Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Cupcake Battle: Week 2; Bakeshop in Clarendon

Last Friday was a little bit sad. It was the last time Connor would attend his beloved Oak Tree Kindergarten for the year, and next year when he starts up again, the "Tall Oaks" in the class will have moved onto 1st grade. Parents were invited to attend a picnic, and Mr. K - the world's most awesome Kindergarten teacher ever - gifted the students with a marigold seed that he had sprouted a few weeks earlier. Each of the children excitedly accepted their gift. The class gifted Mr. K with a wringer and a butter churn for the classroom. Mrs. G. - the world's most awesome Kindergarten assistant teacher - received a gift card for some craft supplies. She has plans to open at Etsy shop this summer, which I am very excited about.

After having pretty big lunches at the picnic, I decided we'd start our weekly cupcake challenge on the way home. Helen and Connor are ecstatic that they have basically been promised a cupcake every Friday for the entire summer. Naturally, we picked the place closest to us, the Bakeshop.

Here's the thing about the Bakeshop. We've been in here before. We went for Family Date Night #3. At that time, the owner told us that the slim selection was a function of him not figuring out the street traffic just yet. He told us he had just sold his last vanilla-vanilla cupcake, which at the time, was my family's flavor of choice. OK - It was Connor's flavor of choice, and since Helen adores all things Connor, she would follow suit and choose the same cupcake he chose when faced with a decision. Which meant that disappointment in one child resulted in magnified disappointment in the second child.

When we went in the shop on Friday - at opening time! - we were greeted with the same slim selection. This was disappointing. Thankfully, in the spirit of playing along with the Cupcake Battle, Connor had already announced he was going to taste different flavors of cupcakes, and he was going to taste them two weeks in a row to see if he really liked or disliked something, or if he had made up his mind too quickly. Seriously. The dude wants to be fair in his judging.

We ended up getting two specially frosted chocolate cupcakes with vanilla frosting and chocolate sprinkles on them. I don't know what this flavor is officially called other than "this is seriously the only thing you have at your counter?" and then the owner saying "I can frost up something different if you want".

Both Connor and Helen gobbled their cupcakes down. I had intended this trip to be a take-out adventure, but clearly that was a terrible idea because who gives a kid a cupcake and then asks them to hold onto it for the next ten minutes. So, Connor and Helen cracked into the goods on the spot. Only, I saw the parking lady coming by, and I hadn't budgeted enough time for the meter, so I looked up at the salesperson and the owner and said "I'll be right back. They'll be fine." and I left Connor and Helen teetering somewhat precariously on tall barstools. Tall barstools that Helen only tried to tip over twice. And the second time, I really think she was seeing if her first experience almost falling off could be replicated or it happened for no good reason, because that's how Helen rolls. She replicated the near fall perfectly. I ran out of the shop, crossed the street, dropped in my quarter, and lunged back into the shop before the counter guy knew what hit him. The owner sat outside the whole time chatting it up with someone who looked like she wanted to be his Lady Friend.

When asked to rate the cupcakes, Helen gave them two thumbs down and Connor gave them two thumbs up. I give them 3.5 stars. The buttercream they use is almost identical to the one I make, which makes it less impressive than something that tastes different. Though it is a damn good buttercream. Selection was pretty boring, although this will probably change when they have their official "grand opening". We'll give them another try then. They get bonus points for not calling social services when I bolted from the shop to feed the meter.


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