Monthly Archives: February 2008

Crumbs.

Date of excrusion: 2.23.08

The Cupcake Gang was watching a scary movie about a girl who must have had rabies (or maybe she was a thirteen-year-old) when they got a hankering for some cupcakes. They trekked over to the nearest cupcakery– Crumbs.

It had a large window which beckoned us like a beckoner to its beckonee.

It took approximately 11.6 years (leap years included) to choose what cupcakes to purchase. There were so many cupcake candidates to choose from, it was like the Democratic primary– so many delicious options (oh, and the cupcakes looked good, too).

Vanilla asked Mr. PimpCake, “What is your favorite cupcake?”

Mr. PimpCake replied, “Well, actually I’m allergic to them, so I haven’t tried any of them. But red velvet is the most popular.”

We examined Red Velvet. Done.

Vanilla asked Mr. PimpCake, “What is your second most popular cupcake?”

Mr. PimpCake replied, “The Artie Lange.” Done.

Sensing an oncoming friendship, Vanilla then asked PimpmasterCake, “What is your third most popular cupcake?”

PimpyCake replied (in a somewhat disgruntled tone of voice), “I don’t keep a list of these things.”

Vanilla, after sobbing on the ground and being escorted to a nearby therapy center, returned to state the original premise of her question: “What would you suggest?”

PimpaZilla replied, “Cookie dough.”

We decided to purchase a vanilla cupcake with chocolate buttercream frosting.

“It smells like a Quizno’s sub,” Cappuccino Swirl stated. No one agreed.

We sat at a table near the windows. We opened our Pandora’s plastic box of cupcakes to undress Cupcake One (chocolate buttercream). As we began to toast our cakes, Cappuccino Swirl noted the incest between our cake pieces, as they began to touch and crumble upon each other in the name of love.

We noted the music taste of the Crumbs staff. We approved.

[Red Hot Chili Peppers Interlude. Sexy.]

Lemon Meringue spilled cupcakes all over the table. The table was 3 inches away from explosion, but Lemon Meringue slurped the crumbs up just in time. Crisis averted.

Then, it was time for Cupcake Two (Artie Lange).

“This cake is in my fingernails,” said Choco-Choco Chip. “It’s like Indian food, without the stains.”

We began to dissect the cupcake. Lemon Meringue taught Vanilla about vanilla intercourse.

sexcircle1.jpg

“I enjoy the circumference of this cupcake. It looks like the trim of a skirt,” said Lemon Meringue.

There was an awkward pause as a lady dropped something on the ground. Cappuccino Swirl thought it was a bag of forks. Lemon Meringue thought it was a very controlled shattering of glass. Choco-Choco Chip thought it was a baby made out of newspaper. Vanilla thought.

There’s chocolate filling in this cupcake, we collectively noted. “Surprise, surprise, puppy surprise!”

It appeared that these Crumbs cupcakes required some sort of beverage, as their intense moistness was difficult to handle alone. Milk or water is certainly a must for cupcake amateurs and experts alike. 

Crumbs was certainly an appropriate name for this place, as we noted the increasing moistness of the cupcake that Choco-Choco Chip likens to melting butter. The cake crumbled all over the table, again. Lemon Meringue slurped it up, as explained earlier.

After Cupcake Two was destroyed, we moved onto Cupcake Three (red velvet). Red velvet. So ominous (we likened the inside to blood and guts).

[Plastic fork fight between Vanilla and Choco-Choco Chip. “You’re making fire in my loins,” said Vanilla.]

Cupcake Three was an obstacle. It was tough, not moist. It was red, not… other colors. It was… salty? (No one else agreed with Cappuccino Swirl on this one.)

“It tastes like cloth.”

“It tastes like metal.”

“It tastes like a coin.”

“It tastes like a young woman’s chewed up purse.”

“It tastes like bread. Bad bread.”

“D for disgusting.”

[A water bottle continued to roll off of the table. The table almost exploded.]

Vanilla caught Lemon Meringue on Candid Camera, much to Lemon Meringue’s disappointment. Lemon Meringue likened her photograph to a disgruntled cat. Choco-Choco Chip loves disgruntled cats.

Eventually, Cupcake Three was destroyed. Even though he put up a fight, we still won.

