Saturday, July 20, 2013

Eating Boston: Flour Bakery and Bee's Knees

Being the huge Food Network fan that I am, I had to make a pilgrimage to one of the Flour Bakery locations while I was in Boston. Lucky (or unlucky) for me, there was one less than half a mile away from my hotel! 

For those not in the know, Flour Bakery was started by Joanne Chang, a smart chick who graduated from Harvard with a degree in applied mathematics and economics, then left the business world to start a bakery. She's best known for her great bakeries in Boston, her restaurant, Myers and Chang, her cookbooks (the first of which I often bake from here on this site!)... and for kicking Bobby Flay's butt in a sticky-bun thrown down.

(Side note: I totally initially typed "Booby Flay"-- whoops!)

The cafe is decorated with tons of chalkboard paint, weathered wood, and pops of yellow. So cute!

The cafe menu looked fabulous. Normally I'm not one to pass up on a good quinoa salad, but I was on a mission...

I bought a bucketload of treats (the response from the cashier was "is this really all for you?!"), and headed outside.

Oh, the anticipation!

(Not pictured: a second box of treats that the gentleman helping me so graciously wrapped in saran wrap so I could bring treats home safely to Minnesota!)

I chose a pretty wide selection of treats. Clockwise from left: Peanut butter cookie (chocolate chunk cookie underneath), double chocolate Tcho cookie, granola bar, and apple snacking cake.

I may or may not have spoiled my dinner by ripping off a piece of each and trying them.

The cookies were incredible-- perfectly baked and tender, and just so soft that they fell apart in your hands. The peanut butter had the right hit of salt and a crunch of peanuts. Both of the chocolate chip cookies were the best I've ever had from a bakery-- deep, dark, and rich. You can tell Joanne uses only the best chocolate-- I didn't even need more than a bite or two of these HUGE cookies to satisfy my craving.

The "Granola Bar" was amazing, but not a granola bar in the traditional sense... more like a fancy, hippie-fied fig newton. The cakiness was divine, and the filling that the right amount of chew. Definitely not a health food, though. I can't wait to try my hand at this one soon.

The apple snacking cake was incredible. Moist, packed with fresh apples, and generously spiced. I'll be adding a bit of honey to this and calling it my Rosh Hashanah cake this year, for sure!

(Of course, I grabbed one of the famous sticky buns and am consuming it in the airport as I write this. You can see that it's on my lap-- but not for long!)

The sticky bun was very nice, but not what I expected, to be honest. It was a delicious, sweet brioche dough, topped with a VERY vanilla-y syrupy caramel and bucket loads of chopped pecans. Very good, but I could only have a few bites before I was done. It was SO sweet, and the vanilla was so strong... I normally like a more caramelly caramel and a bit of salt in mine. Still, very good-- I can see why it has such a strong following. I'd probably pick the apple cake or the cookies over this next time, though.

I then went next door to Bee's Knees Supply Company, since I had heard great things from a friend about their chocolates.

Super-cute, quaint, boutique food store.  I killed an hour just poking around. I hate checking my suitcase, but I almost did so that I could bring home some of the local sauces and treats they sold!

But I was on a mission... to the chocolate bar!

I have yet to try these truffles (trying to extend the Boston experience until I get home), but I am quite excited. Peppermint patties, salted caramels, chai-spice truffles (which they dub "The Bengal Tiger"), and peanut butter and jelly candies! 

Until next time, Boston! Thank you for feeding my

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