Choux Factory v. Beard Papa
- Tim Mar 22, 2005 05:12 PM
Please, somebody tell me that Choux Factory is not as good as Beard Papa. I am on a diet, but once I get an idea in my head, like comparing the cream puffs at Choux Factory (never been) and Beard Papa (been too many times, hence the diet), then no diet can hold me back and I will be dreaming of those Choux factory cream puffs till I've stuffed each and every flavor down my throat - diet be damned!
So for anyone who has tried both Choux Factory and Beard Papa, how do they stack up against eachother? Please keep in mind that if enough people tell me that Choux Factory can't compare to Beard Papa, then this cream puff spell will be broken and I'll be able to carry on with my diet sans interruption. Lie to me people, lie to me.
Sorry I can't be of help, but I just want to say that I feel your pain. I'm on WW to lose my Beard Papa pounds. I burn off calories by crossing the street to avoid walking by the store.
I like Choux Factory a little better. The flavor of the custard is cleaner. But it makes a huge difference just how fresh they are, so I hope you're lucky and get there just after they finished baking a batch.
I assume you are referring to Beard Papa and Choux Factory in UES. If I can be of help to your diet/cream puff dilemma, I much prefer Panya (3rd Av and 9th St) to Beard Papa (the Broadway branch). So if you walk from UES to EV and back, then you can lose weight AND enjoy your cream puff. How does that sound?
Having tried them both, I'm happy to report that in my (and my girlfriend's) opinion, Beard Papa is, in fact, better in both cream and shell. Choux Factory isn't really worth the calories.
Damn you people! Your reviews of Choux Factory were mixed so I had to find out for myself.
I tried all three standard Choux Factory flavors (chocolate, vanilla and strawberry) as well as a special vanilla choux topped with chestnut paste. As you can see, moderation is not a word in my vocabulary.
First, the chestnut. Interesting concept but it was just too sweet and the choux shell was soft and unappetizing because they make these special ones in advance and refrigerate them.
Now for the standard flavors. Overall, I liked the pastry shells at Choux Factory better than those at Beard Papa. Don't jump down my throat here if you feel the opposite because I do recognize that each shell has its merits and it is very much a matter of personal preference. I've always found the Beard Papa shells to be too crusty and too big for my tastes. Choux Factory, on the other hand, had just the right level of crustiness in their shells and they weren't so big that the filling splattered out everywhere like the BP puffs do. Also, the shells at CF had a nice lightly sweet flavor to them, even though I declined the powdered sugar topping. BP's shells seem flavorless until doused with powdered sugar, which makes their cream puffs even messier to eat.
The tables are turned when it comes to the custard filling. BP really excells in this catergory and I have often wondered if they would just sell me a vat of their cream and hold the shells (sometimes I eat the cream and chuck the shell anyway). BP's standard vanilla with visible flecks of vanilla bean is wonderfully fresh-tasting and not overly sweet. Their chocolate and green tea flavored fillings are outstanding as well. The green tea is very subtely flavored and the chocolate is clearly made with some decent quality cocoa.
Choux Factory really drops the ball in the custard department. The vanilla custard has the color, consistency and taste of the filling that Dunkin Donuts and other low grade donut makers use in their custard and Boston Creme donuts. While I'm sure they use fair quality ingredients and make the stuff fresh, but it has a really low-end taste, its way way too sweet and the consistency is too thick (seems like they may use corn starch or some other thickener).
The chocolate custard is a let-down in the sweetness and consistency departments as well, but they do seem to use a good quality dark cocoa which manages to redeem it somewhat. This, in fact, was my favorite of CF's flavors.
The absolute bottom of the barrel was the strawberry flavored cream puff. It had the same weaknesses as the vanilla custard as far as being too sweet, too thick, and tasting like really low quality stale donut custard. But what sets this flavor apart was the atrocious strawberry flavoring. You know that really artificial-tasting strawberry flavoring they use in Strawberry Yoohoo and Strawberry Nestle Quick syrup? Well, that's just what these things tasted like they were flavored with. Whatever it was, it certainly wasn't real strawberries (though there were red flecks of strawberry something mixed in their, which I can only assume was another artificial additive).
Well, at least I didn't like Choux Factory. And now that I think of it, I'm kind of sick of Beard Papa too. I guess that free me up to move on with my life and focus on more important things, like who makes the best gourmet chocolates in the city. I guess I picked a bad day to start a diet.
i like beard papa.. when there over the weekend with gf... very good.. where is the choux factory?
Wow - I saw your "results" before I got a chance to post. I just had Choux Factory for the first time last night. I like Beard Papa better, on both pastry and filling. I like that the BP pastry isn't as sweet -- I'm not looking for overly sweet. And I agree that BP vanilla blows away Choux. But I did like the filling for the Choux chocolate -- it had a bit of a bitter (not really the right word but you know what I mean) flavor that made me think really good dark chocolate. But the consistency of the fillings at Choux are too pudding-y for me. But I REALLY like DinerOn8th's suggestion of the walk to burn off the calories. That's something maybe I'll consider. I don't get BP nearly often enough. :)
Wow--this post really shows that people have to try something for themselves :)
I took Choux Factory vanilla cream puffs to a birthday dinner last night. They were a HIT!
Vs. Beard Papa, I like Choux Factory a little bit more, I think. Maybe I should re-visit Beard Papa this weekend to make sure :)