Just like George & Weezy, we’ve moved on up to the Blogger east side! Check out more reviews, videos, pics and interviews at www.TheCupcakeCritic.com. And just so you know, we haven’t forgotten where we’ve come from, we will still post on tumblr but you can get more cupcake goodness on our new site. *Sniffle* We’ll miss you….
Cue Janet Dubois: “We finally got a piece of the pie-iiiiiiiiiiii…”
Review: Olivia’s Cupcakes
Location: 2318 Minnesota Ave. S.E. Washington, D.C. 20020
Flavors: Strawberry, Chocolate with Vanilla frosting and Red Velvet
“The cupcake disparity is a real issue but how do we overcome it?”
Olivia’s Cupcakes is a first in what I am hoping to be a trend; cupcake shops opening in predominately African-American neighborhoods. Walking into Olivia’s you are immediately greeted with factors beyond their control: crime, poverty, and lack of employment. Despite acting as a solution, you can’t blame them for installing triple thick, bullet-proof glass. Let me elaborate.
(Photo courtesy of Olivia’s Cupcakes)
Housed in a purple brownstone, Olivia’s Cupcakes looks like fairytale princess land. Outfitted in pink princess awnings, glitter wands and a crystal chandelier, it’s an adolescent girl’s dream. I was a bit jealous of the little girl waiting with her mother to discuss having her party in their princess room.
What I wasn’t jealous of, was their long wait time only to be told the person that they needed to speak to wasn’t available.
Although Olivia’s Cupcakes is metro bus accessible, driving there would be ideal. I decided to drive and found plenty of parking across the street. Making my way up the spiraled stairs, I saw potential cast members for the HBO drama, ‘The Wire’, standing in line for cupcakes. Recognizing my surroundings, I knew two things:
1. I needed to get in and get out.
2. The Critic is
Needless to say, I wasn’t able to get pictures of all the fairytale goodness.
At only $2 a pop I was eager to indulge all my cupcake fantasies. However once I got to the window to order, I was met with the dreaded “Ain’t no mo…” Their website boasted 8 daily flavors but that day only 4 were available. Luckily the line wasn’t long but the two teenaged girls working behind the counter were doing so in tandem versus assembly-line style. Ideally one would handle the money while the other bagged cupcakes. Nonetheless they were super sweet and a bit overwhelmed so I overlooked it.
Once I made it back to my car I sunk my teeth into the chocolate cupcake which was Billie D. Williams smooth (Colt 45 Days) and Phillip Drummond rich. Equally rich was their red velvet cupcake. Moist and draped in cream cheese frosting, Olivia’s had turned me into a believer! Finally, I managed to grab my all-time favorite cupcake, strawberry frosting on strawberry cake which may sound redundant but Olivia’s made it all worthwhile.
Overall Olivia’s Cupcakes is a venture that I want to succeed. Neighborhoods like Minnesota Avenue are often depraved of eateries (and resources) that others can take for granted.
Georgetown can’t have the lock on diabetes and obesity. Their cupcakes are awesome and their shop is an awesome sight to behold. Hopefully they will tweak what is within their control so foodies like me don’t mind overlooking what isn’t in their control.
Best Overall: Crunkcakes
With names like ‘Boozy Breakfast’ and ‘Dirty Pillow’ these cupcakes are in a class all their own. Liquor infused, packaged to perfection and priced oh-so-sweetly, they deserve all the accolades that they get. They ‘rep’ the DMV on their logo by giving the District of Columbia’s flag a cupcake spin. They can be found at any of these DC hotspots: Sova, The Rock N Roll hotel and H Street Bakes (seasonal). Read my review here
Despite the fact that I dream about Sprinkles, the Sprinkles staff in Georgetown is superb! Every customer’s name is taken down with their order; every flavor is explained
w/o sighs or eye rolls and each order is hand-delivered. There are enough staff members to defray lines and I’ve never seen an employee who looked like they were two steps from mutiny. Did I mention that I dream about them? Read my review here
Best Presentation: Enjoi Cupcakes
When I first encountered Enjoi Cupcakes the owners were suited up in their Enjoi Cupcake gear and their mascot, The Cupcake Princess, was in tow with her cupcake wand and fairy princess costume. Needless to say, she was cuter than Christmas. Their cupcakes, which were featured at Georgetown’s Marvelous Market for a summer pop-up, have always been stellar and nothing less than top notch. Aside from Sprinkles, I dream about Enjoi and their strawberry cupcakes! As the saying goes, “You eat with your eyes” and Enjoi has mastered that (amongst many things).
