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French Macaroons in Greater Boston?

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lam78 Jul 21, 2008 08:56 PM

Has anyone come across a pastry shop or small business that does great french macaroons? There used to be a man who sold his macaroons to Formaggio but I was told that he moved back to France. The ones they sell there now are not that good.

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  1. WilliamTheFoodie RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 07:46 AM

    Burdick's on Brattle Street in Harvard Square has about the best I have been able to find. Not exactlt the perfect Parisian macaroon but the closest you will find here.

    4 Replies
    1. re: WilliamTheFoodie
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      hoppinfrog RE: WilliamTheFoodie Jul 22, 2008 09:49 AM

      I really like the macaroons at Petit Robert Bistro on Comm Ave. I'm not neccessarily a connoisseur, but you can sit at the bar downstairs and actually watch the pastry chef at work. Flavors change seasonally.

      1. re: hoppinfrog
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        Dontwannatellyou RE: hoppinfrog Dec 26, 2008 01:42 PM

        I was at PRB-Kenmore Square for Christmas lunch and the wonderful macaroons are no longer on the menu. Instead, they offer "5 French cookies" for $5.50. When I asked, I was told only one was a macaroon, and only chocolate, so I passed.

        That said, I always get the plain almond ones at New Paris Bakery, 10 Cypress Street, Brookline. I've been going for years and they have delighted dozens of co-workers over the years. Not the sandwich type, which I find too rich. Just almond, just delicious.

      2. re: WilliamTheFoodie
        coookie RE: WilliamTheFoodie Jul 24, 2008 12:02 PM

        last i checked (admittedly, a year or more ago), burdick's called their version "luxembourgers." i'm not sure if they're attempting to be punny (given the vaguely burger-esque shape of the macaron), but in any case, i found them consistently a little stale with too dense a filling.

        edit: apologies to the burdick's employee below. sorry! it does sound as if you have more flavors now. perhaps i'll give them another try.

        1. re: coookie
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          clearstatic RE: coookie Oct 27, 2008 04:01 PM

          Um, I went today bought coffee, citrus, and chocolate. Let me tell you what a let down : (. I go to BU and it wasn't THAT far, but when you're riding the T thinking about how incredible they're gonna be and then when you get there you get stale macarons... let me tell you not a good feeling.

          I guess I'm spoiled because my dad used to bring me Ladurée macarons when he went to paris, but still! UGH the ones at PRB were much better

          edit: The chocolate and the coffee ones were stale...the citrus one was fresh and actually decent

      3. pondrat RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 01:12 PM

        A good alternative ironically on a Chowhound gift guide today:

        http://www.chow.com/stories/11119/10#bd

        8 Replies
        1. re: pondrat
          Allstonian RE: pondrat Jul 22, 2008 01:30 PM

          Not really a good alternative at all unless you happen to be in Beverly Hills. You can go to the website and order some macarons, but only for pickup in person at their bakery. They don't ship.

          1. re: Allstonian
            pondrat RE: Allstonian Jul 23, 2008 10:16 AM

            Sorry about that...They do have a shipping option on their "order online" section but it seems to be disabled...

            1. re: pondrat
              Allstonian RE: pondrat Jul 23, 2008 10:32 AM

              Yep - if you look at the "order online" page it says:
              Create your personal bouquet from our selection of 12 everyday classics and seasonal specialties, and use our convenient online order system* for in-store pickup**

              1. re: Allstonian
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                Queen Frostine RE: Allstonian Jul 23, 2008 03:39 PM

                actually you can get them shipped. my sister ordered me a box for christmas this year. they were yummy. not as good as the ones in france but the best american ones i have had. i will have to try burdicks.

                1. re: Queen Frostine
                  Allstonian RE: Queen Frostine Jul 24, 2008 03:59 AM

                  I stand corrected. Even though the ordering page only gives instructions for placing an order for pickup in the store, if you email the bakery, they will ship overnight. Don't want to think how much that will cost, but there you go.

          2. re: pondrat
            limster RE: pondrat Jul 28, 2008 04:49 PM

            I'd recommend checking if La Maison du Chocolat ships from the NYC branch. IIRC, they're all choc flavoured, I remember liking the choc chestnut one, butthat was in London a couple of years ago, not sure if all the branches are the same.

