I think the title of this post sums up my feelings for Beard Papa’s. For some people, it may only be “just cream puffs,” but for me, it is much bigger than “just cream puffs.” A Beard Papa’s location is a financial and cultural acknowledgement of growing tastes (and respect!) of Asian styled foods in Chicago (MIDWEST). Somebody thought Chi-town would be up for Beard Papa’s and guess what? It was nominated for Best Specialty Shop in Time Out Chicago’s 2010 Eat Out Awards and it had only been open for not too long.
Beard Papa’s is a Japanese cream puff bakery chain and is owned by Muginoho International Inc. Beard Papa’s can be found outside of Japan all over the world and offers franchising of the brand as well. Beard Papa’s locations can be found on the east and west coasts of the U.S. Inside the Chicago location, there are small tables and chairs for people to enjoy their desserts. The ordering system is simple. You place your order by the cashier and wait for your items to come out at the receiving end. If you ordered cream puffs, you’ll get to see the staff fill your cream puffs to order. Daily custard fillings include vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate.
I’m squeezing two visits of Beard Papa’s into this post so there’s lots of cream puffery to go around. Every weekend, Beard Papa’s features special cream puff flavors. On this particular visit, it was around October and on a weekend. I saw their lovely chalk sign advertising pumpkin topped cream puffs AND green tea custard puffs. It’s like they knew I was visiting! 🙂
I had to get the pumpkin topped cream puff. It’s a vanilla cream puff with a smooth pumpkin cream piped on top and topped with powdered sugar. And for those keeping track, this cream puff is on the website montage of food photos!
Doesn’t that look good? It was delicious. The pumpkin cream was smooth, pumpkin flavored and wasn’t overwhelming. But you do need a fork to eat this unless you’re hardcore and want to eat it like an oversized cupcake.
I liked how you could see the vanilla flecks in the vanilla cream filling.
And of course I got a green tea cream puff.
The cream puff’s butt hole. They pipe the cream filling into this opening for maximum cream puffery.
The green tea flavor really comes out and is definitely to my tastes. Not too sweet and has the right amount of green tea taste. I find that desserts that advertise a green tea flavor lack any green tea flavor or the flavor is flat.
On another visit, I ordered a 6 pack of puffs. I see it as this: the more, the merrier!
A plain puff with vanilla filling. Light, vanilla tasting, great smooth texture and lots of filling. Did you know that you could order different kinds of puffs? There’s a ‘cookie’ puff and some others so you could really mix it up with the different fillings available.
My usual cream puff order is a strawberry custard filling. Chock full of strawberries and cream. So. Freaking. Good. Though, I must warn you, these cream puffs will disappear quickly, should you decide to bring them to a work or family gathering. And remember, the more you buy, the bigger the discount per puff. I can’t wait to go back to Beard Papa’s. I hope to try the earl grey puff one day.
108 North. State Street
Chicago, IL 60602