Beard Papa

by Anna Harari
Print Email

I was having a particularly bad day.  I won't go into details but imagine college freshmen year and you can fill in the rest.  As I walked towards my dorm I saw the longest line I had ever seen and remembered that Beard Papa, the Japanese bakery that sold only cream puffs had just opened.  A cream puff is the only thing that will cheer me up, I decided, and I got on the end of the block long line.  After I stood there a few minutes, a homeless man, do-rag and all, came up to me and aked, "You waitin' in line for a cream puff?"  He was astonished.

"Yes," I said.

"Now why you wana do a crazy thing like that?" he asked again.

"Well," I replied, "I really want a cream puff, and there's a line, so
that's what I'm doing."

"That's crazy.  That's crazy, that's ridiculous," he muttered and walked off.

The line progressed and I got to the point where I was just inside the store.  It was amazing.  A factory line of the entire cream puff process was on display, complete with strange yet sleek machines and servers in baker's hats and yellow aprons.  Two businessmen emerged from the immaculate store.  "That guy was a fuckin' asshole," one suit said to the other.

"You talkin' to me?"  My homeless man was right behind them.  "What you say to me?  You got something to say, you say it to my face."

"Yea I'll say it to your face," the suit replied as the two men got dangerously close and continued to yell at each other.  Fights in New York are strange, because there are always a million spectators, yet no one pays any attention, they just give the fighters a  circumference of space and let them on their way.

"But not here," I thought to myself.  It was like bringing a Pay-Per-Vue fight into an animated version of Willy Wonka.  It just didn't belong.  The Japanese baker, the first man on the assembly line, opened his mouth, surely to stop the fight, I thought.  Instead he started singing: "Get your cream puff, light and fluffy.  Get your cream puff, light and fluffy."

The men got louder over the singing.  Finally the fight subsided and the businessmen left the store.

creampuff.jpg The homeless man walked after them "Yea, that's right," he shouted.

Then he looked around completely lost.  He scanned the whole line.  I suddenly realized what he was looking for.

"Oh there you are," and he handed me a cream puff.

I looked down, I looked at him, and I looked at everyone else in line, who was now staring at me.  I calculated how much more drama I would cause by rejecting it, so I took the cream puff, quickly said thank you and got off the line.  As I got down the block just out of embarassment's way, I bit into heaven, and my day suddenly turned around. 


Known as the bakery of the “World’s Best Cream Puffs,” Beard Papa’s has been a household name since 1999 when Yuji Hirota opened the first Beard Papa’s store in Osaka, Japan pumping out this unique cream puff to happy people.

Add comment

Security code

Restaurant News

Momofuko in the Wasteland
New York
by Michael Tucker

milkbar.jpgThe Upper West Side just joined the world. Move over East Village; now us UWS Jews can sneak out of synagogue on the High Holy Days and chow down on steamed pork buns without leaving our own...

by Ilene Amy Berg

ihop2.jpg Before there was IHOP, there was Gwynn’s. 

When I was a kid in suburban Teaneck, New Jersey, it was always a treat to go for Sunday brunch with my family at Gwynn’s on Teaneck Road.  Gwynn’s...

The Great Greek
Los Angeles
by Lisa Dinsmore

greatgreek.jpgEverybody has them. Those neighborhood joints you walk/drive by a million times but never go into. For no good reason. The place looks nice enough and clearly has customers, but you always just...

New York
by Nancy Ellison

manana.jpgFor someone who considered “nursery food” buttered tortillas with Jalapenos or cheese enchiladas, it is with more than just a foodie interest that I seek out Mexican restaurants wherever I...