            1. re: limster
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              PrincessBakesALot RE: limster Oct 27, 2008 08:08 PM

              I don't know if they ship, but the NY store has lots of flavors - mocha and caramel were both amazing. I wish there were a consistently good source closer to Boston.

              1. re: limster
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                robertlf RE: limster Oct 28, 2008 03:46 AM

                I love that place!!

            2. l
              lemonbiscotti RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 01:17 PM

              Tatte on Beacon St in Brookline (and at Copley FM) has them. They look gorgeous. Haven't sampled them yet, though.

              1. y
                y2000k RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 01:36 PM

                Aroa in South End also has macaroons. Plenty of flavors to choose from. I had some last month, though I much prefer Ladurée's in Paris.

                1. voodoocheese RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 03:46 PM

                  If you're in the South End, definitely try Aroa- although I think they are saltier than they should be; and then go to Chocolee. They have a small selection there, but I happen to think they're mighty tasty. I have to admit though- since I'm an employee of Burdick's, I tend to eat a ton of macarons everyday. Right now we have citrus/almond, raspberry, pistachio, coffee, chocolate, lavender and ginger. I eat lots of the citrus and raspberry ones myself. When fall comes back we'll have cinnamon and pumpkin to replace the ginger and lavender flavors!

                  1. g
                    Guinness02122 RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 05:54 PM

                    The Dutch Epicure in Amherst, NH has them if you're willing to take a drive. They carry other great baked prodicts, as well.

                    1. mini_me RE: lam78 Jul 22, 2008 07:11 PM

                      Echoing some of the other posters. Burdick's has the best you can find in Boston. I didn't like the ones from Aroa.

                      I have some photos of the macaroons from Burdick's on my blog.
                      http://bostonchomps.blogspot.com/2008...

                      Also more macaroon photos and a review from Aroa
                      http://bostonchomps.blogspot.com/2008...

                      Hope this helps!

                      13 Replies
                      1. re: mini_me
                        rlh RE: mini_me Jul 23, 2008 07:19 PM

                        Totally agree about Aroa- not worth the trip and not like the Laduree macaroons I dream of finding again without a transatlantic flight - Burdick's is the closest (and Kee's is probably my favorite chocolatier ,,,ever!). We tried 4 or 5 of the Aroa macaroons and all were very small, very tough, way too chewy with no crispiness at all, and just sweet - no really distinct flavor. The fillings were like canned frosting vs. rich buttercream or fresh whipped cream-based.

                        1. re: rlh
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                          anj RE: rlh Jul 24, 2008 11:18 AM

                          have you guys managed to have fresh macarons at burdick's? about once a year, i forget my last experience there and decide to give them another try, and every time they are crunchy and stale. the other stuff at burdick's is great, but the macarons have been a disappointment.

                          1. re: anj
                            mini_me RE: anj Jul 24, 2008 02:44 PM

                            rlh: Now I know I wasn't the only one who thought that about Aroa's macarons. I haven't tried Laduree's though. How do they compare to Pierre Hermes?

                            anj: Perhaps give it another try? I've had the macarons there several times now and they've always been fresh.

                            1. re: mini_me
                              rlh RE: mini_me Jul 25, 2008 07:26 AM

                              I have no idea how they compare- now I have a To Do and To Find place for my next visit to Paris (assuming that's where Pierre Hermes is, right?)! I've also learned from this thread that it's a different spelling for macarons - which may clear up a LITTLE confusion. I am disappointed about the freezing at Burdicks, but still maintain they are the best I've had in the area.

                            2. re: anj
                              voodoocheese RE: anj Jul 24, 2008 04:12 PM

                              I can't say that they are always perfect, I have also had a few that are stale. We get them from our main location in New Hampshire and they're kept frozen until we move them into the refrigerated pastry case. Since I have the "in," I snag them frozen- then thaw them at home. We're working on getting staffed enough to make them in the pastry kitchen we have downstairs, I can't wait for that to happen!

                              1. re: voodoocheese
                                voodoocheese RE: voodoocheese Jul 24, 2008 08:57 PM

                                Also just thought I'd mention that I took note regarding the stale Luxes- I'll make sure it's looked into. I didn't realize it was a frequent problem!
                                There was a bakery in Florida called Paul that I used to frequent. Apparently they're French, but they have a ton of stores in Fl... go figure?

