Sunday, September 20, 2009

Travel Treats: Georgetown Cupcake

This is the last installment of “The Single Guy Goes to Washington” as I blog about my vacation visiting my sister in the Washington, D.C. area. I’ll be back to blogging about food in the San Francisco Bay Area but will always look back fondly at my incredible two weeks in New York and D.C.

Best. Cupcake. Ever.

I saved my favorite epicurean adventure from my D.C. vacation for last. And that’s my visit to Georgetown Cupcake.

Living in the Bay Area, I have some good cupcakes to eat. (I’m an out and proud Kara’s fan.) But ironically I’ve found some of the best cupcakes during my travels, such as when I visited Cake Couture in Honolulu in 2008.

The same thing happened this time when I visited Georgetown Cupcake, a stylish and widely-reported-on cupcake shop in the heart of the historic Georgetown neighborhood.

They only have one store, and it’s in a tiny shop off the main street in Georgetown. When I arrived with my sister, brother-in-law and 3-year-old niece, there was a line sneaking out the shop. (I felt so much at home because you know how I’m always standing in line for food in the Bay Area.)

We arrived near the end of the day on a Friday so a lot of people looked like they were buying cupcakes on their way home from work. There were some new buyers in the line, questioning out loud whether it was worth the wait. And then there were some regulars in line who were telling them that, yes, it’s just that good.

The line actually moved fairly quickly. I’m pretty sure it just looks long because the shop is so small. But inside, you see a large display of beautifully crafted cupcakes on several stands. All of the cupcakes are made on site, and as I was waiting I could see the young workers in the back moving like busy worker bees.

Like most gourmet cupcake shops, there’s a list of everyday flavors and a changing daily menu of specialty flavors. I’m always excited to check out a cupcake shop that has creative flavors I’ve never heard of.

I ended up trying the Caramel Apple cupcake (all cupcakes are $2.75 each), which tasted like a spice cake with frosting and caramel drizzles. From the first bite, I was in love. There was something about the frosting that was so different than others I’ve tried. It wasn’t buttercream, but more like icing, but the way it was whipped was almost like a meringue or a light marshmallow. It was light and fluffy and so good. The touches of caramel blended nicely with the cake, which was moist and tasty. I totally enjoyed mines.

My sister actually got a few flavors because my brother-in-law couldn’t decide what to get. They tried the “lava fudge,” “chocolate-square,” coconut and vanilla. The lava fudge was decadence in chocolate, with a valrhona chocolate cake and vanilla icing and then fudge filling to resemble molten lava. The chocolate-square was valrhona chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. My brother-in-law thought the chocolate-square was OK but he really enjoyed the coconut. (There’s also a chocolate-cube.)

The vanilla was for my niece, who actually had just woken up from her afternoon nap and was wondering why her uncle was going all crazy over cupcakes. She ate some of her vanilla cupcake, but had to give it to her mom to finish. She says the frosting was a little too sweet.

Like any cupcake shop, it seems the flavors make the difference in your experience. I can highly recommend the caramel apple and my sister and brother-in-law endorse the lava fudge and coconut. But with the variety of beautiful cupcakes at Georgetown Cupcakes, I’m sure you’ll discover a favorite all your own.

Georgetown Cupcake, 1209 Potomac St. NW (at M Street), Washington, D.C. Open daily except Mondays.

Travel here too:
Crumbs Bake Shop (New York)


foodhoe said...

Your cupcake sounded amazing! How old is your niece? I can't believe she said the cupcake was too sweet!

Single Guy Ben said...

Foodhoe, my niece is 3. She didn't really say it's sweet, but she just didn't finish it. My sister says it tasted sweet and guessed that's why. I think the just-waking-up-from-a-nap issue came into play as well. I'm still dreaming of that cupcake! I wished they shipped!

Lacey said...

I'm a DC-er and WAY over the DC cupcake craze. Too much frosting. Regardless of which local cupcakery it is.

Anonymous said...

They now ship. Caramel apple comes into season in September. BTW it's the best one there so good choice. Second best... banana split.