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Any New Bakeries in Boston or Cambridge?

b
brownie Oct 18, 2006 03:27 PM

I used to live in Boston, but haven't been up there in several years. I am a fan of the Hi-Rise (yes, i know they're $$) because they are a more whole-wheat, less processed ingredients sort of bakery, if that makes sense. As an example: I love their brown bread, maple scones, oatmeal cherry cookies. So, I'm going up this weekend and wondering if there are any new bakeries along these lines that I should investigate? Sadly, my trip won't get to be otherwise chow-y since the folks i'm visiting aren't really into that (sad, i know!). Therefore, getting to discover something new in the baked goods world would make me so happy! I'm restricting it to Boston/Cambridge b/c I'll be centered there and not going to have a ton of time to go farther afield. Maybe as far as the T-stop after Harvard Sq (yes, i can't remember the name) and if possible, I'll trek over to the South End, though it'd have to be not too much farther than Tremont.
Thanks in advance!

  1. m
    MasalaWala Oct 19, 2006 08:20 PM

    I am really surprised that no one has mentioned the wonderful treats at Petsi's Pies! She is not to far from Porter Sq (the one after Harvard) on Beacon St. She has wonderful scones (vanilla fig is amazing!) and muffins (banana chocolate chip) and cookies. And, she is the happiest person in the world!

    1. Boatrocker Oct 19, 2006 07:31 PM

      Yes, Iggy's is sort of in the middle of nowhere, but if you ever want to get there by public transit, it can be done. The No.78 Park Circle/Blanchard bus from Harvard Square runs out Concord Ave. It should take about 10 minutes (except in heavy traffic)to get to Fawcett St, just after the second rotary. Then it's barely a 10 minute walk to Iggy's. If you time it well, you will have time to select some goodies, then catch the bus on the way back to Harvard Sq. The 74 Belmont Center bus will also take you out Concord Ave, but sometimes it morphs into the No.75 Belmont Center and avoids that section of Concord Ave. I have never made this particular trip, but I have some familiarity with the neighborhood. I hope I haven't bored everyone with this message, but when ya gotta have Iggy's, ya gotta have Iggy's.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Boatrocker
        itaunas Oct 19, 2006 07:36 PM

        Fawcett is also walkable from Alewife and it can be a bit quicker if you cut across behind Circle Furniture and reckon your way through the parking lots instead of going all the way to the rotary. Although its occasionally possible to cross the railroad tracks directly, just don't do that.

      2. MichaelB Oct 18, 2006 07:19 PM

        Mariposa might be new since you were here -- on Mass Ave in Cambridge between Central Sq. and MIT. Nice people, very good baked goods, though a quirkier and much smaller selection than places like Hi-Rise and Flour. I work nearby and REALLY like their sandwiches (especially the roasted eggplant), but I don't know what the hours and selection are like on weekends. Oh, and I heard that they just opened some sort of chocolate bar? Locally-made chocolates and such like. Now that I write that I can't believe I haven't done my houndish duty and checked it out yet.

        Iggy's moved it's main bakery from Watertown to Cambridge, near Fresh Pond in west industrial nowheresville (definitely need a car or bike to get there) and their stuff is as good as ever, as well as a bit cheaper bought from the source. Check hours if you decide to go there as well, I think they close early-ish on sundays. Like the old location, it's strictly take-out.

        6 Replies
        1. re: MichaelB
          littlelady Oct 18, 2006 07:43 PM

          i also like mariposa- but i think it's important to emphasize that it's a LOT quirkier. in my experience, they don't always have the same baked goods (i.e. about three months ago, i had an amazing slice of chocolate chip cake there- they haven't had it any time that i've visited since then) and their selection runs out pretty quickly.

          1. re: MichaelB
            MB fka MB Oct 20, 2006 02:48 AM

            The bummer about Mariposa is that their coffee is wretched. Great cookies and I like the pretzel rolls in the morning instead of something super sugary.

