Last fall, I had dinner with a bunch of my friends down in the DC area, and during the after-dinner conversation an interesting topic came up: “What would it be like to walk from one end of Manhattan to another?”
Well, I’d actually done this before (back in 2006, when I was visiting friends in NYC and had 6 hours to kill), but wanted to do it again, with some more time to kill. So did a bunch of the other folks, so we picked a date and decided to just do it. The result was the “Manhattan Death March”, which you can read about here.
A nice byproduct of the effort was that, since we were planning on walking almost 20 miles, we didn’t really have to feel guilty about stopping for the occasional snack. So snack we did.
Our first stop was H&H Bagels, which I’ve covered already, but just down the street from H&H, we had our second pit stop, which was Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs.
Beard Papa is a rather odd phenomenon, since despite all the French bakery-style decorations, it’s actually a Japanese company (Muginoho). The first one opened in the late 90s in Osaka, and from there it’s grown into a fairly large operation, with franchises in more than a dozen countries, and many large US metro areas.
While they’ve got a small menu of various pastries, there’s really one reason you are going to Beard Papa’s Cream Puffs, and that’s the… (tada!) cream puffs. Available singly or in half- or whole-dozens, the Beard Papa cream puff is taken fresh from a baking sheet, and filled to order in front of you with one of several fillings (vanilla cream being the primary one).
The end result, however, is one serious cream puff. The puff itself is perfectly-puffed and toasted pate a choux, and the filling is a sinfully creamy vanilla cream with little tiny vanilla seeds in it. Since it’s made to order, it also has absolutely no sogginess (although I strongly suspect these things have a 30 minute shelf life…).
In any case, Beard Papa was the perfect place for us to stop for 20 minutes to rest and recharge before resuming our walk. Even if the logo is a little creepy.