As our journey at Crumbs came to a close, we concluded that there was one common theme throughout every cupcake in the world, whether it was moist, dry, hard, rough, smelly, sticky, drippy, hot, sparkly, scandalous, unattractive, voluptuous, or sweet: each cupcake is individual. Each cupcake is sassy. Each cupcake has a song to sing.

Overall:

Cupcake One (Chocolate Buttercream)

Cappuccino Swirl: The chocolate buttercream frosting was silky smooth*, and the sprinkles added that BAM crunch.

Choco-Choco Chip: The yellow cake is silky-smooth like Akon’s voice. But so silky-smooth that it CRUMBles. The icing was pretty dec[ent].

Lemon Meringue: The fluffy YELLOW cake was adorned with a generous helping of frosting, but could I tell that it was buttercream chocolate? … It was just candies and sprinkles.

Vanilla: I would eat just the bottom.

Cupcake Two: Artie Lange

Cappuccino Swirl: The cupcake made my throat dry like a desert. But it was a decent dessert. I liked the crunchy topping. I’m all for the crunch.

Choco-Choco Chip: Again. A good cake (but very crumbly). I liken the icing to Mike Brady from “the Brady Bunch”: very serious, and linoleum-like. It was cool, but not the cooliest.

Lemon Meringue: After a quick caucus with my taste buds, I found the cupcake to be very rich in chocolate (the top and the filling), but the filling was needed to keep the flaky cake together.

Vanilla: I like cake.

Cupcake Three (Red Velvet)

Cappaccino Swirl: Cappuccino Swirl was less than pleased. Taste was a tich salty. Frosting was dec[ent].

Choco-Choco Chip: The cake itself was very tough– it was like chewing a piece of cloth covered with wimpy, flimsy, whispery icing. I liken this cupcake to a sugary con artist– you SEEM delicious, but you are truly quite evil.

Lemon Meringue: If this cupcake were a red velvet carpet, it would be one leading to nowhere. The taste… I couldn’t name it. It had no direction. I say “Make it cake”, and it definite wasn’t made.

Vanilla: FRIENDZ. Not with this one.

*”silky smooth” (as mentioned in Cappuccino Swirl’s comment) and “silky-smooth” (as mentioned in Choco-Choco Chip’s proceeding comment) are completely different phrases–in every way imaginable.

Crumbs (6 locations):

1) The Village: 37 East 8th Street (Between University Place and Greene Street) 212.673.1500 (We went to this location)

Average Cost: $3.25

2) Wall Street: 87 Beaver Street (Between Hanover Street and Pearl Street) 212.480.7500

3) Bryant Park: 43 West 42nd Street (Between 5th Ave. and 6th Ave.) 212.221.1500

4) Upper East Side: 1371 Third Avenue (Intersection of Third Ave. and 78th Street) 212.794.9800

5) Upper West Side: 321 1/2 Amsterdam Avenue (Intersection of Amsterdam Ave. and 75th Street) 212.712.9800

6) East Hampton: 35 Newtown Lane (Between Park Place and Main Street)

Hours:

1) Sunday 10a -9p, Mon. 7:30a-9p, Tues.-Thurs. 7:30a-10p, Fri. 7:30a -11p, Sat. 10a -11p

2) Sun.- CLOSED, Mon.-Fri. 7:30a-8p, Sat.- CLOSED

3) Sun. – CLOSED, Mon.-Fri. 7a-8p, Sat. – CLOSED

4) Sun. 8:30a-9p, Mon.-Tues. 7:30a-9p, Wed.-Fri. 7:30a-10p, Sat. 8:30a-11p

5) Sun. 8:30a-9p, Mon.-Tues. 7:30a-9p, Wed.-Fri. 7:30a-10p, Sat. 8:30a-11p

6) Unavailable

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Cupcake Cafe.

Cupcake Cafe

Date of excursion: 2.1.08

It was raining and pouring. The old man was not snoring.

Vanilla and Lemon Meringue trekked with their Zyrtec (TM) umbrellas*; Cappuccino Swirl’s umbrella was red and Choco-Choco Chip’s umbrella was large and unsightly. They were on their way to the Cupcake Café.

[As a side story, Choco-Choco Chip’s greatest fear (aside from ketchup pee) is when her umbrella blows upward.]

Choco-Choco Chip’s umbrella went insane. It blew upward, and exploded.

