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Beard Papa's - Japanese Cream Puff Empire Originally in Georgetown and then Skyline Mall - Closed


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Finally, the danger to wallet and waist size expands down the coast to our fair city.

Eater had reported in late February that an opening was planned for late April or early May.  According to their Twitter feed, the Boston location opened in early May, but no updates have mentioned DC since their preview at the annual Sakura Matsuri festival.  Can anybody around Georgetown glean an update for us?

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I work in Georgetown, so I'll take a swing by next week and let you know. I think I had Beard Papa's once when we lived in Japan. They were fine, but they were no match for the taiyaki (fish-shaped pastry with fillings like red bean paste, various flavors of custard, or red bean paste and cream cheese) stall across the way.

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Beard Papa's doesn't look like much - from the outside or from the inside - but it's better than I thought it would be, in fact it's pretty good.

I went last night around 7 PM, and they looked like they'd been ransacked over the past couple of days, but I did manage to get some scraps, and in fact, I got the top three items on their small menu.

They use Intelligentsia beans for their coffee, and the two gentlemen working behind the counter couldn't have been any nicer.

They have a flavor of the week (right now, strawberry), as well as vanilla and chocolate fillings. So, I got:

Cream Puff Original ($3.00)

Eclair ($3.35)

Brest ($3.35)

The Eclair came pre-stuffed with strawberry, but for the Cream Puff Original and the Brest, they have this little metallic-squirt machine that has a tube with which they impale the pastries, and fill them up right in front of you, so I got Vanilla Cream with my Cream Puff Original (the one without chocolate) and my Brest (which is their version of a Paris-Brest, - invented in 1910 to celebrate the Paris-Brest-Paris bicycle race, which began in 1891 - it's shaped like a bicycle tire).

The Eclair and Cream Puff Original were virtually identical, except for the chocolate, and the fresh filling (which I think did make a very small difference, as the Eclair was most likely filled earlier in the day, but not enough of a difference for you not to get the Eclair); the Brest was denser, less airy, to the point where you wonder how they could stick the nozzle inside it and "fill the tire," so to speak, but the outer crust is sturdy enough to handle it - you couldn't have done this with an unmodified Páte-í -Choux, as the Fix-a-Flat would have spurted out everywhere. If you get one of each, I'd eat the Brest afterwards, since it's a tiny bit fuller-bodied.

Beard Papa's isn't revelatory, but I'd go again if I was in the area, and they'll see a fair amount of foot traffic in the spring and summer, too. I don't necessarily expect Georgetown Cupcake lines, but if you asked me to choose between the two, I'd flip a coin (I like Georgetown Cupcake, but I'm not a Georgetown Lemming). I would love to have one of Beard Papa's eclairs next to one from, say, Praline - I'm pretty sure I'd strongly prefer Praline's, but with such distance and time between visits, how can I say with certainty? Beard Papa's is better than you might think, at least it was on this evening.

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I discovered this morning (after a visit to the dentist :ph34r:) that there is a Beard Papa's location in the Skyline office complex. It's on the street level of Sky 3 (5201 Leesburg Pike, Falls Church) and has been there for about a year, according to the woman behind the counter. Free parking (30 mins) is available in the lot behind the building.

It was my first visit to a Beard Papa's and I was very happy with the original shell with original vanilla custard. A pleasant combination of crunch and creaminess. Dark chocolate and green tea filling were also available; they didn't have the 'May special' - American Cherry Pie. They didn't have the mini shells (as shown on the website). Not sure if that's a special order item, or a quirk of this particular location.

Good to know they're there, but also good that they're not somewhere I regularly frequent!

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After an unexpected trip to the skyline target this morning I thought I could make the most of it with an eclair and cup of coffee. I tried to confirm Beard Papa’s hours on Google. Instead, Google indicates that the shop in Skyline is permanently closed. Their website no longer shows that location, either. 

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