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A Little Bit About a Lot of Things

A lifestyle blog with a focus on my food adventures

Tag Archives: bakery

img_20140830_165300On our way out of town on a Saturday morning, we stopped back in at Cafe Madeleine to try some of their delicious pastries. The almond croissant was by far my favorite. Just perfect – the right amount of sweetness, a little crunch to the outside while being soft and light on the inside. I probably could have eaten three of these.

IMG_6466The cinnamon roll was different than I thought it would be – only because when I think of a morning bun, I think of Joanne Chang’s version from Flour. Still a tasty treat, but not top of my list.

IMG_6476I picked up a bag of macarons for later – they came in a variety of flavors: lemon, salted caramel, rose, and chocolate. A nice treat – chewy with filling that was bold but not overwhelming. You can also buy these individually.IMG_6475The signature madeleines were tasty, a hint of sweetness in these spongy cakes – just lovely with a cup of tea.

IMG_6471I can’t recall the proper name for this apple dessert, but it was outstanding. While I love summer and berry season, I really look forward to fall and apples – apple pies especially. This dessert had a lovely eggy consistency with a sweet finish.

Cafe Madeleine

517 Columbus Ave, Boston, MA (South End)

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Cafe Madeleine 15I was able to pop in to the newly opened Cafe Madeleine on Thursday after work. At 6:30 they were almost fully sold out, a great sign after only being open for 4 days!

Cafe Madeleine 9The space is open and bright, designed by EMBARC studios, the same architecture firm that designed Liquid Art House. I had the pleasure of sitting next to (and chatting with) Dartagnan Brown, at the Christofle dinner at Liquid Art House. He couldn’t have been nicer and more down to earth. EMBARC does primarily residential projects but has some great commercial property work under their belt. Cafe Madeleine has large windows and counter seats for 6.

Cafe Madeleine 3Cafe Madeleine serves high end pastries at neighborhood prices.

Cafe Madeleine 5Customers can look through the large glass window and see the chefs making each and every dessert.

Cafe Madeleine 1Owner Frederic Robert is a 2007 James Beard award winner for his book Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse’s Deserts and Pastries, which he co-authored with Alain Ducasse, whom he partnered with for over 25 years. Fred and Alaian’s partnership began in 1987 at the 3 Michelin Star Louis XV Monaco at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco and included the 3 Michelin Star Plaza Athenee, Paris; 3 Michelin Star 59 Avenue Poincare, Paris; The Essex House in New York; Mix, New York; 1 Michelin Star Spoon, Paris; Spoon Byblos, St. Tropez; Spoon Tokyo; Spoon London; 1 Michelin Star Abbaye de la Celle, Provence; and 1 Michelin Star Auberge de Moustiers, Provence. From 2004 to 2011, Fred was Executive Pastry Chef at the Wynn Resort in Las Vegas. From 2011-1012, he was Executive Pastry Chef at PB Boulangerie & Bistro.

Cafe Madeleine 13In addition to mouthwatering sweets, Cafe Madeleine also offers a variety of savory items: Croque Monsieur ($9.50), Quiche Lorraine (slice) –( $4.50) or ($5.50) with Salad, Vegetable Crudite Tart – ($4.50) to name a few.

Cafe Madeleine 8In addition to their house made coffee, Cafe Madeleine offers La Colombe coffee, which is a real treat!

Cafe Madeleine 7For cold beverages, they offer French nectars and juices, which look AMAZING ($7).

Cafe Madeleine 4The girls prepping some coffees.

Cafe Madeleine 6Pastry Chef Hana Quon. A graduate of the University of Maryland, Hana changed careers from working with the National Endowment for the Humanities to pastry cook at the National Harbor convention center. She later transitioned to working as sous chef to Chef Frederic Robert at PB Boulangerie & Bistro, in Wellfleet, Massachusetts. Hana received her certification in Paris, France in classic French pastry, doughs, gateau de voyage, petit fours and macarons at the Ecole Gastronomique Bellouet Conseil, where she studied under M.O.F. Jean Michel Perruchon. Hana talked to me about the great mentor/protege relationship that she and Frederic have. She raved about how talented he is and how rare it is to have an Executive chef that is so hands on.

Cafe Madeleine 14The croissants ($2.75) are light with a buttery flavor.

Cafe Madeleine 2They carry fresh baked bread  from Clear Flour Bakery: French Baguette, Rustic Italian, and Pain de Mie.

Cafe Madeleine 11The fruit tart ($5.50) is almond cream baked in a sweet pastry crust, topped with vanilla pastry cream, fresh local fruits.

Cafe Madeleine 10The vegetable crudite tart ($4.50) was a work of art.

Cafe Madeleine 12The large berry tart.

Cafe Madeleine is open from 6:30am to 7pm, 7 days a week. Stop in for a delicious treat!

Cafe Madeleine

517 Columbus Ave. Boston, MA

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IMG_4609We spent the day in Portland, getting lunch and walking around. We stopped into the Standard Baking Co. and I was in love instantly. With so many delicious things behind the counter, it was hard to choose what to get. I wanted one of everything!

IMG_1377The chocolate hazelnut tart was sweet but not too sweet. You would think that with that much chocolate it might be overwhelming.  Not so. And the flakes of sea salt sent this over the top for me.

IMG_1381The lemon tart was equally delicious! It was sweet and tart….really quite delicious.


We grabbed a blueberry scone to go – usually my experience with scones has not been good – they are usually quote dry, but not these. Simply delicious! I highly recommend stopping by if you are in the Portland area.

