11 December 2010

1st Anniversary Road-trip Day 9: Homeward Bound

Shadow is a cooler name than Chance, but I don't want to be the old dude. I guess the wife is Sassy. Anyway, whilst still in the midst of an ice cream coma we packed up our things and said goodbye to Boston. We had one more stop before leaving the city proper--Flour Bakery.

I'd had my mind set on trying their sticky buns after they slaughtered Bobby Flay on his show Throwdown! which he then went on to rave about on Best Thing I Ever Ate.  We were doubly interested after realizing she covers them in self-proclaimed GOOOOO. We had to have these things in our belly. Even after showing up balls early on a Saturday there was still a line to the door. I guess that's the result of positive publicity from Food Network (among many other publications).

There's nothing like some dude's neck rolls to spark one's hunger
While waiting in line we were quite charmed by this little forecast written on the chalkboard:

It had a double meaning for us since August 28th is our actual anniversary. A positive omen indeed! Also while waiting in line we perused all the sumptuous goodies displayed on the counter.

Their homemade Pop Tarts sparked some interest so we decided to order one of those along with our sticky bun.  I also went with my usual decaf soy latte and the Mrs. ordered another glass of afterbirth... Erm, I mean iced tea of some kind (I just realized I have absolutely no voice memos about this experience.  Bad blogger!  This occurred over three months ago so forgive me if my details are kinda hazy.)

I'll be honest when I say that I was truly blown away by that latte. I'm not sure what it was, I can only assume it was the quality of the soy milk, but I just couldn't stop drinking it. Holy hell it was addictive. The sheer size of the beverage alone almost filled me up. I had to reign myself in cuz we had some pastries to eat!

I’m not really sure why I don’t have a voice memo for this meal. I probably got in the car meaning to take a note but forgot as we fought through the streets on the way to our last stop before leaving Boston, James Hook & Co.

Toaster Strudels ain't got shit on this
I hope that's what my insides look like
Anyway, the surprisingly huge beverage was delicious loaded with fresh silky soy milk and top notch coffee. The housemade pop tart with raspberry filling was tender and flaky and definitely a step above the Kellogg’s version, but much like the store-bought kind, the filling was still a tad too sweet for me. Now onto the main event (after a 20 minute tangent spent on Wikipedia reading about cereal after searching for what company makes Pop Tarts) the Sticky Bun.

Cue the angels singing
While it wasn’t quite as gooey as advertised (which isn't to say it wasn't gooey, see picture below) it was still soft and doughy and more than sweet enough. It was served slightly warm and our plastic knife slid right through it like warm butter. Topped with a healthy dose of pecans, this definitely ranked up there with Standard’s Almond Croissant as the best pastry of the trip.

Hellooooo goo!
Bite me.
I apologize for not getting a quality photo, they all turned out slightly blurry, (find a better one here) but what I do have to offer you is this great shot of my wife’s elation as she quickly gobbled up the last bite which I deferred to her. I’m such a great husband, right?

I feel like I've seen that face before... Somewhere...
We made our way to James Hook and after parking on the opposite side of a pedestrian-only bridge, walked into their doors to be confronted by all things lobster, including a large stack of live lobster tanks.

We picked up 6 2lbers and while waiting for them to be properly prepared for travel I spotted this huge bugger which was without a doubt the biggest lobster I’ve ever seen. 

The guy told me it was 13 lbs… Thir-fucking-teen pounds. Holy shit, his claw was almost as big as the lobsters we were taking home with us. Jesus.

And with that we left Boston, not even hitting the 24 hour mark. Boston was not tacked onto this trip as an afterthought, it was part of the plan all along, but as I researched the cities we planned to visit more and more, there just happened to be more things that interested us in the other destinations. We plan to visit again soon to see Boston right.

I had two places I wanted to stop on our way home, but I knew in the back of my mind I just wouldn’t have the patience or stomach space to hit them both. It was either Frank Pepe’s in Manchester, CT or White Manna in Hackensack, NJ. Can you guess which one we ended up going to? Here, I’ll give you a hint:

Brings to mind an edible red light district
Yes, we decided to try our first New Haven-style pizza. I couldn’t’ve been more excited. We arrived right before noon to a surprisingly empty restaurant.

At first I thought this was a La-Z-Boy outlet

Modeled after the original location in New Haven

Perty pictures
We chatted it up with our waitress who couldn’t’ve been nicer and she said that they get a huge amount of business during big college sports events since their location in Manchester was right off the highway and pretty much equidistant from UConn and Connecticut State University. I was intrigued when I spotted a diet white birch beer on the menu so I quickly ordered that and a white clam pie and the wife took my advice and ordered a tomato pie with mozz.

Some of the best birch beer I've had.  Smooth like buttah.

First let me say that I acknowledge the fact that pizza might be one of the most subjective foods in the world. That being said I have to believe that the majority of the people who say that New Haven is the pizza capital of the world simply haven’t been to New York City. I’m not saying this pizza was bad, it was quite good, but it just didn’t even come close to the NYC heavy-weights like Di Fara, Totonno’s, and Motorino. The main issue I had with the pizza was the lack of char.

Needs more spots
Any good coal-fired pizza has to have a lot of char on the crust. It just has to. That being said my white clam pie had great layers of flavor and the clams themselves were tender, fresh, and briny. The slightly softened garlic and oregano really assailed the senses upfront while the pecorino provided a nice salty sharpness to round it all out.

I haven't seen this much clam in one place since my bachelor party
The pie wasn’t over oiled, which was a huge relief, but while the crust was deliciously thin the corniccione wasn’t quite as seasoned as the likes of Motorino or Co. in NYC.

Needs many more spots
Delightfully average!
The tomato pie with mozzarella was significantly less impressive. It wasn’t much more than your standard above average thin crust pizza. Sure it was good, but nothing I would go out of my way for. I have absolutely no notes pertaining to the sauce itself, so I can only assume it was exactly that—unmentionable.

And there you have it folks, the stunning conclustion to what was without a doubt the most epic eating adventure of my short little life. I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed living it. Now that I’m finally done I think it’s safe to say that I’M VERY EXCITED THAT I CAN FINALLY TALK ABOUT SOMETHING ELSE. Keep your eyes peeled (I've always wondered what the hell that expression means... Peeling one's eyes sounds quite painful) for my next post about spending a weekend in NYC showing my pescatarian brother how to eat right in the Big Apple.

I leave you with one last picture of all the goodies that came home with us from Canada and New England and a bonus picture of a sneaky lil bugger that managed to wedge himself in our fridge door.  You should've heard my wife bellow when she discovered him the next morning.  Until next time, go eat something!

"Maybe if I stay very still he won't see me..."

Flour Bakery + Cafe on Urbanspoon
Frank Pepe Pizzeria Napoletana on Urbanspoon

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theminx said...

I was beginning to wonder if your anniversary wouldn't come around again before you finished blogging about the trip. ;)

Mr. Micro said...

Hahah, yeah well there's only so much time in the world. I wish I had a co-blogger, that would make things a lot easier...

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