Earlier this month, I flew to Boston to attend a good friend’s wedding. It had to be a quick trip as it was a busy time at work but I wouldn’t have missed seeing my friend Kendra get married. I took the redeye on Thursday night (note to self, “first class” on United does not mean the seats recline flat nor does it even provide access to the airport lounge so it was a total ripoff; #neveragain), arrived in Boston Friday morning, the wedding was on Friday night, there was a post-wedding brunch on Saturday morning, I hung out with my friend Rebecca afterwards then I took the “T” (Boston’s subway) to my hotel in Back Bay to spend Saturday afternoon through Sunday afternoon in Boston.
I love Boston. I haven’t been back in almost 7 years but I love Boston. As a tourist, I love the ease of getting around the city, I love the history and, being me, I love exploring the places to eat, namely the new-to-me bakeries.
Like any good foodie, I did my homework ahead of time to see which places I wanted to visit that were in walking distance of my hotel. From mid-afternoon Saturday to early afternoon Sunday, I had time to hit 4 bakeries and the Shake Shack, all fortunately within a few miles each way or less from my hotel.
First stop was Flour. It was listed as one of the Top 10 Bakeries in Boston on the lists I’d checked. Thanks to comfy sandals and GPS on my phone, I reached Flour without incident and found it pretty bustling for a Saturday afternoon. I’m used to most bakeries doing the height of their business in the mornings (for the fresh baked bread) and running out of baked goods in the late afternoon.
Flour was still pretty well stocked and doing brisk business. It had the added advantage of offering sandwiches, salads and soups and a large enough area to accommodate tables and counter height seating so it was more like a café than a bakery. As clichéd as it was, I couldn’t resist buying a slice of Boston cream pie (when in Boston….) as well as a milk chocolate hazelnut cookie. As a rule, I don’t buy cookies at bakeries unless they look really compelling. This cookie ($2 price tag) was more modest but I’d tried Flour’s chocolate chip cookie recipe from their baking book and wanted a taste of it from their bakery.
It was okay. See, this is why I rarely buy bakery cookies because I’m such an awful cookie snob. There was nothing wrong with the cookie but it was also something I could easily make and I would probably have enjoyed it better if I had eaten it within 10 minutes of it coming out of my oven when it was still warm.
The Boston Cream Pie was more promising. Y’all know a Boston cream pie isn’t actually a pie but a cake, right? I know, it’s confusing. But true. Boston cream pie is layers of yellow cake filled with vanilla custard and topped with chocolate icing. Not a thin glaze, not a thick frosting but an icing that covers the top completely but only dribbles down the sides. I am not fond of custard-y filling unless it’s the pastry cream I make so Boston cream pie isn’t one of my favorite desserts. This one was pretty good though. I couldn’t eat very much of it because I’d already had (more than) my share of desserts by the time I tried it but for $6, they gave me a fairly good-sized piece and the cake was done well. The custard filling kept the cake moist and the fudge icing nicely complemented the yellow cake.