After an afternoon deluge in Boston, the skies parted and it seemed as though the sun was pointing us right to Athan’s. Filled with more great baked goods than anyplace south of Montreal, most people don’t even recognize that this place is also a first class gelaterie. I chose the Black Currant, Ivy got the Rose, and Reed opted for a simple Chocolate.
Gelato is just an Italian ice cream. While it is being made, it is continually stirred so that it breaks up the ice crystals that form and the result is less air in the mix and thus a denser end product.
Athan’s has recently opened a second shop over in Brighton, but the company actually got it’s start back in Greece and still has sister stores back in Kalamata. It’s conveniently located right in Washington Square at the intersection of Beacon and Washington St, so there is a T stop just paces away. And while it opens up at 8am primarly for the coffee and pastry side of things, there is nothing to stop you from getting your day started here with gelato instead.
The Black Currant was great; the texture of a gelato is ideal for fruit flavors. The flavors were infused through the gelato, and the smooth, rich mouth feel made the berries just jump out boldly. (Fun to note that production of black currants is actually banned in Massachusetts, dating from the false assumption that they were a factor in causing the tree disease white pine blister rust). The rose flavor was a fabulously subtle rosewater flavor, and a taste of the chocolate made me fantasize about what their frappe could be.
The only negative that needs to be addressed is the fact that this is a bakery, and yet the gelato is only served in plastic dishes. For a place that bakes as much as this, I was really hoping for a homemade sugar or waffle cone.
While we sat in a tall table in the front window, there is actually a full cafe in the back of this store. It’s got a coffee bar, lots of tables, and is wi-fi enabled. In addition to the wide assortment of cakes and cookies, chocolates and pastries, they also make breakfast and paninis. There might not be any reason to leave.
Dish – small $2.45 medium $2.95
Athan’s European Bakery
Open year round
Sunday-Thursday, 8a-10p. Friday and Saturday, 8a-11p