The beef patty gets a bad rap. I think that too many people have had bad beef patties and therefore do not hold a high opinion of the item.
First, consider where many people try their first beef patty: the school cafeteria. A sure recipe for prejudicing someone against a dish is having them try it through educational dining. I can’t think of anyone that says, “Boy, I really wish I could have that dish the way they used to serve it back in high school.” Even if they could prepare it well, they almost certainly did not make them fresh. They were frozen, for heaven knows how long, reheated at whatever temperature was convenient, then left out in some form of warming device until the lunch bell rang.
The second place many people have tried their first beef patty is from a pizzeria. That might seem like a thing of the past in these days of artisan pizza places, but it used to be that every corner pizzeria that sold slices also had an option for a beef patty. Horror of horrors, many used to give the option of topping the patty with mozzarella or pepperoni. That may sound like I good idea to some, but for me that is the equivalent of topping cream of mushroom soup with dijon mustard. Yuck!
One of my favorite places to get beef patties has always been Champion Bakery. The place has changed a little over the couple decades that I have been customer. However, the modus operandi of their business has not changed. They bake. Everything they sell comes out of an oven. Patties are their only meat option. You can get bulla cake, hard dough bread, gizzada, cinnamon buns, and patties at Champion, but you cannot get a plate of jerk chicken. It is a Jamaican specialty store.
As I mentioned, I’ve been a customer of Champion since my youth. They are the gold standard of beef patties for me. I remember the shape, texture, and taste very well. I happened to be in the area and decided to pick up a couple patties for lunch. As always, the place was packed. It was a weekday, at around 3pm, and the place was hopping. It took a few minutes for me to get my food as there was a fresh order coming out of the oven. Not everyone was there getting patties. Plenty of customers were picking up loaves of bread, slices of cake, and other goods.
Check out the foil bag. This ensures that your patties stay warm for the maximum amount of time possible.
This little golden patty was hot as hell. The shape has definitely changed from what I remember.
The meaty center was tasty, but it was not the patty of memory. The crust was not as flaky as I remember. The center while meaty, did not have the same flavor it once did, too much gravy. It wasn’t spicy, nor was it exceptionally savory. Altogether, it was a little blah. I was crestfallen. I really hope that this was just an off day for Champion. They have been excellent for so long, I will have to give their beef patty at least one more try.
The grater cake was another story. I usually like my grater cake heavy on the coconut flavor with the sugar serving as a glue for the tropical fruit. The flavor of this offering was dominated by the sugar in both flavor and texture.
This is hardly a rave review, but take it with a grain of salt. Champion Bakery has built up years of good will with me. I’ve had many items from their store and with the exception of this occasion have always been pleased. Give them a try. Parking can be difficult to find, but hopefully, you will find the effort worthwhile.
3978 White Plains Road
Bronx, NY 10466