[Norwich, VT] [Boston, MA] King Arthur Flour visit (plus other randoms)


#1

We’re embarking on a crazy 24-hour trip from Baltimore to Boston. We’ll visit King Arthur Flour and, if there’s still time, Boston Public Market. If we leave KAF really early we are thinking about adding in Lobster Claw Seafood, too. I hope to post as we go.

(We only eat Halal meat, so that effectively makes us pescatarian when dining out.)


#2

If anyone thinks Courthouse Seafood or Neighborhood Restaurant are better than Lobster Claw, please let me know. We are going for a lobster roll, as well as fried seafood.


(Denise) #3

Your 24-hour trip sounds epic. Hope that someone who knows these spots is able to weigh in here. (I’m a fan of Row 34 but that may not fit the desired vibe for this trip. Plus on Sundays they do brunch menu instead of lunch. Gotta hit that mark, right?)

And if it helps your planning, I notice that Courthouse is closed Sundays and Mondays. Happy travels!


#4

It does sound epic! And I don’t have any intel either but hope you will report on your adventures!


#5

@tomatotomato, I appreciate how you understood the vibe of our trip. On the way to Lobster Claw right now. Will report back. I know going in I will likely be disappointed with the bread (I’ve had lobster rolls in NH before), except maybe a non- traditional brioche like at Neptune. But you never know.

King Arthur Flour was like a dream come true. I had one hiccup which I posted about on Yelp. But the day started and ended strong and KAF exceeded my very high expectations. I don’t agree with the other complaints on Yelp about dirty tables, poor quality, or overall poor service. There are so many patrons pouring in and out, the staff cannot possibly clean every table once someone gets up and still keep prices somewhat affordable. We sat there for almost 5 hours.

As an amateur home baker, I really appreciated the freshness and attention to detail. Besides the pizza, I even appreciated the things that I didn’t like. I have never been to a bakery with bakers that have the skill level to produce so many items that look the same. Usually I’ll point and say I want that one or this one, but here every item was crafted with precision.

The unexpectedly good items were the London Fog tea drinks (made with steamed milk) and the cheese crackers. Even at $10, the crackers were worth every penny. I have tried so many times to make these at home and always fail. The tea was executed as well as Harney and Sons in NYC. Got 4 London Fogs and 2 bags of cheese crackers.

Other highlight: Most of the breads, even flavored ones like jalapeño cheddar. (Kaiser Rolls were just okay and pizzas were not well-conceived.) The morning bun laced with orange zest. The Florentine cookie, even though it was sweet, it was good sweet. Raspberry Whoopie pie. It tasted like there were some ingredients I don’t like (flavorings, maybe shortening) but it was executed very well. The bee sting cake, basically brioche sandwiched around diplomate cream with a honey-almond crunchy topping.

I really enjoyed many long conversations there with staff. I couldn’t bring much back, but at least I could hold, smell, and taste so many of their store offerings (pans, extracts, box mixes, etc.) Now I don’t have to wonder what the items are like. The store staff were also very graceful with my child and “put her to work” to help her pass the time while I was in my hours long trance.

Here are some pics:


#6

Great report, bmore. Thanks for the fun read! Now I realize that there can be no more excuses about not having time to drive a little out of the way next time we’re nearby.


#7

I was worried you might be disappointed after all the effort you made to get Norwich, VT. Thanks for letting us know it was totally worth it. Nice, nice people at KAF. Look into taking a cooking class there sometime.


#8

Lobster Claw was exactly what I expected. I did not expect fresh cut fries, house made mayo, or Sir Kensington ketchup. The roll did not interfere. The cod for our fish and chips was fresh and fried very well. In fact, it was much better without the tartar sauce. The cole slaw is made on-site. Just solid, basic food. About $40 for 8oz lobster roll (“mate”) and fish&chips. Clean shop, too.


#9

Argh, got a $90 parking ticket outside Boston Public Market. How can you have 3 different parking signs on one block!? There were some arrows missing, and other confusion with an event held tomorrow, so hopefully they are lenient on the appeal. We still had a great time, though.

I mentioned fresh cut fries earlier, and we just happened to park right across from Saus, a fries and sauce shop also serving poutine and sandwiches. We were so happy. Our favorite fries and sauce shop in Baltimore closed last year and we always wish it was still in business. The Saus owners were the nicest people ever. We ordered extra sauces and they threw in a few more. We chatted about our adventure for a while. (In fact we chatted with quite a few random people about our trip.) We are now proud owners of a Saus bandana. Anyway, I forgot to take pics of the fries before we finished them.

The sauces were all good. Some didn’t really pair well with fries, but they were good enough that we used the fries as a vehicle to eat more of the sauce.

