Went to my favorite noodle place for lunch the other day, Samurai Noodle. Located in Seattle’s Uwajimaya Village in Chinatown, or really just outside Uwajimaya next to the store’s loading dock on 5th Ave. S., so you have to enter from the outside (yes, they validate parking for the Uwajimaya lot), this place is among a handful of cool new places that have recently opened—surely, you’ve been to Unicorn Crepes (Japanese crepes) at 421 6th Ave. S. already. Samurai serves great ramen, and though it seats only about 18 people, it doesn’t keep the faithful away and they wait quietly and patiently, often outside, for a place to sit. Yes, but this isn’t about Samurai or Unicorn, it’s about the new kid in town, Beard Papa’s.
For years I’ve listened to my husband go on about this place and when he caught wind that Beard Papa, which can be found in California, Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Canada, was finally opening in Seattle, I knew that it would put an end my having to hear about their cream puffs. Little did I know that I would go to desperate measures for the puffy balls of cream-filled pastry my husband so craved.
So, after lunch I head into Uwajimaya to discover that the object of my husband’s gastronomic desire was open for business, and I take my place in line. What to order? Beard Papa’s made it simple, offering cream puffs in three flavors, vanilla (original), matcha, and chocolate, so I decide on one of each. But then the little handwritten sign at the cash register stops me short: cash only. I have $1 and some loose change in my wallet and they are $2.15 each plus tax, I’ve come about 20 miles in from the suburbs so who knows when I’ll be back next, I’d already texted my husband that it’s open, I’m now beyond the point of turning back and I can’t go home empty-handed now. So harkening back to the day when as a kid I would deplete my savings to buy a new toy, I emptied the contents of my wallet into my hand and counted every cent, but still came 20-cents short of one cream puff. Aaarrrggghhh!!! To make it more frustrating. it was now 1:45 and I had to be home by 2:30 to relieve my mother who was babysitting my son, and at this point I could still make it home in time, but then my husband and those blasted cream puffs!!! Bank machine was out of the question, since I make it a point to not remember the PIN or keep the PIN with me so I don’t use it. So I run out to the car and dig up my meter money and come up with just enough for two cream puffs (matcha and chocolate). Well, it made a good story as I explained to my mother why I was 15 minutes late, although somehow “late due to cream puffs” didn’t seem to impress her much. Oh, and the cream puffs are quite nice.