Flour, Too

A couple weeks ago I was invited to a small party at Joanne Chang’s Flour Bakery + Cafe in Back Bay to celebrate the launching of her second book, Flour, Too. Her first book, Flour, had been insanely successful and focused on all of the decadent cookies, cakes, and other baked goods that come out of Flour. This second book focuses on more of the savory side of the cafe: sandwiches, soups, salad, and still plenty of sweet baked goods – like breakfast foods!

Getting to this party was a bit harder than I had anticipated.
The moment I stepped out of the T, the rain started coming down, hard.

I had no umbrella, yet it was still a good five minute walk before I would arrive at Flour.

Why oh why didn’t I take the T all the way to the Orange Line, which would have put me right in front of the restaurant?

Thankfully, it was relatively warm out, so I clutched my purse tightly next to my body – trying my best to protect my camera from the elements – and power walked as quickly as humanly possible.

Slosh slosh slosh. 

Every red light intersection felt like an eternity as I wondered what kind of mess I would look like when I finally did arrive.

And then finally, a warm, welcoming door.
I hung up my sopping wet jacket and was greeted with this.
And this.
My mind immediately forgot about the woes I faced getting here. I couldn’t wait to sample all the dishes from the new cookbook.
The party was held at Flour Back Bay (nicknamed “Flour 4”), which just opened January 2013. It’s located not too far from Copley Square right next to the orange line stop, Back Bay. Silly me – I took the green line to Boylston and walked, which normally wouldn’t be so bad had it not been raining so hard.

I briefly met Joanne Chang (she’s so nice!) before I began exploring all the amazing food her team had prepared from the new cookbook.
These refreshing drinks were a great way to relax after my stressful walk over.
These cheese gougeres were awesome -crumbly, cheesy, and all-around sort of addictive. I must have eaten three or four of them.
I really enjoyed this chicken too, which was served with a flavorful Romesco sauce and fresh English peas. I can imagine this making a pretty tasty sandwich.
It was hard to try everything, so I didn’t get a chance to try these other two sandwiches: Roast Lamb with Tomato Chutney and Rosemary Goat Cheese on top and Lemony Hummus with Cucumber, Sprouts, and Red Onion sandwich on the bottom.
This Buttermilk Fried Chicken was really, really good. I loved the strong, crispy edges, which were nicely seasoned. The chicken was juicy and super flavorful.
Mini-slider versions of the Spicy Turkey Burgers with Tomato Onion Jam in the cookbook.
These Spectacular Spiced Pecans were likely my favorite item of the night. This is especially surprising considering the fact that I actually don’t like pecans. I stay far away from pecan pie; I pick out pecans from any dessert that includes them; and I otherwise avoid the nut completely.

These pecans were sweet, crunchy, and surprisingly spicy. They had this kick that just made you want to come back for more. Seriously, it would be the first thing I would try making from the book. And I’d try to apply it on all sorts of other nuts as well.
I heard amazing things about these Bittersweet Chocolate Espresso Terrines, and I really wished I would have tried one. However, I was getting pretty full at this point already. Furthermore, they were giving out little “take away” boxes to guests, who could fill up on stuff to take home.

So I decided I would take a box of fun bites to enjoy later. I could try some of the stuff I didn’t have room to try here, and I could share some with Bryan, who couldn’t make it.
Alas, things don’t always turn out as planned.

As I waited inside the Back Bay T stop contemplating about the evening, a thin man walked up to me.

“Do you have any spare change?”

I sort of looked down at my feet, feeling torn yet not knowing what to do. “I’m sorry” I mumbled.

Then he looked down at my box of goodies.

“Can I have a cookie at least?”

I paused.

“Umm . . sure,” I replied. I began to open the box.

“Can you just give me the whole box? I’m really hungry.”

Weirdly tormented yet knowing it was the right thing to do, I handed the entire box over to the hungry man.

“Of course. Here you go, enjoy.”
I walked home, empty handed.

It was a good reminder for me to remember to put everything in perspective. I didn’t need any of that food, even though I would have really enjoyed it. This man was skinny, grumpy, and really, really hungry. He clearly needed it – otherwise he would not have begged me for it.

I really hope he enjoyed the food. Especially the huge pile of spiced pecans that I had taken, hee hee.

As for me, I am lucky that I walk by Flour Bakery + Cafe every week on my way to my singing rehearsal. It’s my dinner every Wednesday night. Perhaps I’ll have to ask them next time if they have any spiced pecans. If not, I can always bake my own from the book.

Thanks Joanne for inviting me to this awesome event! So glad to have finally met you in person!
Flour Bakery + Cafe
1595 Washington St
Boston, MA 02118
Flour Bakery + Cafe on Urbanspoon

Disclaimer – all the food was provided by Flour Bakery + Cafe. All opinions are my own.

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  1. says

    It was very virtuous of you to give the entire goodie bag to the hungry man! It was definitely the right choice that you made and I hope you don’t regret anything about it. You deserve to reward yourself with 2 bags of spiced pecans next time you pass by this place :)

  2. Sarah says

    So sweet that you gave the food to him. I am often torn when asked for money – buying a coffee or sandwich feels better. I am sometimes hesitant to make the offer (based on a weird response one time). It is a bit harder I imagine when it’s special treats rather than a slice of pizza or some other less fantastic food item. Regardless, yay for you for being so great! :)

  3. Pru says

    Thanks for bringing us along on this adventure. I would have given the guy the bag too. That was a really nice thing to do–I’m sure you didn’t do that just to have people say you are nice–but it /was/ nice.

  4. Lynn says

    You are so fortunate to be able to meet Joanne in person. And thanks for showing us the launch via the virtual world.

    You have a big and kind heart. Love the gesture of yours! The heart of the man would definitely be warmed by your generosity.

  5. Cristi DiGenova says

    That’s such a fun opportunity!!! I *love* my Flour cookbook, so I’m not surprised to hear that it’s been so successful. I’ll have to put the next one on my wishlist.

  6. says

    You are such a nice person. And the man was fortunate to have met you. He probably never had a chance to have good food like that. Even though you went home empty handed, your heart must be filled. :-)

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