Earlier this fall, on a visit to Zabar's bread counter, I noticed something bright and pink out of the corner of my eye. A closer inspection of the source revealed some kind of squarish, double decker pastry, bursting with whipped filling. The filling's color was also bright pink, matching the shiny glaze on top. A little sign identified the unusual item as a "Crobar", Zabar's entry into the Cronut knockoff category.
The Crobar bears some resemblance to Le Petite Bakery's excellent Squat. However—and it pains me to say this as an unabashed Zabar's fanboy—it's not nearly as good. There are however some big plusses with the Crobar (besides the name) that I'll get to shortly.
Zabar's sells four flavors of Crobars: chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and caramel. All of them feature two separate deep fried croissant doughnuts, a monster amount of whipped ganache filling, and a matching glaze on top.
When I visited at 8:30 a.m. the fried laminated dough on my chocolate Crobar still had a nice crisp crumb. The inside texture is like a decent croissant, buttery and pleasant. But I didn't know what to do with all that whipped chocolate filling. It was like a giant, overstuffed, fried croissant cream puff.
The whipped filling isn't overly sweet but the flavor is a bit on the bland side. The chocolate reminded me of instant chocolate milk. The strawberry had a similarly light flavor with a touch of acidity. The dark chocolate glaze on top was richer and better than the glaze on most standard doughnuts.
One thing is certain—the Crobar crushes on price at $2.50 each. You get a lot of pastry for your dollar. If you get one, I highly recommend purchasing and eating your Crobar before 9 a.m. It deteriorates after that.
About the author: Native New Yorker Niko Triantafillou is the founder of DessertBuzz.com his photographs of desserts and pastry chefs have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post and Dessert Professional Magazine. He is an unabashed foodie nerdling. Follow him on Twitter at @DessertBuzz.