Beard Papa.... cold choux?
I usually save my cream puff calories for Japonaise (echoing what others have said here recently), but today I was in the mood, and happened to be near Beard Papa, so I guiltily grabbed an original vanilla.
I got hooked on BP in California, and was expecting a nicely warm toasty crisp shell filled with contrastingly cool, not too sweet custard. The custard was right, but the shell was... cold! The flavor is nice, but it just wasn't the same kind of epiphanal cream puff experience.
Is the cold shell usual here? Is there a time when one can go to maximize chances of a warm one, or is it a matter of luck? (Do I need to ask them to toast it up?) I thought part of the BP gimmick was that they just make a few at a time and they're always fresh and warm for you. (In fact, my usual LA experience is that you often have to wait around 10 mins for some to be ready)
Was I just unlucky? Or is Boston communally unlucky? Those warm choux's can make a good cream puff an order of magnitude better.
thanks for the replies!! (though the end result is kind of sad)
my impression from the west LA location that got me hooked on BP is that they bake them about a dozen at a time, and they're always at least a bit warm when you get them. but maybe that's not intentional--i bet they do have higher turnover. (most of the restaurants in the area are japanese, and hence do not have dessert) they are *very* concerned with your cream puff experience, though--they very strongly recommend eating them immediately, and certainly within no more than 5 hours if you're getting a box to take home.
maybe next time i'll try to convince them to sell me the choux and custard separately, so i can toast and assemble them at home! (The faneuil setting doesn't necessarily encourage this kind of neighborhood shop helpfulness, but it's worth a shot) the pastry is really a lot tastier when warm, and the contrast between the crunchy shell with the unapologetically enormous amount of soft cold filling is something to behold.
wow-- we need to hold a rally and let the beard papa's headquarters know that we're on to them! we know that they're giving boston second rate choux and we're not going to stand for it any more :)
(it's not surprising that the LA branches are like the ones in japan-- they have the same style of service, with a whole line of cheerful young teenagers anxiously ready to hop into action and lovingly assemble your cream puffs for you. the boston branch seems a little... lackluster in their cream puff enthusiasm)