Inside Cupcake Cafe

Once we arrived at the Cupcake Café, we noted the friendly amalgamation of a children’s book store and a bakery, conveniently decorated for Valentine’s Day. Children adorned one half of the bakery, while the elderly were sprinkled throughout the other half.

We were greeted by the phrase, “Would you like some free brownie samples?” “Indubitably,” we collectively thought. But “Yes,” we collectively replied.

“Well, milk is five dollars. That’s where they get you,” said the man.

We were afraid to laugh, as we do not get the chance to do that often, given the nature of our work. Apparently he was kidding, so we saw a light chortle to be a fitting response.

We purchased cupcakes, and sat down on the border between Children’s Books, USA and Cupcake Land, Mexico. One might think that we could feel the animosity of bitter rivalry and forced adjacency in these two conflicting worlds. On the contrary–we did not. Instead, it was a magical realm of fairytales and transnational harmony.

The first cupcake we undressed (so-called Cupcake One) was a walnut cake with maple icing. The be-flowered cupcake presented a puzzling mixture of flavors during the pre-tasting stage. However, upon the actual tongue-cupcake interface, everyone was pleased (in different ways). The icing had the consistency of chilled butter (the cupcakes are refrigerated!), but tasted like fresh ice cream, while the cake part was more hearty and bread-like.

“It tastes like maple syrup.”

[independently of this statement] “It tastes like PANCAKES.”

It did.

“Walnuts? Protein? Protein? Protein?”

Next, came Cupcake Two: mocha cake, with chocolate icing. Adorned with two purple flowers, this cupcake, like it’s maple counterpart, was dressed for success (until we got to it). The icing had a similar, fanciful taste.

We debated purchasing a third cupcake, and finally, after a [non-threatening] bloody battle between Vanilla and Choco-Choco Chip, Vanilla reigned blows upon Choco-Choco Chip’s head, stepped on it, and ran to the counter in order to request a vanilla cupcake with vanilla icing.

“The flowers [on the cupcake] look like boobs,” Anonymous said.

An unequal cut down the middle led to disaster. “Someone is not going to get pollen,” Choco-Choco Chip stated. No one seemed fazed (it turns out, the Zyrtec (TM) helped all of us avoid allergic reactions to the pollen, too!).

Cupcake Three had the same icing consistency as Cupcakes One and Two. Meaning? Crazy delicious.

We entered the Cupcake Café with high hopes and empty stomachs. We left filled with the hearty bread-like nature of the cupcakes, and the dessert-like airiness of the icing. It was truly a dinner for champions.

Overall:

Cupcake One: Maple Walnut

Cappuccino Swirl: This cupcake was mapley goodness. Cappuccino Swirl was satizfied.

Choco-Choco Chip: It was nutty, but not TOO nutty. It was maple-y, but not TOO maple-y. This is what’s sappenin’. Kazaam!

Lemon Meringue: The icing was the sweet sappiness to my sour.

Vanilla: It’s a muffin. <:)

Cupcake Two: Chocolate Mocha

Cappuccino Swirl: The mocha taste was subtle and smooth. Not as BAM as Cappucino Swirl, but still very jivin’.

Choco-Choco Chip: I completely understand where C2 is coming from. We understand each other. I liken the icing to watching “Space Jam” for the first time–a very positive experience.

Lemon Meringue: It was mocha, but not a bitter coffee.

Vanilla: Huh. I want to go read those children’s books.

Cupcake Three: Vanilla Vanilla

Cappuccino Swirl: The icing was jazzy awesomeness, I would jive with this cupcake anytime.

Choco-Choco Chip: Despite my ongoing feud with Vanilla, I must commit treason against my chocolate brothers. This was the best of the three. It was like dessert, yo.

Lemon Meringue: Cute and yellow. Good.

Vanilla: That’s-a-mah-baby!

*Vanilla, Choco-Choco Chip, and Lemon Meringue went to a Zyrtec (TM)** Paradise in Central Park, one day, based on the false premise of hot chocolate. We did not get hot chocolate, but we sure did get a mouthful of whimsy, free umbrellas, and reggae music.