                                1. re: voodoocheese
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                                  anj RE: voodoocheese Jul 25, 2008 08:19 AM

                                  thanks mini me and voodoocheese! i will be sure to give burdick's another try very soon, esp after hearing about the lavender/ginger flavor.

                                  fyi rlh: while pierre herme is certainly breathing new life into the macaron scene (i read about a wintertime chocolate/foie gras macaron! and you do need to try his "ispahan" creation, a raspberry/rose/macaron delight.), my recent paris taste test leads me to believe that laduree still, er, takes the cake.

                                  1. re: voodoocheese
                                    Dea RE: voodoocheese Jul 25, 2008 08:24 AM

                                    I work just down the street from Burdick's and treat myself to Luxemburgers about once a month, and while I have gotten stale ones in the distant past, recently they've been nothing but fresh and lovely. Pistachio and chocolate are my favorite flavors.

                                    Until I stumbled upon this thread I had no idea they were more commonly known as macarons!

                                    1. re: voodoocheese
                                      WilliamTheFoodie RE: voodoocheese Jul 26, 2008 07:11 AM

                                      I was in London recently (South Kensington) and bought pastries at Paul Boulangerie every morning. Excellent quality and freshly made. I am wondering id this is the same chain. I was hoping they'd expand to the US! It's a very European traditional bakery with a French flair but a UK chain, I beleive, selling more pastry than breads but excellent quality. The macarons (same as a Luxembourger) were fantastic and on par with Laduree of Paris.

                                      1. re: WilliamTheFoodie
                                        voodoocheese RE: WilliamTheFoodie Jul 26, 2008 01:49 PM

                                        The one in Florida sold macarons that are the size as the Burdick ones, but they also had larger ones that were at least 3-4 inches across. They were superb! I'm headed to Fl in a couple of weeks, I can't wait!

                                        This is the one that has locations in FL: http://www.paulusa.com/

                                        1. re: voodoocheese
                                          WilliamTheFoodie RE: voodoocheese Jul 27, 2008 01:49 PM

                                          It IS the same!!!! I hope they expand here - real quality goods with authentic European preparation. It does appear to be a UK based operation, though. I could not get enough of their pastries at the South Kensington location.

                                        2. re: WilliamTheFoodie
                                          limster RE: WilliamTheFoodie Jul 27, 2008 02:40 PM

                                          Paul is a French chain. They are pretty good in general, but quality varies from country to country (their baked goods and sandwiches in Paris were way better than the ones in London).

                                  2. re: rlh
                                    r
                                    robertlf RE: rlh Oct 28, 2008 03:44 AM

                                    I have to disagree here. Aroa is a great cafe.

                                2. Joanie RE: lam78 Jul 24, 2008 05:23 AM

                                  I don't know what makes a macaroon French, but I love the ones at Flour for big crispy/chewy coconut goodness.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: Joanie
                                    Allstonian RE: Joanie Jul 24, 2008 06:06 AM

                                    French macarons are an entirely different kind of cookie, closer to the almond paste macaroons that you find in Italian bakeries but smaller, and usually made as a sandwich cookie with a filling in the middle.

                                    1. re: Allstonian
                                      Joanie RE: Allstonian Jul 24, 2008 12:11 PM

                                      Ah, macaron vs. macaroon. I definitely prefer the latter and haven't been overly thrilled with the macarons I've tried. Now I have a half choc. coated coconut macaroon on the brain.

                                      1. re: Joanie
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                                        greenstate RE: Joanie Jul 25, 2008 11:04 AM

                                        St. Emillion macaroons, lovingly made in East Boston by a retired Coast Guard guy are sold at Gillingham's General Store in Woodstock, VT. He also sells them to select restaurants in Boston, (Lock Ober, for one) and DeLuca's Markets. They are an exquisitely, delicious, humbling experience, made even more so because he gives all the profits to the St Thomas Choir School in NY City. They are hard to keep in stock.

                                        1. re: greenstate
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                                          catsmeow RE: greenstate Jul 25, 2008 04:05 PM

                                          I had done an extensive search about a year ago looking for St Emillion macaoons. I studied there for several months many msny years ago in high school and there were nuns at a church there that use to make them and ship them everywhere. I haven't found any record of them still doing it.

