Do you love the combination of sweet/salty? Do you love bread? Love butter And oh, did I mention salt? How about all those things rolled up into 1 delicious, warm, fresh out of the oven light and airy bun?
You have to try PappaRich. It's a Korean-Euro fusion cafe (first American branch of this wildly popular bakery/cafe) that serves the buns, large sandwich cookies and very high quality teas, coffees among other beverages.
Papparoti (its original name) is derived from the Italian words “Pappa (Father)“ and “Roti (Bun)“, which they consider to be the
‘Father of all buns.‘
I must have passed by their unassuming Pasadena store dozens of times without even noticing. Thanks to a coworker who turned me on to these delights, I got hooked.
Notice the crisp, cookie-like edges.
The buns strike a balance between the mocha cream paste which is layered over a round dough, creating a crispy exterior and the soft pat of butter in the surprisingly airy interior.
Walking into the store, the air smells strongly of mocha. So much so that I wondered whether they piped the fragrance in. But more likely, the fresh baked buns give off their heady scents. One visit and bite and you'll be addicted.
I usually check when a fresh batch will come out of the oven in order to time the visit. Otherwise they may reheat a bun, which isn't bad, but doesn't give you quite the same 'high'.
Buns run around $3 each and one is adequate, but many take them home in the dozens. I did warn you how addictive they are.
On a recent visit I noticed the introduction of other flavors besides the original, including cheese and chocolate.
This is neither a new place nor one I just discovered. I've been enjoying it for a couple of years.
It's just that each time I return, like I did with another coworker the other day, I sort of re-discover it again.
Nobody described it better than my favorite food critic, Jonathan Gold. Let me conclude with his profound words:
"PappaRich, fat, warm, breast-shaped things that are utterly soft beneath their crackly, subtly mocha-flavored crusts, barely sweetened, and concealing a payload of salty melted butter at their core.
A single bun is enough to fill a reasonable person to bursting, but the play of air and crunch, salt and sweet, warm and hot..."
What better way to describe these buns always make it to my short list of comfort carbs?