Thursday, May 04, 2006

new york city : post 3

Cream Puffs in New York

Before heading to New York, I was curious about the current cream puff rage; so, I decided to investigate while I was there. With friends, I sought out cream puff purveyors in Manhattan and sampled their wares. If you want to do the cream puff taste test for yourself, the three shops I review are conveniently located in Greenwich Village and Chelsea.

Beard Papa’s

My Beard Papa’s cream puff was decent but nothing to rave about. I felt that their reputation has unfortunately surpassed their puff. The choux paste was crunchy and the pastry cream filling generic. On the positive side, the bakery décor was funky and the staff pleasant. I credit Beard Papa’s for starting the cream puff sensation.

Choux Factory

My cream puff at Choux Factory was slightly better than Beard Papa’s—better primarily because the vanilla cream filling had more flavour. Overall, the puff was simple in flavour and, I thought, a little too simple in presentation. The atmosphere was decent but the service rather poor.

Puff + Pao

The food at Puff and Pao, the newest cream puff purveyor in NYC, was hands down my favourite. With a light choux paste and freshly whipped vanilla cream, Puff and Pao does cream puff right. The interior of the bakery was comfortable and contemporary, and the service was friendly, diligent and incredibly knowledgeable. Puff and Pao also makes savoury paolitos, small Brazilian-style cheese breads, which were delicious.

These are my thoughts. Yet, if you are really fond of cream puffs, I encourage you to try making your own. They are not complicated to prepare, and the results will likely be at least as good if not better than what you can find in most shops. Follow instructions and use high-quality ingredients to get the best results.

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Ivonne said...

Ok ... A cream puff in New York is almost as good as a cream puff in Venice!


I know it must have been a huge sacrifice for you to conduct this "research". But I for one am glad that you put yourself on the line like that for the benefit of your fellow food bloggers.

Taste-testing cream puffs is dirty work but someone has to do it ...

Well done!

sam said...

Hi Ivonne,

I will have to get back to you about whether a Cream Puff in Venice tatses better. Your blog on the other hand is awesome.

I love research and putting yourself on the line is sometimes neccessary.

Thanks for your lovely comments. Cheers!

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