Small Bite at The Wholy Grain

The Wholy Grain: Not yet the holy grail of bakeries, but not too shabby either.

Photograph by Anthony Tieuli

Photograph by Anthony Tieuli

The South End already has a fairly full roster of worthy bakery/café hybrids (see: Flour, South End Buttery, Appleton Bakery, Francesca’s). So when another one comes along, expectations run high. Such is the challenge for the Wholy Grain, a casual-cozy hangout with a charming patio and a wood-accented interior. For the most part, it delivers. Sandwiches such as the wasabi tuna salad and the spicy chicken and blue cheese (both $7.95) were fresh and flavorful, if a bit skimpy. Pastries are another highlight: The Tollhouse pie ($3.95), a thick chocolate chip cookie encased in flaky crust and adorned with gobs of gooey chocolate, was a sweet marvel, as was the apple crumble ($3.95), made with that same dough. The “grain” part of the equation receives equally high marks: A loaf of Irish soda bread ($3.50) was crisp outside, moist and dense inside. Yet the signature vegetarian-friendly “Wholy Bowl” ($4.95$6.95), packed with brown rice, beans, sharp cheddar, black olives, and a sad representation of salsa, was lackluster. The place may not yet be the gold standard of its genre, but it definitely has potential.

275A Shawmut Ave., Boston, 857-277-1531,