Warning: you will read nothing even remotely negative in the following review.
I’m obsessed with Clear Flour Bread in Brookline. In fact, I think you can call it an addiction. While some parents tell their daughters to lay off the shoe shopping or bar hopping, mine tell me to stop charging Clear Flour onto the credit card. My solution? I pay cash.
I trek there morning, noon or night nearly every day. And by trek, I mean walk out my door to the building next door. Yes, I’m lucky enough to share the same street address as this pastry and bread mecca. You can’t really blame me when no matter what time it is, be it 12 noon or 12 midnight, the smell of baking bread wafts through my window.
Breakfast is always the hardest choice. Two pastries will fill me up, so should I pick the currant donut (my favorite breakfast treat) and the chocolate croissant? Or the morning bun with walnuts and cranberry currant scone? Or what about the pan aux raisins and the gibassier? Luckily I can always come back tomorrow…
For lunch I usually choose their divine olive sandwich roll, an airy, chewy roll with a satisfying crunchy exterior dotted with lush, juicy green olives. I enjoy toasting it and filling it with peppery tuna salad. Today for lunch, though, Will and I decided on a a picnic for the season’s first hot day. In a roast beef mood, I thought the traditional sandwich roll would pair best. I filled it with rare, thinly shaved roast beef, crunchy red onions, mild provolone cheese, mixed greens and, the kicker, beet horseradish mayonnaise. As Passover just came to an end, I have an excess of beet horseradish in my refrigerator (a classic pairing with Gefilte fish). Mixing it with mayonnaise created a spicy, deep purple spread.
To complete the picnic, we brought juicy, sweet red grapes and my favorite potato chips, Cape Cod Robust Russet. For dessert, more Clear Flour. I chose a chocolate chunk cookie and my all-time favorite Clear Flour treat: the chocolate macaroon.
While this happens to be an exceptional chocolate chunk cookie, it pales in comparison to the chocolate macaroon. Divine is the only way to describe it. It’s absurdly fudgy and coconuty, and with those two traits, you just can’t go wrong. Thankfully The Boston Globe did a feature on how to bake the cookie, or I’m not sure I’d be able to move out of Boston…
No matter what you walk away with at Clear Flour, you walked away with the right thing. I didn’t even begin to touch on what they offer–there are just so many varieties of bread and pastries that change daily that a trip everyday (or two, or three) is truly necessary (seriously, Mom!).
Clear Flour Bread, www.clearflourbread.com, 178 Thorndike Street, Brookline, MA, 617-729-0060