**Did you know that Zyrtec (TM) is now available over-the-counter?

Cupcake Cafe (two locations):

1) 18 W. 18th St. (between 5th and 6th Ave). 212.465.1530 (We went to this location)

Average cost of cupcake: $3.00

2) 545 9th Ave (between 40th and 41 St.) 212.268.9975

Hours:

1) Sun. 9am-7pm, Mon.-Sat. 8am-8pm

2) Sun. 9am-7pm, Mon.-Fri. 7am-7pm, Sat. 8am-7pm

Magnolia Bakery.

Magnolia Bakery

Date of excursion: 2.14.08

It was nighttime, and our cupcake senses were tingling. After long hours of homework, silence, and solitude in the library, we sent out a text to our beloved Cappuccino Swirl (who could not join us that evening, due to a coffee-related emergency). “Magnolia. 9:42 PM.” Done.

We trekked on a different route to Magnolia. It took approximately three years to reach. But when we did, oh when we did, we were ready to ‘mack on some cupcakes.

Inside Magnolia Bakery

The story behind Magnolia is an interesting one. Two friends started the business years ago, but parted ways. One friend kept Magnolia, and the other made a rivalry bakery– Buttercup Bakery. Magnolia, on the one hand, gained popularity from Andy Samberg and Chris Parnell’s “Lazy Sunday” SNL Digital Short. It was also featured on HBO’s “Sex in the City”, although New York’s “Sex in the City” tour will provide you with Buttercup cupcakes (to eat in front of Magnolia). You could cut that tension with a cupcake knife, or plastic fork, as we like to do it.

Inside Magnolia Bakery

After struggling to purchase our cupcakes through the massive sea of people (as, frequently, the line to Magnolia extends out into the street), and bidding farewell to the Magnolia be-aproned bouncer (yes), we settled ourselves in the park across the street, at one of the quaint chess boards.

Chocolate Chocolate cupcake from Magnolia

Unfortunately, after we undressed our first cupcake (chocolate chocolate), a rivalry gang (we define “gang” in this sentence as a group of people with a common goal to intimidate and/or eat cupcakes) began to bust our chops. “How much did those cost?”, they asked condescendingly. We made no reply. “You just used your American Express card, and said ‘Hey Rico*, keep the change!'” They also mentioned that they had some very nice MySpaces we could look at.**

So as to avoid what would surely have become a street brawl, we decided to pick up our plastic forks, and bounce. We headed over to Cappuccino Swirl and ChocoChoco Chip’s box. The owners of the box gladly accepted our request for a photo.

The

We began to undress the remaining cupcakes. The vanilla icing on Cupcake Two was a pastel green, and the cake was vanilla as well (Vanilla was enthralled). We bit.

Cupcake Two from Magnolia

“This tastes like a Chinese thing I’ve eaten before,” said Lemon Meringue.

Mooncakes?”

We likened Cupcake Two to several things. Cappuccino Swirl compared it to a Betty Crocker mix, while ChocoChoco Chip compared it to Alice from “the Brady Bunch”– wait, no–Cindy from “the Brady Bunch.” “It’s like a big, soft, [panda]. It doesn’t hold up.”

“Do you remember the episode of “the Brady Bunch” with the see-saw contest?

They were trying to see if they could break a record for see-saw-ing, and then this news reporter came to interview Bobby and Cindy… how difficult could that have possibly been?”

“Well, it takes a lot of leg strength…”

“No.”

“Cindy has a lisp.”

Cupcake Two was soon destroyed. We liked “the Brady Bunch” movie.

Cupcake Three was a Valentine’s Day cupcake. It had chocolate cake with vanilla (pink!) icing. Stabbed through the heart of the icing was a plastic heart stick ($0.50– thanks for that post-purchase memo, Magnolia). There was also a sugar heart embedded into the icing. Vanilla ate it. “Eww.”

Cupcake Three was likened to a Barbie cupcake. Not because it was tall, busty, and had an eating disorder, but more so because it was explosively pink.

Cupcake Three from Magnolia

The sugary pink sprinkles intertwined into the swirls of tufted frosting were a nice touch. It was like a hidden surprise in every bite. Alas, there was another hidden surprise–a sub-par chocolate-cake taste. The frosting, thereby, overpowered the cupcake.

Surprise Surprise! Puppy Surprise! You might get one...YOU MIGHT GET EIGHT!

Sugar heart

We tried to compare Cupcake Three to Cupcake One (in that they both had chocolate cake). We concluded that we could not quite remember Cupcake One– most likely due to all the marijuana that was in the air at the time, emanating from the rivalry gang.