The Standard Baking Co.

75 Commercial Street, Portland, ME

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IMAG0252If you were just walking around the North End, you would likely pass right by this dark alley.

IMAG0251At the end of the alley is Bricco  Panetteria, a small bread bakery (and a separate pasta shop).

IMAG0250Bricco Panetteria is owned by Frank DePasquale and all of the breads that are served in his restaurants (Trattoria Il Panino, Mare Oyster Bar, Umbria Prime, Bricco Ristorante and Enoteca and Quattro Ristorante Grill Pizzeria) are available for sale at the Panetteria.

IMAG0249This is a no frills bakery – the focus is on the product, not the decor. The one room set up allows customers to see how the bread they are buying is made (talk about open kitchen!).

IMAG0247The breads are works of art. Bring your cash though, they don’t accept cards.

IMAG0246The breads offered include: olive or proscuitto and parmesan ciabatta, baguettes, raisin bread, and baguettes among others.

IMAG0255_1Here’s a close up of the onion ciabatta, it was delicious – and it went fast. There’s nothing better than freshly baked bread.

Bricco Panetteria

241 Hanover Street, Boston, MA

Open daily 8am – 11pm

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IMAG0240_1Modern Pastry is a family owned bakery in the North End, located across the street from Mike’s – a little less well known to the tourists…but those in the know go here for their cannolis. They recently renovated the space next door and opened a brand new space around Easter.

IMAG0245The new space is much larger and brighter – it might tear some tourists away from the line out the door at Mike’s. While they do have more space, they don’t offer a lot of seating – and people tend to linger at what few tables they do have.

IMAG0244Make sure to stop at an ATM before you get here though, they only take cash!

IMAG0242They have a beautiful line of pastry cases, lined with just about any kind of cake or tart you can imagine.

IMAG0241They offer cannolis, Italian cookies, cupcakes, cheesecakes and more!

IMAG0257The tiramisu was delicious!

Who do you think has the best cannolis?

Modern Pastry

263 Hanover Street, Boston, MA (North End)

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IMG_0502Mark and Bekka are getting married in a little less than a month! They went down to Rhode Island to try some macarons and while they were there, Bekka entered the cupcake contest that Silver Spoon was hosting. Here’s her ice cream sundae cupcake: a vanilla bean cake is filled with a chewy chunk of chocolate chip cookie dough and topped with fluffy marshmallow buttercream and a mini peanut butter cup. Yum!

IMG_4277The Cinnamon Sugar: Sweet Mexican cinnamon and vanilla filling. Pretty darn delicious, love the spice!

IMG_4280 The lavender with vanilla frosting didn’t make it home in one piece, they’re so delicate! Looking forward to see which flavors they chose for their wedding!

Silver Spoon Bakery

58 Main Street, East Greenwich, Rhode Island

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IMG_2080Clear Flour Bread is located on a side street in Brookline, off the beaten path, but get within a few blocks on a warm summer day and you can follow your nose to the bakery. Clear Flour opens at 9am (on weekends and 8am on weekdays) and on most Saturday mornings, you can find the line started well before 9 and that it is already stretching down the block. This tiny storefront makes authentic French and Italian breads as well as a wide assortment of pastries. Husband and wife team Christy and Abe Faber have grown their business for the last 30 years – it’s a popular neighborhood spot. While it may seem like a small storefront, they have over 30 employees baking day and night (they only close on Thanksgiving and Christmas).

IMG_2081While their breads certainly taste delicious, they are also works of art (they hand form their baguettes). Check out their website for a list of breads and pastries available on any given day. This rustic tart was almost too beautiful to eat.

Clear Flour Bread

178 Thorndike Street, Brookline, MA

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IMG_2082As the year ended, our interns finished up their time with us. One of our interns was sweet enough to bring me in a cupcake from Oakleaf Cakes. I’ve never been, or heard of Oakleaf, so I was excited to try this out.

IMG_2083Peppermint is not my favorite flavor when talking about icing, but the cupcake was pretty tasty – especially the cake, I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh it was.

Open since 2008, Oakleaf has grown from a home business to one that has been featured on the Food Network.  They make amazing cakes here, the fondant work is impressive. Check out some of their cakes on their website. Looking forward to stopping in and trying some of their other cupcakes!

Oakleaf Cakes

12 Westland Ave, Boston, MA

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IMG_1501Well, we tried Cafe de Boston’s version, and now, here is the Crumb’s knockoff of the cronut, the “crumbnut”. While I was bummed out that we were only able to snag the plain version, they were out of the cream or jelly filled kinds, I still ate this pretty happily. The crumbnut was light and fresh, but didn’t taste all that different than a donut with sugar and glaze. And while it was good, I’m not sure it would be worth waiting in line for…


176 Federal Street, Boston, MA

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IMG_0864I LOVE Girl Scout cookies, I wish they sold them year round. I buy boxes of them and put them in the freezer. It’s a problem…So I was excited when I walked into Crumbs and they had Girl Scout cookie cupcakes!

IMG_0868The peanut butter cookie cupcake, better known as Do-si-dos. A side note, Girl Scout cookies are produced by two different manufacturers, thus the different names.

IMG_0874The Girl Scout Caramel Coconut: vanilla cake filled with caramel and topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting, toasted coconut and a caramel coconut cookie. I like the presentation of both cupcakes, and when I went to Crumbs, they happen to have been having a buy one get one free special – so it made these cupcakes EVEN BETTER. The cake was fresh and overall was tasty.


176 Federal Street, Boston, MA

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