                                  2. t
                                    that_reeks_ugly RE: lam78 Jul 28, 2008 04:31 PM

                                    burdicks has the best in boston. sadly, that does not mean much, as they can't hold a candle to paris or even new york for that matter. Burdick's luxembourger at its best is an airy but plain cookie with a creamy but not very intensely flavored filling. They are stale pretty often and broken and mishandled. I just got back from paris...the standard there is an intensely flavored cookie enhanced by a complementary intense filling. Pierre Herme's rose and framboise or Ladurees salted caramel blow anything Boston has to offer out of the water.

                                     
                                    1. r
                                      robertlf RE: lam78 Oct 28, 2008 03:43 AM

                                      I've met him either at Formaggio or at a farmer's market. His macaroons were supremely delicious.

                                      1. 9
                                        9lives RE: lam78 Nov 1, 2008 02:56 PM

                                        This is a terrible website; but the macaroon maker has been making them by hand from a centuries old recipe from St Emillion for over 40 years..and they're great.

                                        They're currently available at the Somerset Club, Locke Ober, NY Yacht Club...and locally Boston Yacht Haven at 87 Commercial Wharf..Ask for Frank. He makes them in Everett and sells in small batches on the wharf.

                                        Most importantly, it's a geat product but also some of the proceeds go to a good cause.

                                        http://mymacaroons.com/

                                        1. studioman RE: lam78 Dec 25, 2008 06:08 AM

                                          Last December my wife and in while attending a weding in Woodstock VT we found a small shop in town that specialized in French Macaroons. The gentleman chocalatier told us he studied in France. My wife had us going back every day while we were there. The town itself is picture perfect Vermont especially during the holidays and fall and we were lucky enought to be in town for the first snowfall. If anyone has the name of the shop or how to mail order them we would love it. If you live closer than we do (were in CA) it's worth a trip.

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: studioman
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                                            9lives RE: studioman Dec 25, 2008 06:33 AM

                                            The shop in Woodstock is Gillingham's. They buy them from Frank (see my post above yours) and have them repackaged...and tells a small fib..about him making them..:)

                                            Their site even links to the same I posted. You'll save a few $ going direct..talk to Kathleen or Frank and they can help you..617 367 5050

                                            Had a few this AM..and just mailed out some to my father.

                                          2. b
                                            benedict RE: lam78 Dec 26, 2008 07:10 AM

                                            I had some french macaroons at Bina in downtown last week. They were excellent!

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: benedict
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                                              9lives RE: benedict Dec 26, 2008 09:40 AM

                                              Bina makes theirs inhouse and they are excellent...available in their market.

                                            2. y
                                              y2000k RE: lam78 Feb 3, 2009 07:36 AM

                                              I am still on a quest looking for decent French macaroons in Boston.

                                              Last year I got some from Aroa, and they were no good.

                                              Last week I went to Burdicks, and they were bad too. I should have bolted out the door when I found out their macaroons were frozen (when made in Walpole) and then thawed. I tried 4 different flavors and all were pretty bad. The filling was very chewy and stuck to my teeth!

                                              So, sounds like I should give Bina a try? Isn't it an Italain place? Italians making French macaroons?

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: y2000k
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                                                lbfoody RE: y2000k Feb 5, 2009 04:45 AM

                                                The best option might be to make them yourself. Check out Pierre Herme's cookbooks (one is general and the other is all chocolate desserts). And give baking them a try. My husband makes them at home and I think the freshness makes them great. It's easy to get almond flour from Bob's Red Mill in Whole Foods.

                                              2. f
                                                FoodTruth RE: lam78 Jul 25, 2013 03:42 PM

                                                Unless I've missed it in the other posts, there is a shop that I believe does nothing but French Macarons in Lexington.

                                                http://www.macaronsweeterie.com/

                                                I can't offer any opinion on there offerings, but I thought worth letting you know.

                                                2 Replies
                                                1. re: FoodTruth
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                                                  Isolda RE: FoodTruth Jul 31, 2013 04:48 PM

                                                  Macaron is great, but very expensive.

                                                  1. re: Isolda
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                                                    daniel_b RE: Isolda Sep 2, 2013 06:44 AM

                                                    And now closed, according to its website.

                                                2. nsenada RE: lam78 Jul 26, 2013 11:38 AM

                                                  I really liked the ones I got from the Mei Mei food truck.

                                                  1. s
                                                    sqboo RE: lam78 Jul 29, 2013 06:09 PM

                                                    For filled macarons you might try these:

                                                    http://moochiesmacarons.com/where-to-...

