Originally published 03/01/2014
You may stumble upon South End Buttery Bakery and Café as you wander through streets lined with idyllic brownstone townhouses in the South End neighborhood of Boston. I’ve visited it about once per year over the past four years – once for dinner and three times for their weekend brunch. It’s always bustling with people.
*This adjective is brought to you by the movie, Clueless (1995). As if I would consult another source to expand my vocabulary.
Cher: Sporadically. It means once in a while. Try to use it in a sentence.
Josh: [later] Be seeing you.
Tai: Yeah, I hope not sporadically.
Chocolate Chip Banana Pancakes (they should really title it, “Pancakes Topped with Bananas and Chocolate Chips” though)
I tasted two of the brunch “entrées” (read: socially sanctioned desserts as a meal), and both were generously portioned and well-executed. The brioche french toast was topped with strawberries, strawberry-flavored whipped cream, sliced almonds, and powdered sugar, and the pancakes were topped with sliced bananas, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and powdered sugar. Both were served with a side of real maple syrup to pour as desired. I was very happy to see that they used real, homemade whipped cream, since many establishments opt for variations of oil-based whipped topping and spray whipped cream. South End Buttery took it to another level by actually flavoring its whipped cream with strawberries to accompany one of its dishes. I will say that incorporating the bananas and chocolate chips into the pancake batter would have really kicked this second dish up a notch. The plain pancakes were fluffy and perfectly acceptable, but cooking the pancakes on the griddle with the bananas and chocolate chips already inside would have given them a stronger banana flavor and assured that all of the chocolate chips began to melt.
After I finished my late brunch, I headed up to the bakery area to get a treat to go. They were sold out of most items by this point, so I had no trouble selecting the salted caramel cupcake. The chocolate cake was moist and flavorful and the chocolate buttercream was good as well, but the best part by far was the homemade caramel sauce and the sprinkle of sea salt to complete the contrast in flavors. It would be a great idea to fill the cupcake with salted caramel sauce in addition to the caramel well within the icing swirl, because the caramel is just too good not to be included in every bite.