered in cinnamon and sugar. It was pretty good. Not ranked since it's not a true palmier.
Is there a place in Manhattan that you think has a great palmier that I'm missing out on? Let me know!