[Marijuana interlude: ten minutes. Discussion topics included smell, identification, and awareness.]

Cupcake Four from Magnolia

Cupcake Four had a vanilla cake with chocolate icing (and rainbow dot sprinkles)! We also likened this cupcake to Barbie. Again– Cupcake Four was not a blonde, plastic, woman who was having sexual relations with a man-doll named Ken, but instead looked more like a freeze frame from a Barbie commercial. You know, when she throws the glitter, and the screen flashes “Barbie”, and it says “Barbie.com, but first ask dad or mom.” It’s really clever advertising.

Neither argument was valid.

[“Dibs not”? Or “Nose goes”? Cappuccino Swirl and ChocoChoco chip debate. Are either arguments valid?]

Cappuccino Swirl claims the cupcake was too stale (due to the fact that, at Magnolia, you serve yourself from a tray of cupcakes they, unfortunately, leave by the constantly-opening door).

Lemon Meringue becomes sour during the traditional cake toast. “Your cake is TOUCHING me.”

Overall:

Cupcake One: Chocolate Chocolate

Cappuccino Swirl: Swirly goodness, but not as hip-happening as I thought.

ChocoChoco Chip: That frosting was on the heazy! I wish I could just slurble it. Choco and choco, yo? I likes the sound of that. The cake itself exploded, by the way. Because it was DYNO-MITE. But not actually.

Lemon Meringue: Lots of chocolate… a little bitter, like lemon.

Vanilla: Frosting. And some uneccesary people. Also– bathroom in bar.***

Cupcake Two: Vanilla Vanilla

Cappuccino Swirl: Cake was like Betty Crocker. I felt like I could make this in my easy-bake oven. The frostin’ was pretty jammin’. The color was chillsville green.

ChocoChoco Chip: (Vanilla)^2? It was really like (Vanilla)^(CRAZY). And it was like red vines.

[drew picture of a bottle, a seal, and a chair.]

Lemon Meringue: The cake was yellow but mushy. Green frosting = good times.

Vanilla: Da best.

Cupcake Three: Valentine’s Day

Cappuccino Swirl: Festive, you know I dig the whole pink thing. Nice decoration. Chocolate part totally normal.

ChocoChoco Chip: The chocolate cake, if he were on a playground, would be last week’s cool kid. But he’s not this week’s cool kid. The frosting was this week’s cool kid. But since the week is over, he’s less cool. The kid had heart and soul, though. I gotta say.

Lemon Meringue: Good presentation. Bad holiday.

Vanilla: I ate the heart made of candy.

Cupcake Four: Chocolate Vanilla

Cappuccino Swirl: It was stale.

ChocoChoco Chip: The rainbow sprinkles added the right amount of crunch. The frosting is slippin’ and sloshin’ like a cocoa waterfall.

Lemon Meringue: I know this is the Barbie-looking cupcake, but where’s the Lemon Meringue-looking cupcake?

Vanilla: Done.

*We are in no way associated with the degradation of minorities, as all the members of the Cupcake Gang are minorities themselves. Yes, even Vanilla is a minority. Not that non-minorities are racists. Just thought we’d add this politically-correct insight so as to familiarize you with the Cupcake Gang’s non-threatening threatening exterior.

**As much as Rupert Murdoch looks like a sour-faced old man, Lemon Meringue is philosophically opposed to MySpace.

***Due to the fact that Magnolia does not have a bathroom, Vanilla was forced to go to a bathroom in a local bar. She was wearing her signature, official Cupcake-Gang backpack, and the bar rats were threatened.

Magnolia Bakery (2 locations):

1) Downtown: 401 Bleecker Street (Intersection of 11th Street and Bleecker Street) 212.462.2572 (We went to this location)

Average cost of cupcake: $2.50

2) Uptown: 200 Columbus Avenue (Intersection of 69th Street and Columbus Ave.) 212.724.8101

Hours:

1) Sun. 10am-11:30pm, Mon. 12pm-11:30pm, Tues.-Thurs. 9am-11:30pm, Fri. 9am-12:30am, Sat. 10am-12:30am

2) Sun. 7am-10:30pm, Mon.-Thurs. 7am-11:30pm, Fri.-Sat. 7am-12:30am