Magnolia Cupcakes aka New York Part 1

May 18, 2008 at 7:10 pm | Posted in cupcakes, Random, Reviews | 9 Comments

G and I went to NYC last weekend after my cousins wedding. We were there for a whopping 20 hours but, we did hit a few great random food spots. I’m going to talk about all of them, but I feel that Magnolia deserves it’s own post and it’s not necessarily a good thing.

G has quite the sweet tooth so we bought a broad sampling of more than just the cupcakes, but I of course had to sample the cupcakes. For a bakery whose website labels them as a cupcakery I was really let down by their cupcake selection. They had red velvet, chocolate and with vanilla, chocolate with chocolate, vanilla with vanilla and vanilla with chocolate. Can we get any more basic and boring?

I figured that with that limited of a selection they had to be good. Right? Wrong. As we walked back to our car on Bleeker Street I immediately snapped pics of the cuppys I had hand picked then I tried my vanilla cuppy with chocolate frosting (aka my favorite kind of cuppy). Can we say gross? First off, the chocolate frosting was so sickeningly sweet that I couldn’t even taste the cake. The only thing I knew about the cake was that it felt nasty and gritty (if you can even believe that) in my mouth. I tossed 99% of the frosting and still I could only taste the chocolate. WTF? So I took a bite of just the cake and quickly figured out why they frost them with so much super sweet frosting. They don’t want you to even taste the bland nasty ass cake. That’s right I said it, the cake was foul. It had a horrible texture and it was FLAVORLESS. A quick search online of their recipe explains why. In a regular home batch you only use 1 tsp of vanilla. No wonder I couldn’t taste the vanilla, you need at least 1 tbsp of vanilla for vanilla cupcakes. Geeze is this their first day on the job? The chocolate cupcakes with chocolate frosting were equally disappointing.

My text msg convo with CB because it still makes me giggle

Me: Um ya magnolia’s cupcakes suck

CB: Haha. Yeah? What’s wrong wit it?

Me: First off chocolate vanilla and red velvet are their only options … boring. (yada yada I tell her what I already told you guys about my cuppy) Worst cuppy I’ve ever tasted. Boxed mix is far superior.

Me: Their pumpkin cheesecake on the other hand is to die for

CB: Boxed mix better? Dang that must mean u really thing it sucked

Me: Oh you have no idea how bad it was.

If you know what a huge anti boxed mix snob I am you would understand that me saying anything was better means it was really bad. On the other hand, their non cuppy baked goods were absolutely delicious!

Their pumpkin cheesecake was … well … perfection in a mini cheesecake. I can’t say one thing bad about it, everything was amazingly perfect. G and I ate that down in no time flat and it definitely made up for the cuppy suckiness.

Their swirl cheesecake wasn’t quite as good and was a little lacking in cheesecakey flavor, but was still good enough to eat.

Their mini flourless chocolate cakes were chocolaty deliciousness. Really rich and chocolaty but, not too sweet.

Mini chocolate pies. These little chocolate pudding pies with a yummy graham cracker crust (a family Thanksgiving fave) were delish. They chocolate pudding was really chocolaty which was perfect! MMmmm good.
So … if you’re going to Magnolia skip the cupcakes and get the pumpkin cheesecake. You won’t be disappointed!

I’m Baaaack

April 13, 2008 at 10:59 pm | Posted in Reviews | 10 Comments

I know I’ve been MIA for a bit. Vacay last weekend in Chicago with my girls was fabulous, but I came home and by Monday night I wasn’t feeling so good. The rest of the week involved barely dragging my butt to work because I’ve already taken so many sick days. I even fell asleep at work (ya it was that bad). Needless to day I didn’t do any baking and was all around useless. So, since I didn’t bake anything, I’m bringing you my Chicago food and drink reviews. Mmmm

We got into Chicago early and everyone who was there was running low in sleep and food, so we went for quick and fast also known as soup at Panera. Ya, you know Panera, I don’t need to tell you about their yummy broccoli and cheese bread bowls.

Then it was time for lunch two for the second group of girls that got in. CB and I were tired so we stayed back and just relaxed at the hotel and enjoyed some nice chitty chat time with each other. What more could a girl ask for?

CB with our delicious cuppy

Oh wait I know … cupcakes! CB and I went to go wonder the city in hopes of finding the rest of our girls and ended up walking past a Sarah’s Sweets location in one of the Macy’s (apparently there are more than I … there’s also more than one Forever 21 too). I saw cupcakes and said lets go beechykins. So we walked over, decided we needed to try some macaroons because *gasp* we had both never tried them. Then it was on to deciding what kind of cuppy to get. Luckily, the other customer heard us debating and quickly interjected we needed to get the black and white cuppy. Thank you random customer, that was the best suggestion ever! It was literally perfect, best cuppy ever. Simple, but tasty and delicious all at the same time.

