Thursday, July 26, 2007

47 restaurants in 47 days: #12, Beard Papa

Beard Papa
99 Yerba Buena Lane
San Francisco

Cream puffs once meant nothing to me. In most bakeries, those shells with their carefully swirled filling look tough and uncompromising. Give me a homey cupcake any day. (Preferably yellow cake with chocolate frosting, hold the sprinkles.)

That was before I met up with Beard Papa. It’s a chain of bakeries originating in Japan that sells nothing but cream puffs and ├ęclairs. The secret to Papa’s treats is a patented, double-walled puff pastry. The outside has the flakiness of a good pie crust. The inside is delicate French choux pastry.

These puffs are never bland or soggy. They are filled to order, with anything from the traditional vanilla whipped cream custard to various flavors of the week like pumpkin, green tea, and tiramisu.

The interior of the tiramisu cream puff is exactly what I’m trying to achieve on those rare occasions when I put sugar and cream in my coffee: just slightly sweet, with a smooth coffee flavor.

Speaking of which, NEVER order coffee at Beard Papa. It is fiendishly hot and bitter and just nasty. Find a Peet’s if you need buzz with your sweet.

Beard Papa on Urbanspoon

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