Located in the quirky, hip area of Lower Greenville, Joy Macarons is like a slice of heaven amid the plethora of nightclubs. The yellow metal frame around its glass doors and windows strikes a pleasing contrast to the weathered red brick behind it. A delicate, white and lighted sign is placed above the storefront.
Walking inside, the first thing you’ll notice is the mural of people with their heads replaced by macarons on the left wall. The actual patisserie is quite narrow – there is only room for two or three people to stand side-by-side from the left wall to the counter.
The counter itself is a showcase for the artfully organized, brilliant-hued macarons, separated by color. Looking at them, I couldn’t help but feel like I was gazing at pieces of art.
I asked the attendant to give me the six most popular flavors: salted caramel, rose and lychee, lemon fleur de sel, almond, honey and lavender and butter pecan – flavors quite different than the typical chocolate, vanilla and strawberry.
In addition, I also ordered a Butterfinger-flavored macaron ice cream sandwich. The ice cream sandwich were chocolate and much larger than the ones on display, and there was a generous amount of Butterfinger-infused ice cream in the middle.
Biting into each macaron was a surprise. I didn’t know what to expect, due to the unique flavors. I found that salted caramel was my favorite, followed by butter pecan. The salted caramel had a refined sweetness with a hint of salt, and the butter pecan was rich and nutty.
The fun, adventurous, floral flavors were made for someone with a much more refined palate than mine. The honey lavender and rose lychee did not actually taste like a flower, but somehow, when you bit into it, the smell of lavender or rose was present. Each macaron tasted delicate and naturally sweet, with no artificial sweetener.
The last two, lemon fleur de sel and almond, were the most startling. For starters, in the lemon fleur de sel, I expected sweet, fresh notes of citrus. But there was a hidden ingredient in the middle: a salty lemon puree. To my surprise, it complimented the overall flavor nicely. The almond wasn’t my personal favorite. I couldn’t get over its sickly sweet floral smell.
Lastly, the ice cream sandwich. This was by far the best item I ordered. The light, chewy texture of the chocolate macarons and the crunchy sweetness of the Butterfinger ice cream was truly amazing. I would suggest getting this first, as it is a treat one could only enjoy fresh.
This is a good place to go if you’re a macaron enthusiast. If not, I would suggest starting off with one of the more traditional flavors they offer, such as chocolate or raspberry, or perhaps an ice cream sandwich. However, if you enjoy sophisticated floral notes or are up for an adventure, by all means, order the honey and lavender.
If you’re ever looking for a delicate dessert to top your night out, stop by Joy Macarons and request a box of their most popular treats – they’ll be sure to please.
– Ponette Kim – Staff Writer -