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Athan's in Brookline, sadly meh

Went to Boston this weekend and walking round my old Beacon Street neighborhood in Brookline came across Athan's Eurpoean Bakery on the corner of Washington Street. At first glance, I thought wow this place is going to be great because it appeared full of pastries and gelato. But on closer scrutiny I could see that many of the fancy French pastries were old, most likely stale.

Several gelati were neon colored which is the hallmark of cheap, fake ingredients: http://www.traveldudes.org/travel-tip...

The croissants looked good so I got some plain ones and a couple chocolate ones to bring to my daughter's apartment. The plain was good, crispy on the outside, cloud-like on the inside. Thumbs up. The chocolate was skimpy on the chocolate and were just o.k. We picked up a couple pieces of Athans fancy gold-wrapped chocolates to bring to a Red Sox game, one with gianduja and one with cherry ganache. Dull, one note, lacking in flavor, not worth it.

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  1. sadly not much has changed in the past few years...chocolate desserts there don't have much of a rich chocolate taste, but look pretty :-P

    2 Replies
    1. re: Spike

      Have you tried the chocolate "Jamaica" the only thing I like there, thought it's been a while.

      1. re: StriperGuy

        when I first discovered it, I tried pretty much anything that looked interested over the next month...nothing was wow.. :-P

    2. Maybe they were day old because I have eaten their croissants many times and have loved them. I do agree that there needs to be more chocolate in the chocolate croissants. I also had the other day a strawberry type of Napoleon that was really lovely.

      1. If Athan's ever rated as high as "meh," it would be an upgrade. This place has sucked for years. Sorry you had the disappointment.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Jenny Ondioline

          Go across the street to Cafe Fixe for great pastries and coffee!

        2. I don't like their attitude - they make me feel like they're doing me a favor getting and wrapping something up for me.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Prav

            Nuf said, I haven't been in 2-3 years, and only liked the one thang.

          2. I find it amusing that the one item everyone seems to enjoy from Athan's is the croissant. We were there late one evening having an after dinner coffee, and saw staff members taking them out of a commercial freezer box and popping them into the oven!!! So much for fresh baked goods......

            4 Replies
            1. re: Science Chick

              Science Chick... that's probably why they're good.... ;-)

              1. re: TrishUntrapped

                no one needs to feel disappointed by Athan's choc croissants. Tr Joe's has really super frozen ones that you proof and then bake- beautifully layered, light, crunchy, all-butter, top quality dark chocolate (2 bars). Perfecto!

                1. re: opinionatedchef

                  Thanks for that tip, never tried TJ's croissants!

                2. re: TrishUntrapped

                  Heh-heh, exactly, TrishUn!! These folks just can't make pastries well....but I agree, "their" croissants are yummy! I should try the TJ frozen rec. Must be nice coming right out of the oven at home!!!! (Yikes, my bathing suit is shrinking as I think of it.....!)

              2. Meh, I've enjoyed the variety of baklava but haven't tried much else except the (blech) coffee. We've always done take out though because the acoustics in the seating area make it unbearably loud if it's crowded. I'm not sure who thought a perfect cube of all hard surfaces didn't require some sort of acoustic dampening or at least a rug but they clearly never had to sit there.