The furthest thing from a pop-and-brown repast. I’ve sampled this pastry all over the world; some excellent, some good, most poor. What's involved in doing it better than good besides traveling across the pond? Several days of labor intensive work combined with years of European style baking experience. Caution- do not attempt at home. There are no short cuts. The multi day process creates this heavenly butter-laden pastry. Desired result? Picture approximately eighty flakey layers of butter and dough that should melt in your mouth and at the same time leave crumbs all over the table. Those are the signs that you might be eating something in the vicinity of a good croissant.
As history tells, this Austrian pastry, a creation by the Emperor of Austria's French baker, was created to celebrate the defeat of the Ottoman Empire during an attempted siege on Vienna in 1683. Oh shock- it’s not French, but close enough!
The other key to finding that good croissant; seek out a true boulangiere vs. the fastfood mass produced version that’s gone by way of drive-thru burgers. But, I've found one worldwide chain of Belgian origin that pulls it off, Le Pain Quotidien.