Monday, January 21, 2008
cakelove comes to baltimore
I drove by the Safeway in Canton last month, and almost stopped dead in the middle of traffic. So, it seems that Cakelove is opening up next to the Starbuck's next month. Never heard of it? Well, you may have heard of the show Sugar Rush on the Food Network, hosted by attorney-turned-pastry chef Warren Brown, who is based out of D.C. Cakelove is his brainchild, a patisserie/cake shop that offers a good selection of cupcakes and other carb-tastic creations.
Frankly, I'm not enthused. I've tasted some of the offerings at his U Street location and they left much to be desired. There are the quirkily named Crunchy Feet and Buzz Balls, which are basically mini fluted poundcakes and round eclairs, respectively. Come on people, let's cut the cutesy names and just call it what it is! (Appropriately enough, both names are registered and trademarked.) Both were good, but unmemorable. Nearly everything is overpriced. I'm not sure I can justify paying close to $40 for a baker's dozen of cupcakes, no matter how good they are, or break the $3 mark for a brownie, or pay $70 bucks for a typical 9" layer cake. (Maybe I'm biased in my opinion, since I can easily make most of these items in my own kitchen, not to sound like a total brat.) Moreover, last time I was there, I was more than dismayed to see the cookies and scones indivually wrapped in layers of plastic wrap piled inside a cakestand. Don't they understand that totally kills that lovely buttery crust that's so important to a good scone? So I must stop my diatribe right now before I become too bitter.
Anyway, you will have to try it out for yourself before you make up your minds about Cakelove. I'm interested to see the crowds it'll no doubt, initially draw, mostly due to its owner's reputation. And I suspect it will have it's gaggle of loyal followers (probably mostly young, urban, and professional). But unlike another D.C.-Baltimore based Food Network star, Duff Goldman of Charm City Cakes who really does offer a novel service that no one else can, Cakelove has very little wow impact. Though it's very much a bright, sunny, and happy place, its pastries are not quite unique, and not very scrumptious. That's just my honest opinion, but don't take my word as the final word!
The Can Company
2500 Boston Street
Baltimore, MD 21224