Monday, June 13, 2011

Saturday, May 28th - Beard Papas - Robson - Odd Flaky Indulgence not my Cuppa

Mango Cream Beard Papa
I like a good trend.  I find the mass facination with a particular food stuff intriguing and often in the social networking, blog world leads to fabulous discoveries.  Particular, to this tendancy for flash mob loyalty is the Asian community.  So at work a couple of years ago, a new recruit I hired from a Californian business school, told me about Beard Papas, a Japanese pastry that was extremely popular in L.A.  He described it and I thought, well, it sounds like a French Cream Puff.  Thus, it fell into a long line of European specialties that the Japanese adopted and perfected or morphed  like Tempura and Baumkuchen.  It came up in convo because a Beard Papa's had just opened in Richmond, south of Vancouver, then in Tinseltown in Chinatown and on it went.  Wherever it went, a fierce following went too. The daily specials often sold out by mid day.

I finally went in when I was passing by on Denman in the West End.  I looked at it and thought, it's a Cream Puff.  I tasted it and I thought, it's a Cream Puff.  I didn't and don't get it.  Then subsequently, I went to San Francisco to visit my sister and she dragged me all over downtown to the food court beneath Nordstrom's because there was something she wanted me to try.  We get down there and there it was, a Beard Papas!  For crying out loud.

Beard Papa's Vancouver's Robson store
Then recently, Beard Papa's opened up it's first downtown central store front.  It has a wide variety of flavours and sizes.  In the summer they even started to offer Sorbet filled Puffs.  My other sister was visiting from the Bay Area last month and she fanced one.  So she and D ordered the larger Mango Cream and Earl Grey.

Admittedly, they are light and flaky, though when they're not fresh fresh, they can be a bit chewy on the corners.  As well, the puff itself lacks any real flavour.  The filling is flavourful and creamy without being to heavy as some custards can be.  The Mango one was quite tasty though not big on Mango flavour. The Tea one had an interesting perfume to it.  On the whole, they're good but am puzzled by their popularity above other French bakeries and pastries.  I find the sell out of flavours annoying.  I don't go in on my own and rarely get one for myself. 

Cost: $$$ (for a puff)

Beard Papa's - Robson
548 Robson St
Vancouver, BC V6B
(604) 568-0058
Beard Papa's (Robson Street) on Urbanspoon
Mainly cuz I don't get the appeal.


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