The coffee-and-pastry trailer La Boîte (‘The Box') is like an aggregator site on the Web, tracking down interesting bits from local content producers, repackaging it and adding enough original content to make it its own.
The producers are places like Casa Brasil for coffee, Animal Organic Farms for greens, Pederson's Natural Farms for ham, Farmhouse Delivery for fruit and Dai Due for sausage and spreads.
Owners Victoria Davies and Dan Bereczki make way for sandwiches, too, but two things make La Boîte more than just a South Austin bake sale on a street-corner card table — or in this case an old 20-foot-by-8 foot shipping container mounted on wheels and painted white. Those two things are macarons and almond croissants.
The macarons ($1.75 each, $4.95 for three) qualify as original content, a watercolor spectrum of French-styled sandwich cookies that have become the stock-photo darlings of daily-deal sites on the Internet. At La Boîte, you might find a macaron cradling salted caramel between blonde cookie shells nearly as delicate as meringue, or a pink pomegranate one with a center that tastes and chews like a strawberry Starburst.
For almond croissants, La Boîte takes full advantage of its role as an aggregator, drawing from the independent Amity Bakery run by Barrie Cullinan, who served as pastry chef of Vespaio and Enoteca for five years. Cullinan supplies La Boîte with croissants, stuffed brioche and pan au lait sandwich breads. Her almond croissants ($2.25) are layered and flaked inside, not as air-puffed as a standard butter croissant but somehow creamy in the center as if they were hiding a Snack Pack in there. Cullinan said that luscious effect is the product of a pre-oven amaretto soak and a butter topping. The croissants are tiled with toasted almond slices like plates of armor and hit with a dusting of powdered sugar.
Gossamer-flaked butter croissants ($1.95) taste like bakery air in the dark morning hours before dawn. A variation with chocolate ($2.30) carries more weight, with a little half-melted payoff in almost every bite, not just a nugget at the core like so many other versions of pain au chocolat.
As morning gives way to lunchtime on the little stools under the gull-wing awnings, La Boîte answers with a daily duo of sandwiches for $5.95, one always being vegetarian. And from a full line of hot and cold espressos, lattes, mochas and Zhi teas, maybe the afternoon calls for a second cup of smoky French-press coffee ($1.75 for 16 ounces).
Austin is on track to get another cup of La Boîte, Davies said. They're renovating another shipping container for a spot downtown, hoping to open by the end of the year.
La Boîte. 1700 S. Lamar Blvd. 377-6198, www.laboitecafe.com Hours: 7:30 a.m. to around 4:30 p.m. Mondays-Fridays, 8 a.m. to about 4 p.m. Saturdays-Sundays.