Beard Papa stinks [moved from San Francisco board]
- Robert Lauriston Jul 24, 2006 07:02 PM
I was walking past Fourth and Mission Saturday, so I thought I'd give Beard Papa a try. The smell made me lose my appetite: like factory-made pie dough baking. Which makes sense, since that's the outer covering.
And don't you love the video showing how they make them using canned milk? Yum! Plus I love when they bend down (in video) and you can see all the cleaning supplies and other crap tossed about.
Smells like a bad carnival midway...but hey, some of the best junk food comes from places like that. Chances are they didn't budget much for the video, and got some amateur to make it.
Bought 6 of the vanilla eclairs this weekend. Same thing as the cream puffs, with the addition of a chocolate topping. Usually I love eclairs, but not this time. The topping results in masking the crispness of the outer shell when you bite into it. For me, the contrast between that crispness and the softness of the interior shell was what makes these unique. Also, the chocolate had barely a trace of sugar, most likely bittersweet. Because japanese baked goods tend to have less sugar anyways, IMHO these puffs really benefit from the powered sugar that the plain ones are sprinkled with. All in all, a very unsatisfactory experience. Regretting that I had bought six, I promptly cut off the tops of the remaining puffs when I returned home. Took 2 days for 3 people to finish them up...that's how unexciting they were after the decapitation.
Agreed. I don't see what all the fuss is about.
Though, maybe it speaks volumes about the sad state of fine pastry in the US nowadays. Or I am reading into it too much.
I will say this: my first ever Beard Papa (Sawtelle location in Los Angeles) was delicious. Crispy outside, soft creamy filling, chock full of visible black vanilla seeds that popped lightly in my mouth.
Second visit: vile. The number of vanilla seeds in the cream was about a fifth of that at my first visit, the crust had been pre-filled and was a little soggy, and I didn't get the opening week buy two get one free deal (which is just as well, because it was so ho hum). Too bad they can't keep up the quality past the first few weeks.
Update: I prefer BP to a lot of food court sweet snacks, but I think what finally killed it for me was watching the staff rip open a clear plastic sack of frozen dough balls the size of golf balls, pour them onto a baking sheet, haphazardly spread them around, and then pop them into the oven. Where's the magic?