Welcome back to Chef in the Kitchen, a recurring Eater photo feature. Eater photographer Rey Lopez boldly goes where few diners have gone before — into D.C. restaurant kitchens — to get a sneak peek of the chef du jour hard at work.
Ted Bulletin's homemade riff on pop tarts, also called Ted's Tarts, have reached iconic status in D.C. since their debut several years ago. They've even become a popular fixture at local weddings. Here, corporate pastry chef Todd Miller walks Eater through the process of creating them.
Ted's makes the fillings for the pop tarts in the morning, and then later cooks turn their attention to the dough. The process involves making the dough, rolling it out on the table, cutting to size and then filling the tarts. An egg wash is brushed on top, and then the tarts are crimped, and put on a tree to freeze. Each day, the restaurant is making two to four different flavors, depending on what's needed for the day.
The whole process takes close to two hours. Ted's on 14th makes tarts for its own location and the Capitol Hill branch — all others make their own tarts. Tarts are frozen and then baked off and glazed the next day.
A typical day at Ted's 14th Street involves making two to four batches of tarts: one batch makes 162 tarts. It all adds up to sales of everywhere from 300 to 800 tarts in a single day at the 14th Street location — and that's not including orders for weddings.
There are four flavors of tarts available at Ted's: strawberry, blueberry cheesesteak, brown sugar cinnamon, and salted caramel (Miller's favorite). The restaurant used to do seasonal flavors as well but didn't see enough demand for them (instead, they now offer seasonal milkshake flavors).