Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Restaurant Review: Muffins on Main

When I heard that a little muffin bakery had opened within a 5-mile radius of my home that was peanut & treenut free - I had to check it out with my little guy. It's a rare treat to be able to take him to a bakery that's safe for his food allergies and so it seemed like a great opportunity to have a Mom & Son Date. Off we went. 
Muffins on Main is a small, simple coffee & muffin shop in the center of town. You can tell that the shop owners want to keep it that way; they (very proudly) do not have WiFi, they have seats for 10 people, and their menu is extremely simple: 10 varieties of muffins & scones, coffee (dark/medium/light), tea, cocoa, and juice. That's it. They have found a focus and you can tell that there is a lot of effort in making sure that they excel at it.

The Good:

The muffins were VERY tasty. My son had decided before we even arrived that he wanted a blueberry muffin and found them in the case as soon as we walked in. I chose a French Breakfast muffin (flavored with nutmeg and then dusted with a cinnamon sugar), and we paired our muffins with a dark roast coffee and a fresh-squeezed orange juice. After we finished our initial order, we brought home 3 more blueberry muffins, a pumpkin chocolate chip muffin, a cranberry orange muffin, and a cranberry white chocolate scone as well.
Let's talk about the food itself first. The muffins were wonderful; they were moist and cakey, left behind few crumbs, and had awesome flavors as well. The scone had that biscuit-like texture and buttery flavor without being too dry, which is always a challenge with scones and Muffins on Main did NOT fail at it - to my scone-picky preferences, it was about as close to perfect as a scone can get. We had 2 muffins that survived the first day, and I am happy to report that after staying in a Ziploc bag in the fridge for 2 days, the muffins held up well and were still delicious.
All smiles after picking a blueberry muffin!
The dark roast coffee was tasty as well and it pleasantly lacked that "burned" taste that some dark roast coffees can have. I also thought it was a nice touch that they have vanilla infused simple syrup as an option for sweetener. The fresh-squeezed orange juice was also great; I stole a sip of my son's (Mom has to check on these things) and it was perfectly sweet. Whatever oranges they're using are the perfect kind for juicing and serving; my son is juice picky and he downed all of it quickly and asked me if he could have some more.
I LOVE that they don't have WiFi. After sitting there with my son for a half-hour, you can tell that they are trying to create a small-town bakery/coffee shop culture. There were regulars who came in that they knew by name, they engaged everyone who walked in with pleasant conversation, and there is a sign up encouraging people to free up the limited seating when they finish their muffins. They do NOT want their shop to become a place where people come to settle in and get work done - and I can absolutely appreciate that. It was incredibly refreshing and fit well with the bright, wooden, simply rustic and charming atmosphere achieved with the decor.
Customer service was also wonderful. When the baker overheard me talking about my son's allergy, she ran from the back to remind the staff that the outside gluten-free varieties were not safe for my son. The two women working the register were engaging with my 4-year-old son and all smiles to everyone who came in. When I ordered my son's juice, they offered me a second empty glass to make it easier for him to handle without spilling and without my having even thought of it or asking. They were helpful at the end when I ordered my to-go box of goodies and answered all of my questions both in person and on the phone with cheerful demeanors and a willingness to help.

The "Meh":
There is no BAD about this place which is why I am just calling this the "meh" section instead of the "bad" or "cons" section. Both things I'm about to list here have caveats attached to them.
Nothing meh about this picture...
...except people who waste muffins.
First is the parking. Muffins on Main does NOT have a parking lot, so once you find the place (easy to do) you'll have the park on the street. The good news is that while parking directly in front of their shop is very limited, there is PLENTY of GOOD street parking in a 1-2 block walk from their front door. Further, Westford (I discovered) does a great job of clearing these spots of snow (we went 2 days after 4-5" of snow fell and all of the spots in the center of town for parking seemed to be cleared and wide). So... yeah, they don't have a parking lot but there's plenty of street parking - "meh".
Second is the size of the muffins. The muffins are $2 each and are not that much bigger than standard muffins that you make at home. I somewhat expected the size of the muffins in a muffins shop to be closer to what you'd get out of an at-home "jumbo" pan, but alas that was not the case. Having said that - they are a little bigger than what you'd make at home and certainly better quality/taste; very fluffy, moist, tasty and well-risen, beautifully shaped muffins are what you get from Muffins on Main. While the price-tag is higher than what you'd get from chain places on lower-quality, bigger muffins - they're better muffins, and from my perspective they're safe for my son to eat. So again - "meh". (Note - the scones were also $2/each and were about average scone size - but above average scone taste.)

We ABSOLUTELY plan on heading to Muffins on Main again (and again and again). It's the perfect place to have little family dates and in the spring we'll grab muffins and then head over to eat them on Westford Common. I highly recommend heading over if you appreciate muffins, coffee, and simplicity (and a double recommendation if you have peanut/treenut allergies and are looking for a safe little place to get a coffee/baked good).


Muffins on Main is located at 40 Main Street in Westford, MA and can be found online at

I was not at all compensated or requested to write this review and I have no affiliation to the folks who own/operate the bakery other than I went there once and gave them about $20 of my money in exchange for delicious baked goods & beverages. 

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