Picking up where we left off….
I completed my walking food tour of Greenwich Village about 1:00 in the afternoon. I had tried one of the most lauded cupcakes in the cupcakery world – a vanilla/vanilla offering from Magnolia Bakery. [YAWN] It was OK, and it didn’t make me sick. I won’t make the trek back over there to get another, however.
From Greenwich Village, I walked the short distance to Chelsea Market. That was a fun interlude, but man! Was it crowded! Lots of nifty food purveyors. An amazing grocer. And a food equipment store where I could have spent hundreds upon hundreds of dollars. I restrained myself, knowing that I had zero room in my luggage…that, and the fact that I really don’t NEED any new kitchen goodies. Since when have I let THAT stop me? But, I was a woman on a mission. I had things to do.
First stop – Billy’s Bakery. It was a cute little shop, but it was full of other cupcake fans, so my only option was to take my cupcake out onto one of the benches in front…where I managed to drop my iced coffee, MUCh to my dismay (it was really getting hot by this point). With nothing left to wash down my somewhat dry cupcake, I didn’t finish the thing. Plus, it had that same listless icing on it that Magnolia Bakery had. No thanks. Magnolia’s cake part was much better, however.
Next was a slight detour. I’ve been fascinated by French Macarons lately. I’ve actually had some success baking them, and let me tell you…they are difficult! I’ll be blogging about my adventures in Macaronland soon. But, during my trip I was still exploring the possibilities. So, I stopped at Madeleine Patisserie and sampled two – a raspberry/white chocolate confection and a salted caramel piece of heaven. Salted caramel is my current biggest weakness, and this macaron was perfection. I must pursue a comparable recipe!
After Madeleine’s, I found myself at my most anticipated stop – Cupcake Cafe. I had used their buttercream recipe a few years ago and made some memorable cupcakes with it. I was really looking forward to trying the “real thing.” Unfortunately, these were the worst cupcakes of the trip. By far. But aren’t they pretty?
These cupcakes were abominations! First of all, I think it is a CRIME to refrigerate pastries of any kind – especially cakes…with frosting. It just ruins the whole thing, IMHO. The frosting was somewhat stingy on these two cupcakes, but that really didn’t matter, because they tasted very strongly like a refrigerator! You know the taste…like they had been sitting in there for a week or so. Whether they were or weren’t old didn’t matter – they tasted of refrigerator, and I simply couldn’t eat them. Bah! Patoooie!
Undaunted, I pushed on.
Next and last stop of the day was Butterlane. They take a unique approach. They offer cupcakes in a few basic flavors…and quite a few frostings. You pick your cupcake…and then your frosting. It’s a great idea. Unfortunately, by late afternoon when I was there, my chocolate cupcake had become a little crusty around the rim. But…the rest of the cake was just fine. Tender, moist and nicely chocolatey. I ordered my cupcake with salted caramel frosting. Surprise! It came out with a few kernels of popcorn on top! What a fun little package that was!
This was (finally) a cupcake to write home about. A cupcake to return to. I don’t dream about it, but maybe if I had bought it when they first opened, I would. I’m going to give it another whirl on my next trip to the city.
Although I had tasted treats all over Greenwich Village, Chelsea and the East Village, my sugary day wasn’t done. Saturday night was my night to provide dessert for our group. I chose Veniero’s Italian Bakery on 11th St., just a block from our borrowed apartment. These little morsels tasted every bit as good as they looked!
So, that was how my Foodie Saturday went. Not a bad day at all! I look forward to doing something similar at the very next opportunity.