                                                    Lots of locations and way better than Burdick's.

                                                    Good article with a recipe for (unfilled) nancy macaron too:

                                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/07/24/din...

                                                    1. calisson RE: lam78 Jul 30, 2013 06:29 PM

                                                      Violette Bakery was selling salted caramel French macarons at the Roslindale Farmers Market a couple of weeks ago. As a devoted macaron fan and an equally devoted salted caramel fan, I can attest that these macarons were seriously good. I didn't try their other flavors.

                                                      They are about to open a storefront in Cambridge on August 1st at 1001 Mass. Ave. They write:

                                                      "To start, we are going to be open Weds-Friday 11-6:00, Sat 9-5 and Sunday 10-3....
                                                      We are between Ellery and Dana Streets and between Harvard Sq and Central Sq. Our signage isn’t great (yet), so look for O2Yoga–we are underneath them."

                                                      Here's their website:
                                                      http://violettegf.com/whats-baking-we...

                                                      1 Reply
                                                      1. re: calisson
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                                                        addiez RE: calisson Nov 4, 2013 06:25 AM

                                                        I've heard they're amazing - a friend just tried out their storefront and had great things to say!

                                                      2. k
                                                        kimfair1 RE: lam78 Jul 31, 2013 05:04 AM

                                                        They have an assortment of cocktail themed macarons at The Hawthorne. They are quite tasty.

                                                        1. sancor RE: lam78 Aug 1, 2013 11:49 AM

                                                          They have macarons at Thinking Cup down at the common. They're delicious, but it's been a long time since I've had authentic macarons to compare them to. They're pricey though.

                                                          1. lipoff RE: lam78 Sep 3, 2013 03:31 AM

                                                            I haven't been there to eat in a while, but the two times that I did go, Menton made absolutely delightful miniature French macaroons as a final dessert course. Those are the best macarons I've had in Boston. The flavors change, but I recall lemon, green tea, and pink peppercorn; each a perfect morsel.

                                                            You can buy much larger macarons from Sportello next door, but they are not as good. Burdick's Luxembourgers are okay, but a little muted; I have similar thoughts about the very expensive macarons at Formaggio. Crema has okay macarons too. Danish Pastry House has terrible french macarons, but delightful coconut macaroons.

                                                            Sofra bakery makes just delicious macarons, in sometimes very unusual and delicious flavors, such as rose. Unfortunately, they are not available everyday, and only seem to appear during certain holidays. My advice is to keep an eye out for them whenever you happen to go to Sofra. In a milieu of (overly?) expensive take-home offerings, their french macarons stand out to me as definitely worth the price of admission.

                                                             
                                                             
                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: lipoff
                                                              opinionatedchef RE: lipoff Sep 3, 2013 10:42 PM

                                                              My biggest complaint with otherwise good macarons-is the miniscule amount of filling. Your photo looks like these don't have that problem. must try; thx!

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                                                              addiez RE: lam78 Sep 3, 2013 07:00 AM

                                                              They're often on the dessert menu at Petit Robert Central, also.

                                                              1. galleygirl RE: lam78 Sep 3, 2013 07:35 AM

                                                                The new Whole Foods in Charlestown is selling imported French macaroons in its bakery...$1.98.

                                                                1 Reply
                                                                1. re: galleygirl
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                                                                  addiez RE: galleygirl Nov 4, 2013 06:26 AM

                                                                  They're imported?? That explains a lot. My WF (Charles River Plaza) had some pretty delicious macarons last time I went.

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                                                                  AaronInBoston RE: lam78 Sep 6, 2013 08:56 AM

                                                                  Burdick's aren't worth it, they aren't good. I think the ones at Hmart (the separate bakery in there) are very good and the flavors really shine through. Love the lemon, lavendar,raspberry, salted caramel, most of them are very good.

                                                                  1. l
                                                                    lilbiscuit RE: lam78 Sep 15, 2013 12:11 PM

                                                                    A company called 'northlight baking co.' just started selling to south end formaggio. The salted caramel macaroons are out of this world. I think they're sold at Cocoanuts in the North end too.

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                                                                      phatchris RE: lam78 Nov 5, 2013 08:52 AM

                                                                      Melita Fiore opened recently in Salem and I have heard good things.

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