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Feb 23, 2006 05:08 PM

Athan's Bakery... disappointing

  • l

After reading about Athan's Bakery on this board and checking out their website, I decided to go there (Washington Square) around 10:30am today. I don't have a car so I rely on the T. I ordered a Jamaica (dark chocolate torte), Bolero (milk chocolate torte)and Sara Bernhardt (strawberry torte). At $3.95 each, they better be good I thought. After getting home (1 hr later) the first thing I did was take a bite out of the strawberry torte. I was so disappointed when the genoise cake that was supposed to be soft was instead hard and rubbery. It was stale!!! For all you bakers out there, you know that despite refrigeration sponge cakes don't get this hard after a few hours. The piece that I got must've been 2 if not 3 days old. The "fresh" strawberry that they used as garnish should've given it away because it looked like dried fruit instead. I decided take it back even if it meant walking one mile to board the bus to get there. They offered to give me another one but I wanted my money back (why would I want another stale pastry?) but the owner/chef refused. I said, "Well you just lost a good customer." The owner/chef then replied "I don't need a customer like you!" A customer like me??? What, one who expects quality and decency after paying $3.95 for an individual cake? Unbelievable... So the moral of this story is if you plan on going to Athan's make sure you check the quality of their goods before you leave their store. Otherwise you just might have to waste your time going back there and have to put up with their horrible customer service. As for me, this will be the first and last time I ever go there. What they have to offer I can find elsewhere with much better treatment.

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  1. Sorry you had an unsatisfactory experience. I have gotten their pastries and cakes dozens of times and always found them to be fantastic, and sure crowd pleasers.

    1. Wow, you travelled that far for Athan's, I would have told you not to bother. I have a friend that lives around the corner who had the same expereince, but they did not offer to replace the pastry. Same rude final response, so he no longer goes there either. I find it a place to go in a pinch that's close for people in the neighborhood. The mousse fillings that they use for practically all of their pasties gets tiring after a while. Live and learn.

      1. I also read such great things and went there about 6 months ago. I was not impressed at all! Not sure why people love it- I thought it was average at best.

        1. I'm not much of a pastry fan so I can't comment, however, their gelato (esp the chocolate) is fantastic.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Notorious P

            I had an opportunity recently to try their Green Tea Gelato. It had a nice taste...not overly sweet.

            1. re: Notorious P

              I am not a cake/pastry fan so I can't weigh in on that topic, but I agree the gelato is v. good. I like the yogurt flavor.

              1. re: yumyum

                I agree that the gelato is excellent.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  i've tried the green tea, chocolate, hazelnut, pistachio, and black current gelatos. All are tea and chocolate are great. Black forest cake is your best bet, but i dont think any of the pastrys are anything special, even when they're fresh. One thing good I can say about the pastries and gelatos are that they don't over sweeten them.

              2. I had a like experience. With Daniel's an awesome local bakery just steps away there is truly no reason to head to Athans for overpriced and underquality baked goods.

                Also as an FYI Athans doesn't make their own Gelato if I remember correctly (I may not).

                Hopefully in the future people will try Daniels for good old fashion local baked goods.


                4 Replies
                1. re: Tzonis

                  Where is Daniel's? I didn't eve know it existed.

                  The large tiramisu cake is pretty good at Athan's.
                  Some of the other cakes use the same mousse filling, but there is some variety. I've never had a stale one and have been there a half dozen times.

                  1. re: Tzonis

                    The OP cited the Washington Square location in Brookline. Daniels is a few steps from the Brighton Center Athan's, which is relatively new. I have enjoyed the tortes at Athans and found the quality and freshness to be excellent and good value and it It also servesa nice inexpensive dinner. I really like Daniels for macaroons, plum pudding and bread but it is a very different kind of bakery. Both Athans for tortes and greek pastries and Daniels are nice additions to the Brighton Center scene.

                    1. re: Tzonis

                      Daniels is excellent. Real whipped cream on their cakes, so good.

                      1. re: Tzonis

                        They claim that they make it themselves