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L.A. Burdick

47 Main St., Walpole, NH - (603) 756-2882
Posted By Michael Stern on 10/13/2015 4:39:00 AM
"Have a mouse on the house," said the girl behind the counter many years ago when I told her I was a first-time visitor to L.A. Burdick. As soon as I sunk my teeth into the dark chocolate ganache of this cute little cocoa creature, I knew that I was in candy heaven.

It was Cissy Hicks, who was chef and proprietor at the Dorset Inn in Vermont, who told me to be sure to detour to Walpole to experience this amazing place, and I'm sure glad I did. For chocolates, for pastries, for a cup of hot chocolate, there is no place I know that delivers so much pure and perfect satisfaction.

The hot chocolate comes in two varieties, milk and dark. The milk is liquid velvet, a chocolate daydream, so rich and fully satisfying. Dark hot chocolate, made from chocolate shavings and steamed milk, is a cocoa steamroller, truly the most potent chocolate food or drink I've ever tasted. It is only sweet enough to round out the cocoa bean's inexorable intensity. Even sipped in the tiniest increments, it is overwhelming ... in the best possible way.

To go along with that hot chocolate (or coffee, which seems downright ghostly in contrast), there are fantastic pastries: Gugelhopf, the Austrian/Swiss bundt cake that is perfumed with lemon and vanilla, is as buttery as cake can be. The almonds and hazelnuts that go into Burdick's classic Linzer torte are balanced by a slight haze of cloves. A cherry Danish is more delicate than most croissants; and the croissants seem like they might actually float off the plate.

All these wonders can, of course, be taken away. Or they can be enjoyed here in a pleasant little tea room with nicely-clothed tables topped with heavy brown paper.

If you like chocolate, do make this a road trip destination.

There are Burdicks in Boston and New York. The one in Walpole, New Hampshire, is what the management calls "home base."

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Scorecard

5 - Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Overall: Legendary - Worth driving from anyplace
Chocolate Mouse
Linzer Torte
Chocolate-Covered Ginger
Gugelhopf
Hot Chocolate
Cherry Danish
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Reviewers Photos [Upload Your Photos]

Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry filled with raspberry jam and rich with the flavors of hazelnuts and almonds, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. It is accompanied by a cloud of fresh whipped cream.
"Linzer torte is a traditional Austrian pastry filled with raspberry jam and rich with the flavors of hazelnuts and almonds, vanilla, cinnamon, and cloves. It is accompanied by a cloud of fresh whipped cream."
Michael Stern





No ordinary pastry, L.A. Burdick's cherry Danish sports sweet-tart fruit filling and a brittle crust.
"No ordinary pastry, L.A. Burdick's cherry Danish sports sweet-tart fruit filling and a brittle crust."
Michael Stern


Gugelhpopf is an old-world bundt cake that is rich and buttery -- so, so good with coffee.
"Gugelhpopf is an old-world bundt cake that is rich and buttery -- so, so good with coffee."
Michael Stern


The alpha and omega of hot chocolate: dark, intense, rich, and overwhelmingly satisfying.
"The alpha and omega of hot chocolate: dark, intense, rich, and overwhelmingly satisfying."
Michael Stern


Small-town charm, world-class confectionery sophistication
"Small-town charm, world-class confectionery sophistication"
Michael Stern


Tables in the tea room are covered with brown paper.
"Tables in the tea room are covered with brown paper."
Michael Stern


I placed a couple of pieces of chocolate-covered ginger atop the flash to try to depict the brilliant zest these candies have. Is their spicy sweetness abetted by a just a faint hint of salt?
"I placed a couple of pieces of chocolate-covered ginger atop the flash to try to depict the brilliant zest these candies have. Is their spicy sweetness abetted by a just a faint hint of salt?"
Michael Stern


Leading up to Halloween, Burdick created a haunted graveyard out of chocolate -- for display only.
"Leading up to Halloween, Burdick created a haunted graveyard out of chocolate -- for display only."
Michael Stern


It's tough choosing just one or two or three pastries to accompany morning coffee or hot chocolate. They all are so inviting.
"It's tough choosing just one or two or three pastries to accompany morning coffee or hot chocolate. They all are so inviting."
Michael Stern


The tea room is to the right, pastries and hot chocolate-brewing area to the left, behind the counter.
"The tea room is to the right, pastries and hot chocolate-brewing area to the left, behind the counter."
Michael Stern


Stephen says this represents a half portion of L.A. Burdick's monster cup of hot chocolate. 'I can't drink one of those without an ice cold glass of water.' This one is at the Cambridge, Mass., L.A. Burdick store. (Stephen Rushmore photo)
"Stephen says this represents a half portion of L.A. Burdick's monster cup of hot chocolate. 'I can't drink one of those without an ice cold glass of water.' This one is at the Cambridge, Mass., L.A. Burdick store. (Stephen Rushmore photo) "
Michael Stern


The L.A. Burdick in Cambridge, Mass. (Stephen Rushmore photo)
"The L.A. Burdick in Cambridge, Mass. (Stephen Rushmore photo)"
Michael Stern


The interior of the store in Cambridge looks like the one in Walpole ... and has the same cocoa-perfume smell! (Stephen Rushmore photo)
"The interior of the store in Cambridge looks like the one in Walpole ... and has the same cocoa-perfume smell! (Stephen Rushmore photo)"
Michael Stern


When you taste L.A. Burdick chocolate, you fully understand why these principles are so important. (Stephen Rushmore photo)
"When you taste L.A. Burdick chocolate, you fully understand why these principles are so important. (Stephen Rushmore photo)"
Michael Stern



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