From the bottom left, clockwise, Sweet Chili, Secret Saus, Garlic Chickpea, Avo Goddess, Roasted Garlic, and Smokey Chipotle. I always fail when trying to make a garlic chickpea sauce that doesn’t come off like hummus. I wonder how they succeeded.


#10

Boston Public Market was great. I’ll get the negative out of the way first. The tables here were quite dirty even though it wasn’t very busy at all. People kept bringing in food from outside the market and leaving a huge mess. The guy next to us left filling from his Mike’s Pastry cannoli smeared on the table. Two other parties had brought in pizza and left cheese and grease. I’ll admit it’s not a big deal for me, I just wet some napkins and clean it.

We started with a plain bagel from Levend Bagelry. (What a clever name.) I asked them right away, “Is this sourdough?!” I never had a sourdough bagel before. It was fresh, with a crisp crust and pleasantly chewy interior. They source their cream cheese from Narragansett Creamery in Rhode Island. No thickeners or stabilizers. I know there’s lots of famous food people who preach gums/stabilizers are fine, but I prefer to avoid them.

(I noticed a lot of places in the area source bread and bagels from Iggy’s. Just a random observation.)

Around the corner was Red’s Best, a seafood place. I wanted something light so we got a Kale and Lobster salad. The lemon vinaigrette was strong so I used it sparingly, but otherwise it was vibrant and fresh. (It’s tough to get grit out of kale sometimes, comes with the territory.) Next time I will grab a few bagels from Levend, fish salads from Red’s best, and assemble my own bagels at the tables.

(Flight attendant said turn off your phone. Will finish later.)


#11

This might be the best trip report ever on this board!! You guys are about the most intrepid adventurers, eaters and picture-takers ever, what a fabulous report, thank you so much for bringing us along with you!!!


#12

Seriously!! I am SO into this, sounds like the most delicious trip… :heart_eyes:


#13

Continuing through the market, we stopped by Union Square Donuts. Another family was in front of us. They said, “Go ahead.” I said, “Take your time. We’ll take forever deciding.” They said, “Not longer than us.” Challenge accepted. I asked all the control questions. Yeast and/or cake. For yeasted, brioche-style dough or shortening-based. What type of fat is used for frying. Etc. I think I won. My family said you can’t make up competitions and say you won against people who don’t know or care you are competing against them. Whatever. Anyway, we got some donut holes to munch on. (They threw in extra, of course. ) We came back later for a Golden Milk doughnut. The ginger and turmeric flavor was fine, but not something I’d get again. Turmeric is messy, too. The base doughnut itself, even though a bit greasy, was great, light yet rich at the same time. They use high quality spices, too.


#14

I love it when you are on a baked goods mission!


(Ann McCann) #15

Lovely people, but not always the quality baked goods you’d expect. We had croissants with no, none, nada layers! Happy to see layers in your picture!


#16

It’s so much fun to read about your experiences! Thanks for reporting, and for reminding me how much can happen in a short trip.


#17

Best bread bakery in Boston


#18

Someone at the tables in the market was eating Row 34 Smoked Steelhead Trout straight from a container. They directed us to Boston Smoked Fish Company, but unfortunately staff was on break.

Hi-Rise Bread’s stall had quite an assortment of breads and goodies. Ingredients were clearly present on most items. Their prices were a bit expensive. We chatted with them for quite a while. We purchased a brown bread that looked like it was baked in a food tin, unlike anything I’d ever seen. We also got a loaf of potato bread because my potato loaves come out gummy and I’ve always wanted to see what they are supposed to be like. We tried it this morning and it’s like a good version of Wonder Bread. I don’t crave this sort of bread often. But now I’ll try and figure it out at home for those days I just don’t want the extra enrichment of brioche or milk bread. I don’t understand what the brown bread is supposed to be. It’s lightly sweet, which I like, and dense, which is okay, too. It just doesn’t seem like it’s greater than the sum of it’s parts. Maybe I am slicing it wrong or it had gone a little stale by this morning.



#19

My mom baked brown bread in a coffee can and we ate it with her home made
baked beans and ham (sometimes hot dogs). Pretty common Saturday night
dinner in NE. I do miss her baked beans.


#20

Saturday night meant brown bread, baked beans and hot dogs. I haven’t looked for the canned brown bread in years but it was a staple in our pantry when I was a kid. Like Ocean Spray cranberry sauce in cans, you opened each end and pushed out the contents. Hard to describe but it was moist, not dry. Often heated in a cast iron pan until a tiny bit crispy on the edges.
With all due respect to Cambridge, MA bread bakers, I never heard of brown bread with blueberries, raisins maybe but not blueberries.