Back in the day, a child might come to school with an apple for the teacher. One of ZenFoodist's students just raised the bar, bringing in a whole box of cream puffs from Red Lotus, a Chinese-owned bakery in Little Neck, Queens. Give that kid an A. The cream puffs were outstanding—agreeably yeasty and filled with delectable pastry cream. "I was BOWLED OVER by how outrageous they were," says the teacher.
ZenFoodist (who's been on something of a sweets spree recently) is a regular at the Asian bakeries of Queens—Fay Da, Tai Pan, Yeh's, Vanilla Cafe, Sun Mary, Koryodang, and the like. Each has one or two standout specialties, she says, but "nothing has come as close to baked perfection" as Red Lotus's cream puffs. Beyond the Asian scene, these treats hold their own across traditions: "They bring to mind the pastry-cream-filled sfinge di San Giuseppe from Cardinali's in Syosset... minus the dollop of raspberry preserves. Oh my."
Red Lotus Bakery [Little Neck]
255-07 Northern Boulevard (near Morgan Street), Little Neck, Queens