One of my Next Door neighbors also mentioned Black Bear Diner as a potential source for bear claws. Black Bear isn’t a bakery per se (the “Diner” in the name should be a tip off) but they do have a display of baked goods near the cashier. Another person had commented on my bear claw thread that Black Bear’s bear claws were “expensive and tasteless” while another said they were “huge”. I decided to see for myself.
In a fortuitous set of circumstances, it turns out there’s a Black Bear Diner literally on my way to work. That’s the advantage of recommendations from Next Door; they really will tell you what’s in your neighborhood. So it was no problem at all, on one of my non-gym-running mornings, to make a brief stop to secure a bear claw. They were considerably more than the $2.50 bear claw at Copenhagen and clocked in at $5.99. So I didn’t buy 6 this time and instead settled for one. Given the negative review on them, I decided I should try them out for myself first rather than offering one to Eileen, untested. If it was delicious, I could get another one the next morning and declare the bear claw hunt at an end.
But alas, it wasn’t to be. The bear claw was indeed huge. They were indeed expensive. And yes, they were also indeed tasteless. By that I mean, the pastry itself was not of the flaky, airy quality of a Copenhagen bakery. It didn’t even begin to approach a croissant’s flakiness. Maybe more on par with an Entemann’s strudel dough. It was heavy and dense in texture. The claws were also not quite claw-like and instead made the whole thing look more like a crown than a mockery of a bear claw.What really killed it for me though was the filling. This one actually had filling so points for that. But demerits that the filling was a brown sugar-cinnamon filling and not an almond paste filling. Yes, it had the sliced almonds on top and the royal icing glaze. But no almond paste? It isn’t like I’m even a fan of almond paste but to me, that’s part of what makes a bear claw a bear claw. So no bueno on this “bear claw” either.