Now that we got that out of the way, and we’ll return to the subject momentarily, let’s look at the broader picture. Boston excels at lunch. And for lunch there’s no better place in the U.S. for bakeries. The bakeries–Clear Flour, Hi-Rise, Flour, Swiss etc.–not only sell first rate breads, some sell soup and sandwiches.
Flour has a BLT that’s nearly as good as the one I make at home; if they used better quality bacon, it would be just as good. The soups–a tomato with cumin, for example–are just the thing for this cold weather. The overall selection of sandwich, quiches, and “pizzas” are really first-rate.
Clear Flour is a hole-in-the-wall in Brookline. The breads–poppy seed challah, German rye, baguette, etc.–are among the best I’ve ever `enjoyed, and their selection of sweets is tops. Now if we could just get the customers to stop acting as if the staff at the bakery are their new best friends–the one-way monologues go on and on, these buyers must be very lonely–we’d be all set.
Swiss Bakery needs to stop playing horrible music. The staff is way too giddy. The room itself looks a lot like the display area of the VW dealership it once was. But the croissant? Truly the best in the city. I think it’s whole wheat. Good crust!
Hi-Rise never was a friendly place, but the breads at one time were varied, and included the city’s best rye and a top walnut. These days it’s not clear what’s happening. I’ll have to stop by again soon to see if it has its groove back.
But for now? It’s bread from Clear Flour and soup and a quick bite at Flour.