Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Churros from Phat Philly

Phat Philly, as you may recall from my past reviews, is a cheesesteak shop, with really good fries smothered in cheese and other goodness and decent onion rings.

They specialize in things from Philly, and at the register also sell Utz Chips for only $1 and for dessert they used to carry Tastykakes.  I stopped by so many times to discover these amazing Tastykakes, but but they have never, ever had them when I am there.

Thus, I thought I'd never have dessert at Phat Philly, even though I'm a dessert-o-holic.  Until, one day, when I stopped in hoping to snag some Tastykakes (fail!) and saw ... churros were added to the menu!

Phat Philly is located in the Mission, so they clearly know who their audience is.  Churros make sense in that regard.  But a cheesesteak shop selling churros?  This sounded dubious at best.

You may also recall that I don't ever really like churros.  I WANT to like them.  I mean, they are fried dough coated in cinnamon and sugar.  They should be something I love.  But ... I generally find them way too crispy, way too oily, and just rather gross (except once at Nick's Crispy Tacos, but, my followup one there was not good).  Even my beloved Rubio's has failed in the churro department.

But ... dessert.  You know me and dessert.  I can't resist, even if I expect to hate it.  So, I tried one.
Cream Filled Churro.  $2.
The menu listed two types of churros, regular or cream filled.  When cream filling is an option, is there any other choice?  I eagerly ordered and awaited my treat.

It took longer than I expected for my churro to be ready.  I almost started wondering if it had been forgotten.  I think though that perhaps it was actually fried to order?

Finally, it was handed over, all nicely wrapped up.  Piping hot.  So far, so good.

I apprehensively took a bite.  It was crispy on the outside, but not super oily like so many others. Inside was a bit moist and soft.  It had plenty of cinnamon and sugar on the outside, but not too much like the Rubio's ones.  Just the right amount.

And the cream filling.  OMG.  I think it was just a basic pastry cream, but it was warm, comforting, like a pudding.

Crispy fried dough.  Cinnamon and sugar.  Cream.  YES.

Now, to rewind a bit, I didn't grow up with churros.  We had "fried dough".  We had donuts.  The few churros I've had since moving to California have all been the plain variety, not filled.  I've had them a few times at fancier restaurants with chocolate or caramel sauces to dip them in.  But I had no idea filling was even an option.  But it makes sense, since they make filled donuts.  And we even had bavarian cream on our fried dough at the local fairs (I hear this is a regional thing, specific to the Boston area, à la Boston cream pie?)

Cream filling was the extra magic here, adding a creamy element to contrast the crispy exterior, keeping everything moist.  So. Good.

I want another, right now.  Obviously the best churro I've ever had.  I hope these stay on the menu.

$2 was a fine price, perhaps slightly more than local taquerias, but I think it was much fresher, and I'd return to get another in a heartbeat.
Phat Philly Cheesesteaks on Urbanspoon
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