The saga of the Cronut: Why I waited two hours for a pastry

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A group of people wait in line on 7th Street for the Cronuts at Midnight event on Sunday, March 9. The line stretched from the entrance to the Intercontinental Hotel past Trinity Street.
A group of people wait in line on 7th Street for the Cronuts at Midnight event on Sunday, March 9. The line stretched from the entrance to the Intercontinental Hotel past Trinity Street.

For those of you who don’t know what the Cronut is, first of all, bless you. If I had never been exposed to the media craze surrounding Chef Dominique Ansel’s combination croissant-donut, I probably (definitely) would not have spent my Sunday night at SXSW waiting in a ridiculous line to get into the exclusive Cronut At Midnight party. Yes, when I could have been seeing a film premiere or attending a fancy Interactive party, I waited in line. For food. As per usual. 

Before any judgement is passed, here’s some context: In New York City, home of the beloved Cronut, Chef Ansel makes a very limited number of pastries each day, so the lines to receive a Cronut are actually insane. On a daily basis, hundreds are turned away from their Cronut-y dreams after waiting in lines for hours, only to return the next day to wait again like the true warriors that they are.

Understandably, the day that the Cronuts arrived in Austin along with their glorious French creator, I was ecstatic. Ansel also used SXSW as an opportunity to release a brand new dessert called The Cookie Shot, which is basically a chocolate chip cookie formed into the shape of a shot glass and filled with cold milk.

The wait began at 10 p.m. Sunday night. It was a brutal two and a half hours — during which I may have questioned my values, ethics, friends and lack of a social life — but never the end goal. To hold a Cronut in my hands. 

As the line grew longer, we Cronut enthusiasts began to attract some attention.

This is a list of the six best things people yelled at me while I was waiting in line for Cronuts.

1. “What is this line for? Justin Bieber?”
2. “You’re waiting in line for food on a Sunday?”
3. “The Cronuts? Is that a band?”
4. “What is wrong with you people.”
5. “Well that’s America for you.”
6. “LOOK AT YOURSELVES.”

Eventually, after enduring hours of torment from clearly ignorant passersby, the doors were opened and we were ushered inside, where we waited (you guessed it) in about three more lines. I could not be more serious about how exclusive this event was. For each line I waited in, my hand was stamped, which I assume was to deter any Cronut line two-timers from sneaking back in line. 

At the front of the final line stood THE Dominique Ansel himself, welcoming me into his open arms. It all seems like a blur now, but I may have embraced him and whispered, "bless you, you glorious chef." After a brief altercation between Ansel's team of Cronut wranglers and the overenthusiastic man in front of me, I was finally presented with the Cronut flavor of the month: milk and honey with a hint of lavender. 

Maybe it sounds strange, but it was incredibly worth it. The important thing is that food will always prevail, above all else. Thank you, pastry gods.