Thursday, March 15, 2007

Drive Worthy

Yesterday I drove 20 minutes out of my way to Clear Flour Bakery in Brookline. Despite the fact that it meant my husband had to then go 20 minutes out of his way to bring R. to daycare, we both felt it was worth it. I discovered Clear Flour's baguettes a few years ago and my first thought, was Paris. Only there had I eaten bread that had so much flavor. While the crust meets the standards of any good baguette (striations of golden brown, crisp), it is the smell that makes it more than just any loaf of bread. It sings for butter or cheese, Nutella or real fruit jam (the best being those made Christine Ferber and, as far as I know, only available in Paris). But it is so good that I can never resist eating it plain. Unlike so many other breads it has just enough salt, just enough yeast, just enough leavening time. It also is so airy that it rarely tastes as good the next day. But it always works perfectly as croutons, for mopping up soup, or toasted.

As euphoric a find as their bread was, it was stumbling into Clear Flour on a Sunday morning that I truly fell in love-there they sold cannelles. Soft dumplings like cake, caramelized to a dark brown black on the outside with an almost custard like center, I had only once had these gems-in the Marais in Paris. Clearly, I wasn't the only person to swoon-they now sell them everyday of the week. Alas, not until 11, so today's loot consisted of their delicious brioche rolls filled with Scharrfen-Berger chocolate still warm from the oven.

As time goes on I will try to list the food finds that J. and I will go anywhere for. I will keep it posted as a running list, but for now:
  • Garlic Shrimp, Dali, Cambridge
  • Stir Fried Rice Cake, Seoul Food, Cambridge
  • Sunchoke Soup with Chestnuts, Pava, Newton
  • Baguettes, B & R Bakery, Framingham
  • Truffled Eggs and Radiccio Salad, 'Inoteca, New York
  • Pastami Sandwiches, Katz's Deli, New York
  • Corned Beef, Fine and Shapiros, New York
  • Red Sauce, Veracruzana, Northhampton
  • Harira, Mint Tea and Couscous, Amanouz Cafe, Northampton
  • Cornbread, Poppa B's, Dorchester
  • Tuna Tartar (and ANY sushi), Oishii, Chestnut Hill
  • Hot Chocolate, Burdicks, Cambridge
  • Pizza at Umbertos, Reginas or Ernestos, North End
  • Any sandwich, All Star Sandwiches
  • Cantuccinni and Sfogettelle, Marias, North End
  • Walnut and Sesame Fatayer and Baked Alaska, Oleana
  • Bread used for Panini, Flour Bakery, Boston
  • Mango Fried Rice, Spicy Noodles, Dok Boa, Brookline
  • Pupusas, La Pupusa Guanica, JP
  • Mango Rice with Coconut, Rod Dee, Brookline
  • Burger, Wild Willys, Watertown
  • Eggplant with thai basil, Taiwan Cafe, Boston
  • cherry pie, Petsis, Somerville
  • Soft tofu in ginger syrup and Chow Foon, Hei La Moon, Boston
  • Cannelles at Clear Flour, Brookline

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