            The new chocolate "shop" is actually a lounge according to this bit of PR: http://www.tazachocolate.com/
            I've not yet tried it, but one owner who I've met is clearly super passionate about the product (and strikes me as an all around great guy but that might be because he's a cool cyclist).

            Otherwise, ditto on Flour bakery. Those "oreos" are so good.

            1. re: MB fka MB
              limster Oct 20, 2006 05:30 AM

              Thanks to a tip from Pat Hammond, I tried the choc lounge. Several dessert plates, the choc fondue was very popular and looked like a good deal (serving for 2 at $12). Sampled their south american chocolates plate, about 5 bite sized pieces of each varietal, 3 varietals in all, along with a ordinary orange sorbet garnished with a mint chiffonade that could be sliced a lot more finely.

              Chuao (Venezuela) - fairly balanced, but a bit less pronounced fruit than I was expecting for this varietal but generally balanced. Grainy in texture, probably due to tempering issues. Not very satisyfing overall.

              Puerto Cabello (Venezuela) - much better - more earthy robust aromas, good structure and a solid background of fruitty flavour. Smooth texture, decent sheen on the choc, the chocolate crumbles and melts smoothly and evenly on the tongue even if it's missing a a brilliant snap.

              Ecuador - I've always been very fond of Ecuadorian chocolates, this one is excellent - a long beautiful finish, full of what seemed to me of a milky coffee flavour and malt. A lovely transformation of the exotic woodsy flavours that I often taste in Ecuadorian chocs made from Forastero beans.

              At $9 this seemed a bit on the expensive side, given that the amount of chocolate wasn't a lot (perhaps close to a bar of domori) and there was very little labour in putting together a dessert like this (scoop sorbet, cut mint, break a few pieces of choc and place on plate). In contrast, one would get a comparable amount of significantly better chocolate in a $7 bar of Domori Porcelana (a rare Venezuelan Criollo varietal) or $8ish (depends on exchange rate) bar of Fleur de Cacao from the incomparable Pierre Marcolini. I'd probably get the hot choc or a choc fondue the next time, they seem to be better values. The bar chocs are worth tasting, but I'd try to get them at the farmers market instead.

              1. re: limster
                MB fka MB Oct 20, 2006 01:46 PM

                Great feedback. Thx.

              2. re: MB fka MB
                tatamagouche Oct 21, 2006 11:33 AM

                Am I missing something? I looked at their website and on the lounge page, it lists their hours as Thurs evenings only. But that could refer to a special thing they're doing w/ Mariposa...it's confusing. At any rate, I assume they're open more than one evening a week?

                1. re: tatamagouche
                  limster Oct 21, 2006 05:29 PM

                  I think it's only thurs evenings.

            2. g
              greengage Oct 18, 2006 04:53 PM

              ooh--seconded. Sorry--Canto 6 is probably out of your geographic range but Flour is definitely worth the very scenic walk through the South End. Cheddar scallion scones, home-made "Oreos" and on the weekend some amazing doughnuts crusted with sugar and stuffed full of vanilla whipped cream.

              1. n
                Northshoregirl Oct 18, 2006 04:23 PM

                I highly recommend Flour, on Washington St in the South End (about 3 blocks up from Mass Ave). It's slightly out of the area you specified, but it's great. Beautiful pastries, some stuff you don't find everywhere, and great coffee. It's a small place that's usually crowded--for good reason. Their sandwiches and quiche are wonderful, so maybe you could drag your non-Chow friends there for a casual lunch.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Northshoregirl
                  Pia Oct 20, 2006 02:18 AM

                  If you're at Flour on Sunday, get the fresh custard-filled doughnuts... so good!

                2. g
                  greengage Oct 18, 2006 03:54 PM

                  Very happy with the new Canto 6 in JP which took over our beloved Bread & Butter. Great pastries and cookies (hazelnut chocolate chunk...) but what knocks me out are the canneles--the best I'm ever had anywhere. Also very tasty quiche and I'm not usually a big quiche fan--last weekend it was caramelized onion and roasted potato. Num.

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