If you love desserts, and if you especially love cream puffs, you must try Beard Papa’s in Upper West Side. They are Japanese bakery shop, some say they offer the “World’s Best Cream Puffs” – I might have to agree to that, but you be the judge. They have stores all over in the US and around the world, and continue to expand.
Inside is small but also offer a seating section so if you want to have the cream puffs right then and there, you can do that too. You can see all the yummy cream puffs and other sweets through the window showcase, and they have a cute drawing on their chalkboard explaining what they offer. They also have seasonal special, when we went, they had “mother’s day special” as well.
We tried their “original Cream Puffs” – total of 6 kinds. You get $1 off when you order 6, so it came out to be $13.05 total. There are: Original Cream Puff, Cocoa Puff, Dulce de Leche Puff, Eclair Cream Puff, Paris Brest, and Paris Brest Eclair.
The Original Cream Puff ($2.15) – it is big and heavy. After you bite into it, you see why. It has enormous amount of filling! I am not sure how they can put so much filling… They also had dark chocolate filling (they have filling of day, addition to regular vanilla filling), but we got them all with original vanilla filling. The filling was so good, rich, flavorful, very vanilla-y. You can see the vanilla beans, I totally love that. The puff was light and airy, somehow making this super rich dessert not to be so heavy in stomach. It is a nice large size, so it is great for sharing also.
The Cocoa Puff ($2.15) – also lots of filling, it gave a nice contrast against the cocoa puff, which was again, light, airy, and had nice cocoa flavor. If you love chocolate, it might be interesting to get the chocolate filling. It also has rich, dark chocolate chunks right in the dough, but not too much, I think we only had maybe 2 chunks.
Dulche de Leche ($2.35) looks like an ordinary puff from the outside, but as soon as you bite into it, you taste the caramel with the sweet cream. You might not even see much of the caramel under the enormous filling, but you can certainly taste it. It had just the right amount of caramel somehow, it was strong enough to taste, without being overwhelming.
Eclair Cream Puff ($2.45) – Classic puff with chocolate covering on the outside. Good amount of chocolate, not too thin so that you get a nice chunk of chocolate with each bite. It still managed to keep the puff in its right shape, and the chocolate was rich and flavorful.
Paris Brest ($2.35) – twist of a Spanish Churro and an American Donut. The name if from 2 cities in France, Paris and Brest. Crunchy on the outside and soft and chewy in the inside. And they are baked, not fried like how Churro or donuts are. Because of that, they are not greasy, but light fluffy. The filling goes almost all the way around in the inside. I know, how great is that?
Paris Brest Eclair ($2.60) – they have to have eclair version of this, of course. Again, they are not fried so they are not greasy, and I liked the fact that they are only half covered in chocolate, so while you are holding the dessert heaven in your hands, they don’t melt all over. The filling goes almost all the way around, it was such a delight.
They have so many more flavors and different types of puffs, I am determined to try every single one of them… They might make you do extra crunches and sit-ups, but they are soooo worth it!!! It will also make a great gift for someone, or take it with you to a party (they have mini-puffs), and you will be the star of the party.
One thing to keep in mind: they might not all speak sufficient amount of English, so if you have questions, it might be difficult to communicate with them…
Beard Papa’s – 2167 Broadway, New York, NY 10024