Puff piece

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The cream-puff coma induced by ingesting multiple profiteroles concocted by the bakers at Beard Papa's is an oh-so-sweet sickness ' so sweet that it's worth the effort to navigate the clogged parking lot at the Prime Outlets Orlando (formerly Prime One, formerly Belz) to sample these baked wonders of fabulousity. The Osaka-based company's first Florida outlet is a draw for Japanese tourists, but locals are also catching on. The preservative-free pastries come in three varieties ' original vanilla ($2.45), eclair ($2.85) and cookie ($2.85) ' and are structured in two layers, an inner choux pastry shell and an outer pie crust shell. The whipped cream custard filling, not too sweet and made fresh daily, comes in vanilla, chocolate and a 'premium flavor,â?� which happened to be caramel on this occasion. I started off with an original injected with caramel, followed by an original filled with vanilla. It was hard to differentiate between the two, as the caramel had a subtle flavor, but the cream puffs were so good, it really didn't matter. The eclair with vanilla (my favorite) came next, followed by a cookie shell filled with chocolate. The filling in the latter was a tad runny, but it didn't spoil my mood. Alongside the quality puffs are an assortment of other sweets like mochi ice cream (imported from Japan), fondant au chocolat, cheesecake sticks and buttery mini croissants. Counter seating ensures no one sticks around for long, but return business is virtually assured, often within the hour.

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