Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Off the Map: This Bun is Overcome with Nuts

Sticky Buns -- Flour Bakery + Cafe, Boston, MA
Flour Bakery + Cafe

As a caveat, Vodka does not understand why one would ever choose a sticky bun over a cinnamon bun.  Cinnamon buns include, well, cinnamon, cream, thick dough -- all things that renew one's faith in the world.  Sticky buns include... stickiness.
Somebody Fetch Me a Wet Nap
This Boston visit is not Vodka's first exposure to the Flour Bakery + Cafe sticky bun.  When she ventured to the city last December to visit the same college roommate, she acquired a few of them to shlep back with her (these were the days before the Best Thing I Ever Ate official mission, if not awareness).  By the time the buns were tasted the following day, Vodka had decided that it must have been staleness holding back the deliciousness.  After all, when is Bobby Flay ever wrong about anything (faulty choices from our favorite frenemy, Buddakan, aside)?

Now Vodka fears that after a second Flour sticky bun try (at 7:30am when they are fresh out of the oven no less), she and Bobby simply do not always see eye-to-eye.
And With That Proclamation, Vodka Guarantees That She Will Never Be Offered a Guest-Judge Position on "Throwdown"
Vodka has only been to the Flour on Farnsworth Street in Boston, though there are apparently other locations sprinkled throughout the city.  When she and her hosts arrived during the morning rush to procure their breakfasts, it is appropriately noted that the place is teaming with "crunchy people."  You know the type -- those who genuinely enjoy granola and tofu, and not just because they feel they have to in order to maintain a "healthy lifestyle."
The Type That Also Enjoys Bakeries with Warehouse Decor
Needless to say, these are generally not our types of people.  We're not hip enough to be crunchy, let alone free-spirited enough.  We are, after all, allowing a strict eating itinerary to rule our lives at the behest of no one.

We order the infamous sticky bun, along with the brioche au sugar and a croissant.  At first, Vodka is overcome with joy at the free water stationed on the coffee bar, which, despite how trivial it may seem, she sees as a major plus (and she may or may not single-handedly drain half of their water jug dry).
Never a Good Sign When the Free Water Is the Highlight of the Morning
Moving onto this Best Thing I Ever Ate SIMPLY IRRESISTIBLE sticky bun: the first thing to note is that not only is the thing drenched in a sticky goo, but it is also overloaded with a variety of nuts.  Now Vodka, despite her own nutcase tendencies, generally does not enjoy nuts, especially in desserts.  She also hates items which hug your fingers in griminess for the rest of the day, so clearly, this sticky bun is starting off at a disadvantage.
Pecans = Always Resistible. Sorry Bobby Flay 
Cutting the bun into pieces that can be maneuvered more easily, we each take a taste and are summoned into silence.  As Ginger and I have noticed before, if we say absolutely nothing when we taste a Best Thing I Ever Ate dish, it is neither a good sign nor a bad sign.

It is simply a sign that the dish is 3 stars.
Someone Has to Take a Class on Knife Skills
Flour's version is probably quite superior as far as sticky buns go.  It did, after all, beat Bobby Flay in a throwdown challenge.  But for us, there is nothing very memorable about it.  The cake part lacks the light airiness of the brioche (which proves to be the best breakfast choice of the day) and the buttery warmth of the croissant.
So In Sum, Boo on the Cake
The goo is sweet and relatively pleasing, but it is so laden with nuts that it's almost forgettable (plus, it has barely seeped into the crevices of the cake itself, which makes the whole thing drier than we think it should be).
Seriously, Where Is All Of That Promised Goo, Flour?!
To give Flour some kudos, the place is extremely well-staffed, organized, and efficient despite the crush of the Friday morning baked good-seekers.  And many other of their menu items look like they would be amazing - gingerbread smothered in coffee cream and a gourmet Pop Tart among them.  But the sticky bun leaves us rather cold, not to mention sticky.

Come to think of it, no wonder Flour offers their customers free water.  It's supposed to be used to wash their hands of goo.

Flour Bakery + Cafe's Sticky Buns: 3 stars

1 comment:

  1. Its really mouth watering buns at flour bakery. I was just searching any good bakery to add its details in istorehours.com. Its a good now Boston population will get details of good bakery easily.