Tag Archives: Paris-Brest

All Hail Beard Papa’s

 

My first experience with Beard Papa’s was my junior year in high school, when a friend of mine introduced me to it. We have been best friends ever since. It has also been able to avoid becoming a huge city trend to the point where it is crowded all the time with long lines. With only one location, the Upper West Side (Broadway, between 76th and 77th), this pastry shop finds itself in a neighborhood that is not overwhelmingly busy, but still holds the fast paced life of the city. Location is definitely the main reason for Beard Papa’s laidback and relaxed environment. You can easily step in, purchase items, and depart in a span of only five minutes or you can choose to sit and enjoy the calm sitting space.

 

Beard Papa’s is loved in the city. It’s a great way to begin my “Worth the Hype?” series because I thought instead of exposing a place that would be full of disappointment, I would introduce to you a shop that definitely upholds its reputations of producing some of the best Japanese desserts. As it is known for it’s cream puffs, I am not ashamed to say that I’ve tried the green tea and honey, vanilla, dulce de leche, and cocoa puff flavors. I must admit, I was not disappointed in the slightest. The cream puffs are filled in front of you, and then sprinkled with confectioner’s sugar. Biting into a Beard Papa’s cream puff includes first breaking the crispy and crunchy puff pastry surface, and then reaching the center of cream that oozes out as your teeth press down to bite. The cream puffs are so soft and fluffy that you feel like you have stepped off Earth for a second and are walking amongst the clouds.

Frozard ice cream puffs are also available, which is basically a cream puff cut in half and filled with soft serve ice cream. I tried the green tea ice cream puff and it definitely met my expectations.

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The fondants are also worth the hype, and while not advertised as Beard Papa’s greatest creation, I think they are its greatest asset and the reason why I always go back to Beard Papa’s. The fondants, if purchased to stay, are warmed up for you, but if purchased to go, be sure to refrigerate and then microwave it for a little before eating. The two fondants that I have tried are the chocolate fondant and the green tea fondant. The fondants have a nice crust at the bottom, a fluffy cake, and are filled with the great melted chocolate or green tea cream. If deciding what to get at Beard Papa’s, this is a must. Chocolate fondant cookies are also offered at Beard Papa’s and like the fondants, have the chocolate filling inside that melts in your tongue with every bite.

Other desserts at Beard Papa’s include mocha ice cream, Paris-Brests, and eclairs among others. The drink selection includes basics such coffee, cappuccino, and chai latte but also includes their signature drinks which include the green tea latte, Belgium dark hot chocolate, and “Fruit’n Tea”, which is tea with cut fruits.

Beard Papa’s is extremely affordable, with the most expensive item being a 16 oz. double shot mochaccino, sold for $4.50 and its least expensive item being a mocha ice cream for $1.75.

Extremely inexpensive and with such a wide variety of seasonal flavors and new pastries, Beard Papa’s is the perfect place to go for dessert. They know what they’re doing and do it well. It is definitely a place worth the hype it has gotten. As one of my favorite dessert places, I would recommend it to all.

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Postcards from Paris: The Paris-Brest

1st Postcard: The Eiffel Tower

Kelcey begins our first Study Abroad correspondence series with POSTCARDS FROM PARIS.  This series will be on Wednesdays, alternating between Kelcey and fellow Culinarian Yael, exploring French culture and food.  

No one does pastry like the French. Maybe it’s the quality of the ingredients: pastry chefs here are exetrmely fastidious about sourcing only the most pristine, unblemished fruits, and the purest chocolate.  Even the fat-percentage of French butter is higher than others (and, oh, is the butter here good). But in my opinion, perhaps the most important reason French pastry is in a whole other stratosphere is because pastry chefs really do live and breathe pastry. Their shops are more than a source of livelihood: they are direct reflections of their art. So it was no surprise that when Yael (a fellow Culinarian in Paris) and I went to Jacques Genin yesterday to try his famed Paris-Brest, Monsieur Genin himself was running around his beautiful, perfectly decorated and organized shop, speaking with customers and making sure that everything was in order.

M. Genin first gained fame as a master confectioner, making chocolates, fruit candies and caramels for the best restaurants in Paris. Now, with his own fame superceding his confectionary skills, he has opened his own store, complete with seating if you wish to linger over a miraculously perfect pastry for an hour or two. But M. Genin’s store is definitley a place to sit and linger quietly.  There was no music playing in the store, most people sat reading at their tables, and if people were speaking, it was very hushed. So Yael and I did feel a little out of place, but soon found our way to a table and placed our order, almost in a whsiper. It felt almost formal, like the fine-dining expereince of pastry (think Lady M on the Upper West Side but about 100 times more formal). So although I usually have no qualms about photographing pastry especially, I didn’t have the guts to do it. So many thanks to the fabulous Mr. David Leibovitz for providing this picture (after the break) of the Paris-Brest (who at least is a personal friend of M. Genin and gets permission to photograph).

Now, the Paris-Brest…

Continue reading Postcards from Paris: The Paris-Brest