These days, West Hartford's little "industrial" stretch is good for more than just getting us from Point A (Fitzscenic's place) to Point B (Pho Boston, duh). In fact, we're pretty much obsessed with Hartford Baking Company now that we've tasted their delicious Stumptown Coffee and fresh baked breads and scones (ginger and raisin and cranberry orange - oh my!). And pecan sticky rolls and caramel hazlenut chocolate squares...
Awash in a sea of crappy coffee, we easily forget that it should be more than just a caffeine kick and social prop - that coffee can actually taste good and go down smooth, unlike the bitter water that frequently passes as such. And that it's color should be rich and brown, even when cream is added! The regular old coffee at HBC is great; the espresso drinks are works of art:
Whenever we visit NYC, among the many things stirring up scenic envy are the wealth of decent coffee and fresh baked goods available on every corner - at least in the cool neighborhoods! Well, here in Hartfordshire we are still far from realizing that dream, but we hope that our smaller coffee connoisseur community will turn out on the regs for HBC and keep them in business.
Ho! What have we here? Right next door to HBC is a lovely consignment shop, Panache. How have missed this place? Oh, right, there didn't used to be a coffee and treats destination in this neighborhood so we just weren't looking. But our eyes are open now! Sorry fellas, this shop is pretty much for the ladies in the clothing department. But maybe you need some glass trinkets for your home? The clothes are by and large fashionable and in great condition, and have been conveniently organized for our browsing ease. Unfortunately, they are also kind of pricey, so we couldn't go home with everything we wanted (story of our lives!). It's very clean and tidy inside and easy to find what you are looking for (unlike some other shops we've experienced). The proprietor is particularly proud of the shop's shoes and accessories, which were impressive.
As was this coat, which some adoring suitor really ought to man up and buy for Katie Scenic.