Read my review here
Best Variety: Baked and Wired
Aside from being a D.C. favorite (their review received the most views after Crunkcakes), Baked and Wired has more than earned their designation with over 25 flavors that include: Pretty Bitchin, Flapjack (maple brown butter cake with maple buttercream frosting topped with caramelized bacon), Chocolate Cupcake of Doom (chocolate on dark chocolate) and The Elvis Impersonator (a banana cupcake with chocolate and peanut butter frosting). Although some flavors are seasonal, these small batches are baked daily so get it while you can!
Read my review here
I will always have a soft spot in my heart for Hello Cupcakes; they were one of the first cupcakeries I went to as ‘The Critic’. Their Dupont Circle location is metro accessible and close to my favorite lunch spot Cosi
S/O to Cosi! With a new location opening in the up-and-coming Barrack’s Row area, I give kudos to Hello Cupcakes for giving their customers more metro accessible options
Read my review here
Cost: Georgetown Cupcakes
Despite having a
global cupcake empire, Georgetown Cupcakes are reasonably priced at $2.75. This has proven to be a very savvy marketing tactic to stave off DC newcomer, Sprinkles, and any other competition for that matter. All things considered they give customers quality, variety and size at a price tag much cheaper than area cupcakeries despite being the Vera Wang of cupcakes.
Read my review here
Best Red Velvet: Olivia’s Cupcakes
It’s not a secret that The Critic isn’t fond of red velvet cupcakes *
Flashback to childhood memories* but Olivia’s Cupcakes’ red velvet cupcakes make me a believer! Moist, flavorful and the perfect amount of chocolate flavor, because of Olivia’s Cupcakes *sniff* I can love again….
Read my review here
Who’s your best of the best? Let me know @DCCupcakeCritic or at DCCupcakeCritic@gmail.com. Happy Eating Cupcake Lovers!!
You be the critic!
Hey DC, who has the best cupcakes?
Cast your vote for the ‘Best Cupcakes’ in DC 2011 Edition.
To cast your vote, follow me on Twitter @DCCupcakeCritic and DM your vote for the ‘Best Cupcakes’ in DC. One vote permitted per Twitter account. Only votes sent via DM will be counted. Bakers may participate but can only vote for themselves once. Violators will be disqualified. Poll ends at 01/01/2012 at midnight. Good Luck! Happy Eating!!
Location: Alexandria, VA (pick-up or delivery only)
Flavors: Coconut, Lemon and Red Velvet
Price: $20 /dozen
As the cupcake craze moves forward and the tummies of Americans grow larger, even professionals are getting in on the action. Enter Bakeocracy, the baking democracy, and its owner, Fern Simmons. Fern is a very spirited woman who practices law during the day and bakes yummy cupcakes by night.
I first heard about Bakeocracy when they reached out to me on Twitter (@DCCupcakeCritic). After several tweets from avid Bakeocracy followers, I too wanted in on the action. According to their website they offer 12 flavors ranging from vanilla to key-lime pie and cinnamon swirl. At $20 per dozen, pick-up is available from their Alexandria location with limited delivery in the DC area (for a small fee).
On this Saturday afternoon, I would be treated to their coconut, lemon and red velvet flavors. Per usual, it didn’t take long for me to bite into all the cupcake goodness. Due to technical difficulties
it flipped over in the box, I tasted the red velvet one first. Let me tell you, it doesn’t get any better than this! The cake was good and the cream cheese frosting was perfect. I almost shed a tear when I got to the last bite.
Next up were the coconut and lemon. Both cupcakes were smooth with great texture and flavor. My only complaint would be that the frosting had a cream cheese base which gave it a custard-like texture and flavor (think coconut custard or a lemon cream pie). This is simply a matter of personal opinion and in no way would I kick this cupcake off my plate.
Overall I enjoyed these cupcakes and felt my voice was heard- it is good! Cast your ballad and tell me what you think about them?