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May 11, 2014 07:11 AM

Branch of Paul Opening in Somerville!

Just read in the Globe that there will be a Paul opening late this summer in the new Assembly Square outlet mall!! I am so excited! Hoping to be able to find a good baguette bien cuit.

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  1. There is also a branch opening up this summer downtown, across from the Old State House near the intersection of Washington and State.

      1. re: MC Slim JB

        Yes. I believe they're planning on opening a relatively large number (like 6) of bakeries in this area within a year or 2.

        1. re: lergnom

          According to this Globe article from November, they plan to open 4 shops in the next year and then 7 more by 2017:

          Has anyone been to one in another city? Any first hand reports?

          1. re: wandergirl

            I have eaten at many in Paris, and one in Washington, DC. The Washington, DC shop was really chaotic. Whoever did the space and traffic flow planning should have to stand in that line every, single day, repeatedly. The bread, which is my major interest in Paul, was very close to the Paris Paul texture and flavor. The sandwich fillings however, fell short. Ham that wasn't very hammy, salami that was bland, etc.

            I am really pleased that a Paul will be opening locally. The flutes and baguettes are particularly good, and the almond croissants are worth every single calorie.

              1. re: Allstonian

                Flutes are just another shape of baguettes. Particularly nice for making a long sandwich to cut and share with a group of friends.

              2. re: smtucker

                I've been to a few in Paris; good quality baguettes. For Paris, they are not the absolute best, but for Boston I am hoping that they will be very good indeed.

              3. re: wandergirl

                Great bread, great café au lait very good croissant.

                1. re: StriperGuy

                  Thanks for the reviews, smtucker and StriperGuy, This is very, very good news. The Downtown Crossing area (or thereabouts) could really use something like this.

                2. re: wandergirl

                  Just returned from Paris and made it a point to check out Paul knowing that they were planning to open a few locations in our area. They are EVERYWHERE over there - like our Starbucks - sometimes two in the same block. Very good croissants, esp. the pain au chocolat and the pain aux raisins. Did not try the baguette.

                  My colleague, who is from Paris, said that over there Paul is seen as maybe one step up from what most view as Panera here - entirely passable with good bread and baked goods, but not necessarily a destination, esp. for the more lunch type items - sandwiches, etc. Regardless of a real Parisian's lukewarm feeling for it, she is still excited to have Paul in Boston since she claims you cannot get a good croissant anywhere in Boston (I'm not a croissant connoisseur so can't validate this claim!).

                  1. re: OliveJones

                    I'm very sorry that your colleague has never made it over to Clear Flour.

                    1. re: OliveJones

                      So funny that every Parisian says they don't care for Paul and yet it is the fastest growing food outlet in the city.

                      My cousins have actually never been to one [that they will admit to] but they live near one of those revered bakers; the kind that is disappearing.

                      1. re: OliveJones

                        I think their breads are head and shoulders above Panera breads. I find Panera's breads totally forgettable, and the Paul products good to excellent.

                      2. re: wandergirl

                        They are ubiquitous in London as well. It is an easy place to stop for a reliable, if not amazing, snack. They make individual quiches that I like and a version of apricot Danish that I eat more of than is good for me. Their breads are good. The ones in London can get crowded and the service is often a bit random.

                  2. I like their hot chocolate. Super, super rich.

                    1. Wow, this is great news! The comparison to the French version of Starbucks is what I've always used, at least in terms of their ubiquity. The difference, obviously, being Starbucks is focused on coffee and Paul on baked goods.

                      When I lived in Provence I frequented Paul because it was just as good and often better than any of the local bakeries and was convenient. In Paris, it's a bit of different story, I would occasionally go but mostly just because they're everywhere. I view it in the same vein as when I'm in a rural part of the states and see a Starbucks, I get excited and stop because often it's better for coffee than the local diner, but when I'm in NYC or SF, I'd rather go to Blue Bottle or Four Barrel than Starbucks. Not that there's anything wrong with Starbucks, but most of us on here are willing to go a bit farther for a great food experience.

                      Paul is definitely big step up from Panera and Au Bon Pain and their breads and pastries are very consistent across the branches. I've only been to the one in DC (a couple of years ago), but I remember thinking it was no different than the ones in France.

                      I think these will be a really nice addition to the area. Anything to make good bread more accessible in Boston. Their croissants should easily be some of the better in the area and their desserts will be a nice addition; I used to love their seasonal fruit tarts and mille-feuille in particular.