Adventures in Eating & Cooking
With the sweet summery sunshine and clear blue skies, today was a perfect day for cupcakes! So Zinni, Neta, and I got off at 2nd Ave. Lower East side on the F train to embark on our journey to cupcake paradise.
Very close to this subway station there is a newly opened 2nd location for Pinisi Bakery, our first destination. Compared to few tall chairs by a bar-like table jammed together in the 1st location (on 128 E 4th St.), this Pinisi had a lot more space to eat, so we stayed around to enjoy our cupcake. In fact, in the back there was a rather classy and cozy couch to rest on, along with some unique artworks and colorful lights. There was definitely effort put into interior design for the 2nd Pinisi.
However, I felt there was less variety of treats at this location. I couldn’t find the firey chocolate red velvet cupcake that I loved so much in the 1st location. But at least it still had Pinisi‘s famous regular red velvet cupcake! The three of us split it, relishing the fluffy cake smothered in a sweet rich, but far from overwhelming cream cheese frosting. The frosting was extremely delicious, but I thought this made the red velvet cake itself seem paler…And I eat cupcakes for the cake, not the frosting, so I was a bit disappointed. However, if you’re really a frosting person and you love the sweet creamy sensation of cream cheese frosting, go for this!
Next we walked down to 7th Ave. to check out Butter Lane, which I’ve recently read fabulous reviews about.
And wow…I know why it got such great reviews. Butter Lane was the closest to cupcake paradise with its heavenly cupcakes.
Although there wasn’t much selection, you could customize your cupcake by choosing the cake flavor and then the frosting. Neta chose banana cupcake, and I thought chocolate frosting would go best. But then there was American chocolate frosting and French chocolate frosting, and since American chocolate frosting evoked the image of overly sweet transfatty Betty Crocker stuff, we decided on French.
We made the right choice. Our French chocolate frosted banana cupcake was amazing! The cake was fluffy, moist, and bursting with warm banana flavor, which was enhanced by the light chocolatey frosting. The frosting worked perfectly with the cupcake. It was whipped into a soft mousse-like texture, very airy; and unlike most frosting, it was not overwhelmingly sweet. This cupcake was true bliss.
Last on the list is one of my all-time favorites: Babycakes! Edible for vegan vegetarians, Jews (kosher), diabetics, lactose intolerant people, and people with other allergies, the sweets at Babycakes can really brighten up anyone‘s day!
However, instead of getting cupcakes here, we got brownies on my recommendation. I love Babycakes‘ brownies! They’re usually rich, moist, and chocolatey, bursting with molten chocolate in the center. But this time the brownies weren’t as good as I had expected, and I’m not sure why. Perhaps it was just a bad day, or maybe the agave nectar ones are just weird, but the brownies on the dry side and they weren’t stuffed with as much gooey chocolate as usual. Nonetheless, they were still pretty good, healthy, and available to all!
Grade: Pinisi B+, Butter Lane A+, Babycakes A-/A
Conclusion: Almost reached cupcake paradise in Butter Lane! Neta experienced a cupcake coma while eating the red velvet cupcake at Pinisi. Zinni was really impressed by the lack of “necessary” sweets ingredients at Babycakes. It was tons of fun, and super-delicious! I was pretty satsified by the treats today.