Having a favorite is a very special thing. In practical terms, a favorite is a decision-making shortcut. Furthermore, emotionally, a favorite provides you with guaranteed enjoyment.
One of my very favorite places is Tatte Bakery and Café in Boston. Tatte was founded by Tzurit Or, an Israeli woman who claims to have baked for 20 hours a day in her home and sold her goods around Boston farmers’ markets. After years of hard work, Or has built Tatte into a local staple with over 10 locations in the Boston area and two planned locations in Washington, D.C. (at the time of this writing). I have zero shame in saying that I have visited about 75% of all Tatte locations and do plan on visiting the remaining 25% when able to.
While I did once have a regular habit of visiting Tatte (more here), at the dawn of the new year, I decided to take it easy and make the café more of an occasional treat. However, not long after I decreased my Tatte runs, I stopped visiting the café altogether with the onset of the strict pandemic policies. After many (many, many) weeks of staying in, I had an opportunity not too long ago to visit Harvard Square for a work errand (more here). Harvard Square also happens to be home to one of Tatte’s largest locations. This Tatte—my first Tatte—is a two-story shop filled with white tiles, sweet smelling pastries, and lots of indoor seating. In my little world, the Harvard Square Tatte is the sun and I am but a dwarf planet sucked into its orbit upon stepping anywhere within a half mile radius of the building.
Needless to say, I rushed over to the Harvard Square Tatte. Upon approaching, I saw a few umbrellas and tables propped up in front of the exterior to provide for some very limited outdoor seating. Opening the door to the restaurant, I immediately noticed that the tables and chairs had been removed. Carts filled with treats were stationed to cordon off the back of the restaurant and also served to separate entering and exiting customers.
When I approached the pastry counter, I was greeted by the short, friendly woman with the dark hair and kind eyes, who recognized me even with my mask on. Even though there seemed to be a good deal fewer pastries on display, all of the staples remained intact. However, I will point out that a few items that I have enjoyed in the past including the challah bread and the “Veggie Croque Madame” sandwich were no longer available at this location. After placing an order for a plain brownie by the pastry stand, I headed up to the counter. Again, another staff member greeted me with a friendly, “Long time no see!” Yes, I really am a regular here. I placed an order for a few muesli cups (more here), paid, and left the restaurant in a timing that felt all too soon.
With my Tatte to-go bag, I turned left from the restaurant and headed toward the T station along the brick sidewalk. Even during rush hour—a time when Harvard Square is congested with cars and the walkways are packed with students and tourists—I found myself walking practically alone on my side of the street. Even with my familiar order in hand, my commute home reminded me just how much has changed since my last Tatte visit several months ago.
As tempting as Tatte is, I won’t make a habit of traveling across town for muesli cups. And… I also have no reason to, because Tatte delivers to my area… 😉