This post will be a long one because I have to try to do this bakery justice. During my high school years, I used to come home and watch Food Network just to see chefs cook their five-star meals and basically drool. As soon as it hit maybe around 6PM, Food Network at night would kick off. One of the shows was "Throwdown with Bobby Flay" where he travels the country to challenge acclaimed masters in baking, burger building, dessert making and many other culinary skills. There was one episode where he traveled to Boston to go head-to-head with Flour Bakery's owner, Joanne Chang, in a Sticky Bun challenge. And as a result of this ever-so-grueling battle, it is to no surprise that Joanne Chang came out as the champion! Poor Bobby Flay--looked like the Iron Chef had to resharpen his recipe. But ever since I watched this episode, I have always wanted to try these popular sticky buns! After settling in my college dorm and living on my own, I finally had the chance to check the bakery out!
For the first time, I went to the one in the South End along Washington St. since my dorm was closest to it. I've been to that location three times; clearly it's a guilty pleasure. And just two days ago, I went to the one at Fort Point Channel for the first time since it's close to work. Both places: equally friendly, equally adorable. I'll talk about the Fort Point one. First off, there's an outside seating area which was perfect for the sunny day I went during. Go through that glass door and step into a dream store. While you're in line, there's a lot to see on the way. Let's just talk about how much I loved the design. The furnishing was simple: dark floor, light walls and ceiling with great lighting, some clean wooden tables, and some shiny metal bar-tables. But the detailing was what brought the place together. You will notice the chalk board listing the bakery's selection of sandwiches and salads, varying teas hot and iced, with breakfast choices on one side and daily specials on the other all adorned with cute little doodles. (This is random but that chalkboard was so clean. I notice this stuff.) Their attempt to be as friendly to different eating habits is so considerate. For example, "nf" stands for nut-free for those allergic to nuts and "v" stands for vegetarian and there were much more. As you continue along, there's another chalkboard with a "Quote of the Day" written on it with the weather forecast. Thanks for the inspiration! Then you'll finally hit the spot that you've been waiting for. It is sweet treats galore! I swear Joanne Chang bakes like everything. There's home-made oreos, raspberry crumb bars, ginger molasses cookies, ooey-gooey caramel nut tart, and of course, sticky buns! When it was my turn to order, I had to tell the girl to just surprise me with whatever because there was so much to choose from.
I think Flour Bakery understood the idea of an ideal bakery and added its own flavor for uniqueness. I've been telling my friends a lot about this place and they all really want to go. The atmosphere is just so amiable: friendly staff and sociable people. It's really the perfect place to sit back, relax, and enjoy company, all with a cookie in your hand of course. Their concept is to promote the "pure pleasure that mouth-watering pastries and foods and warm hospitality can bring into your life" and I think they do a phenomenal job of doing so. Everything about it is just so authentic and real to the human experience. No matter how much I like other cafes, I still consider Flour Bakery my favorite. Actually, maybe the next time I decide to go, I'll check out the one in Central Square so I can say I went to all three. So how about you guys? What are you going to get when you go to Flour Bakery?