Poo poo cheesecake

After some more wondering, not finding our friends and heading back to the hotel it was time for dinner down the street at Viand. I wouldn’t recommend going with a large group because service wasn’t exactly fast (3 hours and the only apps ordered were salads), the bill was screwed up and the waitress left something to be desired, BUT the food was amazing! I got amish chicken, oven roasted, preserved lemon, garlic, rosemary sauce, baby red potatoes and ate every last bit of the deliciousness. Everyone loved all the food, it was all amazing, except for the angry calamari. Poor Jamie got it and ended up sharing Aprils amish chicken. What do we learn from this … if it’s called angry calamari there’s probably a good reason for it an you should just stay away. Oh ya and for dessert we got some cheesecake topped with Chocolate poo … i mean mousse :P Presentation was horrible, but boy was it yummy.

ON “posing” so we could get a pic of Canadians and Towers of Beer

Later that night it was all about the bars. Weak drinks were a bummer, but we still had fun. Just be careful of Canadians with towers of beer and mini, pocket sized guidos. If you get beer and stay away from the crazy guys you’ll have a blast on Rush street.

Pizza pic from April …. and all of us on the wall

Saturday am was all about the continental breakfast and lunch was Gino’s. I have to be honest here, my favorite thing about Gino’s was writing on the walls, the pizza left a lot to be desired. The whole sauce on top thing threw me off and I didn’t even like the sauce so that only made it worse. And crust is usually my favorite part and I just wasn’t feeling the crust.

http://i154.photobucket.com/albums/s255/nikki57575757/April2008127.jpg

After lunch it was off to get more cuppys. Molly’s Cupcakes here we come. Molly’s was great. The atmosphere was fun, bright and lively. They even had fun games to play while you ate. I think between all of us we got just about every kind of cuppy they had, but I went for the Ron Bennington. A chocolate cupcake with PB filling and Chocolate frosting. It was delish, but I still like the Black and White cuppy at Sarah’s better.

MMMmmmm

Saturday happy hour was Pops, the most wonderful champagne bar on the face of the earth. The champagne was tasty and the service was phenomenal. I thoroughly enjoyed having more champagne added to my glass after just about every sip. A woman’s glass should never hit empty and our waiter made sure that never happened. A few bottles of champagne and an hour with the coolest most wonderful waiter ever and it was time for dinner at Weber Grill.

My Chicken’s Butt

I think the best way to describe Weber is good all around food. The kind of food you know and love. Where Viand was more interesting and different, Weber was just good food. CB and I spilt a chicken with the cutest butt full of beer you have ever seen aka we got the beer butt chicken. The drinks were good, the service was great, just an all around great place to go for dinner.

Now what does any well behaved gaggle of girls do after dinner when they’re away from their husbands for the weekend? Go drinking and dancing!!! We had reservations at Excalibur for 10:30, but Weber had such great service we were in and out just after 9. The Red Head Piano Bar was closed for a private party and the best thing we found was the Hard Rock Cafe meh. It was hot, my buzz was wearing off, but on the plus side they were able to do separate bills for all 15 of us yay!

Wannabe Guidos so drunk they’re stretching on the floor

We got to Excalibur at 10pm, they let us start early. Two hours of open bar for $25 each ended up being the greatest idea of the weekend. Friday night we drank a lot but never got drunk on Rush street, at Excalibur we were all drunk when we left at around 12:30. So drunk that two people toppled over on their way out. While BB was able to save her drink and keep going ON busted up her elbow and in the morning we all found out that she was missing a chunk of skin off her back. Luckily, the alcohol dampened the pain long enough to keep going.

This sums it up … drunk, boobs, Whaaaaaaaaaaat?

We had wanted to do a Piano bar all weekend (Howl at the Moon was closed by the time we got their Friday) so we went back to the Red Head Piano bar. Needless to say it turned out to be a little classier and quieter than what we were looking for … so off to Howl we went. Howl was loads of fun, we danced, we sang, we took our shoes off eewww I know and laughed the rest of the night away. Once back at the hotel we laid down on the ground for a few before heading upstairs for some Gino’s leftovers, some much needed water and eventually, a little sleep before we all had to fly back home in the morning. Great trip, great friends, great food, way too much to drink!

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