Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Kara Baked Me Some Cupcakes

Recently I celebrated another birthday. Yes, still single and still getting older. Sigh. What can help me forget about getting older? Baked goods. I know, I know. I seem to talk about them so often when I always say I hardly eat them. What can I say? I'm a complex man who's getting older by the minute.

Since I moved back to the Bay Area six years ago, I've been searching for the best birthday cake every year. I had some good ones at that Patisserie on Union Street. Remember that? But they closed about three or four years ago. Then for convenience I got one at Whole Foods. Pretty but dry. One year I splurged and got one at the Miette Cakes at the Ferry Building. Ugh, the worst. Pretty and pretty expensive and the taste: zero. So superficial.

This year, I decided to forgo getting a whole cake and decided to get a cupcake. That's when I decided to make the trek to San Francisco's Marina District to visit for the first time the fairly new Kara's Cupcakes. Clearly, the pure definition of designer cupcakes.
Just visiting the store is an adventure in design for someone like me who has an interest in graphic design. The logo and color scheme are perfectly selected to showcase a whimsical feel with a sophisticated touch. Very impressive. But will it be like Miette? All sugary and sweet outside but nothing special inside?
Kara showcases her cupcakes like jewels in a case. The narrow store is typically crowded, but I got there early to get my pick of all the varieties, from the Meyer Lemony Lemon (above right) to the coconut and java.

The service was actually quite pleasant, but the pricing was typical Marina sugar boosted. Kara has two types of cupcakes: regular and filled, which sell for $3 and $3.50 each, respectively. I felt the filled cupcakes were interesting but they are slightly smaller than the regular cupcakes.

So as you can see from the first photo, I ended up getting three cupcakes (giving me more birthday wishes, I guess): a regular banana, the Meyer Lemony Lemon and the Passion Fruit. I loved the taste of the Passion Fruit, the Meyer Lemony was just very lemony, and the banana was better than I expected. While good and not too sweet, which is just right for me, it didn't blow my mind. The frosting, like all fancy cupcake makers, is a little over the top. Just too much of it. Still, it was a nice way to celebrate a birthday. I rather have Kara baking me a birthday cupcake than myself.

Kara's Cupcakes: 3249 Scott Street (at Chestnut), San Francisco. Open every day except Mondays. Credit card purchases require a minimum $10 purchase. Advanced orders accepted for special occasions.


Passionate Eater said...

Looks like you celebrated a "sweet" birthday this year! Happy birthday!

Chef Ben said...

Thanks PE!