Restaurant Review: Flour Bakery
UPDATE: This post generated my 1,000th visit to the site since I started this blog back in June! Thanks to everyone who’s been reading 🙂
So in the three weeks since I returned from Ghana I’ve been making my way into the city on the weekends for some friends and fun. Along the way we’ve discovered some new places around the city, including this one that Juan Thomas and I tried for lunch for the first time on Saturday. I’ve found that Northeastern students don’t often venture very far into the South End, and its my #1 neighborhood to become more acquainted with this year, along with East Boston and Jamaica Plain.
Flour Bakery is a small but inviting cafe on the corner of Washington and Rutland Streets in the South End. The display cases immediately inside reveal all sorts of cookies, cakes, tarts, and any other pastry imaginable. They also offer a good variety of sandwiches, most of which go far beyond your traditional ham and cheese. Feeling adventurous, I tried the grilled roast chicken with brie, arugula, roasted red peppers and caramelized onions on wheat bread. Beware, however: substitutions could not easily be made as I tried to exchange the brie with mozzarella. In the end I was pleasantly surprised by the rich flavor of the cheese, as it was more like a spread than a ‘glob’ of the creamy, runny cheese that I was expecting (obviously I should leave these decisions in the hands of the chef). My sandwich seemed to take longer than most to prepare, which was explained when it was served fresh from the panini press. The combination of caramelized onions with the buttery brie made this a “good-to-the-last-bite” meal. With a cup of fresh-brewed iced tea this was the perfect lunch for a warm summer day.
Juan Thomas, who actually suggested we try Flour, tried the roast chicken, avocado, and jicama sandwich. His was not served toasted, but the cool taste of the avocado was nice on such a hot afternoon. The chicken had a vibrant, almost smoky flavor, which paired well with the avocado.
It seemed like we arrived just after the lunch rush (around 1:30pm on a Saturday) but the limited outdoor seating was full and even the indoor seating was scarce. In terms of service it was similar to any chain counter-service sandwich restaurant like Au Bon Pain or Panera Bread, and the prices were on par (most sandwiches were $8; with my iced tea and tax the total came to $11.50). While it was delicious, it was just a little too expensive and out of the way to come back on a regular basis. However, the other two locations are slightly better located for a Northeastern student: the Central Square shop is at the end of the #1 bus route (which runs down Mass Ave), and the Farnsworth St location is conveniently located near the BCEC, South Station, and the Seaport Hotel and World Trade Center.
Photo from TIME Online.