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Athan's in Brookline, sadly meh

TrishUntrapped May 28, 2012 09:54 AM

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.

  1. k
    Klunco May 29, 2012 11:22 AM

    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.

    1. Science Chick May 28, 2012 06:27 PM

      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
        TrishUntrapped May 28, 2012 06:37 PM

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

        1. re: TrishUntrapped
          opinionatedchef May 29, 2012 12:26 AM

          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
            TrishUntrapped May 29, 2012 02:09 AM

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

          2. re: TrishUntrapped
            Science Chick May 29, 2012 09:28 AM

            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. Prav May 28, 2012 04:22 PM

          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
            StriperGuy May 28, 2012 05:02 PM

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

          2. j
            Jenny Ondioline May 28, 2012 02:51 PM

            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
              d
              drewames03 May 28, 2012 03:07 PM

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

            2. c
              cherrytomato May 28, 2012 01:26 PM

              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. s
                Spike May 28, 2012 12:01 PM

                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
                  StriperGuy May 28, 2012 12:23 PM

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

                  1. re: StriperGuy
                    s
                    Spike May 28, 2012 03:15 PM

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

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