So today, to roll with the cupcake kick, I hit up Cucina & Co for a little taste test.
Located in the belly of Rock Center near the skating rink, Cucina & Co offers a terrific "happy hour" deal--1/2 price treats from 4:00-5:00pm! So I loaded up a box with a selection of interesting and different cupcakes. "Regular cupcakes," which include the Black & White Cupcake, and the Vanilla Creme-Filled Cupcake, are normally priced $2.50 and $1.25 at Happy Hour and "Special Cupcakes" the Vanilla and Chocolate frosted ones below with the Chocolate Crunchies on top are normally $3.00; $1.50 at Happy Hour, so the whole box below came to $5.50. Not too bad! These cupcakes are huge!
Cupcakes in hand I tracked down my friend FinanceDude for an after hours cupcake break. We split the cupcakes open to share and discovered that the Chocolate and Vanilla frosted ones had jam fillings. Intriguing...
The frosting was sugarlicious, in a very good way. And the crunchy chocolate candy topping was an inspired choice. Alas, the cake part didn't hold up. It was overly dry and not particularly flavorful and the jam filling was sugary and cloying.
The Black & White and the Vanilla Creme-Filled Cupcake didn't fair much better in terms of taste. Both cupcakes, while aesthetically pleasing, were dry and the frosting was meh--sugary ,but not satisfying.
FinanceDude and I agreed that the Chocolate Frosted Jam-Filled Vanilla Cupcake was the best of the four, but by no means a must-eat treat. FinanceDude perhaps put it best when he summed it up saying that these cupcakes weren't worth the caloric opportunity cost. FinanceDude's theory is if you're in the mood for a sugary snack and you can have anything in the known snacking universe, why would you waste your calories when superior substitute goods are readily available in your office vending machine? Point taken.
I say, while I might not be returning in the near future for a Cucina Cupcake, I wouldn't rule them out all together. Ok, it's not really a destination snack if you don't work in the Rock Center vicinity. But the price is certainly right at Happy Hour--did I mention that these cupcakes are HUGE?!--and if you need sugar bomb reminiscent of the supermarket bought cupcakes of your youth, Cucina will more that do in a pinch.
Check out our updated flickr set: Cupcakes I Have Known and Loved for more photos of the cupcakes from Cucina and a sneak peek of some of the cupcakes from Alice's Teacup that I'll be reviewing tomorrow.