I've just moved to the South Shore from the other side of the river, and I was in the neighborhood today for an appointment in Weymouth Center (around the corner from South Shore hospital). I can never resist checking out a bakery so I went into Aroma Bakery right in the center, catty corner from the wonderful little local movie theater. It's a very traditional style neighborhood Italian bakery, the ones that can be so wonderful or can be sadly for me, crisco-y and stale.
Everything I tried was very, very good. I got a box full of treats for a small celebration and got to try them all: ricotta pie, mini chocolate eclair, mini cream puff, lemon cupcake, a slice of rum cake, and a macaroon. I also bought a slice of Sicilian style pizza for lunch.
The pastries rival or surpass much of what I've had in the North End and other Boston bakeries. Dare I say, the ricotta pie was the best I've ever had -- super creamy ricotta filling. It made Modern's seem weird and lumpy and dry. The cream puff was the kind you moan after biting into -- the right kind of whipped cream frosting and nice fresh pastry. The eclair pastry was great with a good custard filling. The macaroon was good but a little odd -- it was a macaroon sandwich with chocolate frosting inside -- a real sugar bomb. The rum cake was great -- a huge slice and so tall it wouldn't fit in the box, with a good proportion of pastry and custard and frosting. The lemon cupcake (filled with lemon pudding) was my least favorite of the bunch, a little dry. And the sicilian slice was remarkably good, really good sauce and the right proportion of crust and cheese. The quality of this stuff was really, really high.
They had some things I didn't try that are probably worth checking out. The owner (it's a husband and wife team) said that the cheesecakes (sold in slices) were very popular, and one of them seemed to be carrot cake cheesecake? I would also try their biscotti next time, and something called a Bird's Nest with raspberry jam and a swirl of chocolate frosting. They had cannoli, but if you're a cannoli perfectionist, they are pre-filled here. But based on their ricotta pie, I'll bet they rock. They also had baklava on the counter and maybe a spinach pastry so I'm guessing they are Greek.
The owner said they'd been open about two years, after a Swedish bakery at that site closed. Inexplicably, they were selling what appeared to be a self-published book by a man who claims he was mistakenly switched in his hospital cot at birth and grew up in the wrong family. $10 tells you all you need to know, with photos!
Has anyone else ever tried this place? It's going to be a problem to resist the next time I'm in the neighborhood. Is it worth a special trip? If you're a ricotta pie fan, yes. If you want the real deal for eclairs, cream puffs and haven't found them elsewhere, I'd say yes as well. I don't get the impression that this place has been noticed much -- but it's definitely absolutely worth checking out if you're a bakery fan.