Sunday, June 8, 2014

A Tale of Two Bakeries

It was the best of pastries, it was the best of pastries.

When it comes to dessert shops, Boston is a city of cannoli, cupcakes, and fro-yo. While delicious, additional variety is always appreciated. If, like me, you have been craving a sweet outside of those three types, here are two (among many) wonderful and unique recommendations. 

Yesterday for breakfast I hoofed it over to Patisserie, a French bakery in Back Bay [257 Newbury St.], and oh man, the place is a wonderland of bread and pastries. Before your eyes can adjust from the outdoors to the incandescent lighting of the basement storefront, you’ll already be immersed in the scent of fresh baked bread. It’s like you’re Hansel/Gretel and you just walked into a store built of the goods it sells. I found myself wanting to buy it all – a pastry for now, a baguette for lunch, and desert for the evening.

Thunderstruck by the selection, I paced the display cases (probably babbling) for far too long before I left with a cup of coffee and an almond croissant. Can I just say something? The almond croissant was amazing. For under $5 you can treat yourself to one with a coffee, and I highly recommend it – I don’t think you will regret it, and I know that I will be back. Patisserie is a must visit.

Speaking of must visits, have you been to Japonaise, the French-Japanese bakery in Brookline [1020 Beacon St.] and Cambridge [1815 Mass Ave]? On record, this place is incredible and the pastries will astound you. If you have never had an anpan, it should now be a priority.

What is an anpan, you may ask. Simply put, it’s delicious. The pastry itself is a sweet dough filled with red bean paste. In appearance, you’d be forgiven for describing it as a kind of jelly doughnut, but there has never been a jelly doughnut that tasted this good. I think your taste buds will find that the two are incomparable. In fact, grabbing an anpan at the Brookline location has become a ritual to coincide with a weekend walk to Coolidge Corner. It, along with a small cup of coffee, can be yours for just about $5, and it will make your afternoon.

So there you have it: two amazing bakeries, each one highlighting a delectable pastry done right. 

Happy snacking!

Til next time! 

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