Saturday, July 25, 2009

Larry's Ice Cream Review

My friend Chris woke me up, uhhh, I mean texted me Saturday afternoon. It's always fun to hear from Chris. We have equally superior taste in fashion than everyone else, which is why we get along. I know Chris because we used to work together, but now he's in law school. BORRRRING.

Anyway, he texted me because he was in the city for a bar exam prep class. It's ironic because Chris is admittedly one of the laziest people I know, but somehow he managed to make the trek out from BFE for a class downtown on a Saturday afternoon. So he texted me and asked if I wanted to hang out, catch up, maybe get a cupcake after class. Did someone say cupcake?! I'm there.

We grabbed a little lunch then decided to try the cupcakes at Larry's. Now, for all you who don't live in Dupont Circle, Larry's is historically an ice cream shop. However, last winter they started selling "homemade" cupcakes. Probably because the ice cream business slows when it's 15 degrees out. It's just a guess.

Despite their new menu item, I hadn't tried them in all the 7 months or so since they began selling them. Could be because I already have my favorites; could be because the people that own the shop run the place like the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld, which makes the entire process of choosing your ice cream quite stressful. Suffice it to say, I figured, with Chris by my side, this would be an opportune time to give the place a try.

The selection was pretty mediocre. Ice cream is still their line of business, let's not forget. But they had the basics--red velvet, chocolate, vanilla--and they had one interesting flavor, key lime filled with mango, topped with coconut icing. The man working the counter, presumably "Larry", made me feel welcome, saying "hey cutie, how can I take your money?" It's really nice to know that chivalry's not dead.
Chris ordered the mango-coconut thing:

I ordered the chocolate with sweet cream icing:

(I'm totally Lady Gaga-ing in this picture.)

They weren't the most attractive cupcakes. The icing was haphazardly piped on in stacked swirls. It obviously doesn't make the cupcake taste any better, but when you're in the cupcake biz they should look really pretty and neat.

My cupcake smelled really good. The icing gave me some concern right away though. It was definitely airy, definitely homemade, but it was SO buttery.
I love buttercream as much as the next cupcake-maniacal-Lady-Gaga-obsessed-red-head, but this was plain greasy. The cake had a light texture, a delicate reminded me of something.

Hmmm. What is it?

Wait. No...couldn't be. But the sign, it says homemade.

Yep, this was definitely from a mix. The cake was far too light to have the same butter content as a homemade product. A homemade cake is much more dense than the kind you get from a box. Larry's just made $3 off the one cupcake I bought, which is about what it cost them to make the batch of 24. Can't blame them for a creative business model!

Chris's cupcake, on the other hand, wasn't from a mix, which was nice, but the icing was still too greasy. There wasn't much mango filling either. Overall, not a terrible cupcake, but they've got to do something about their icings. A little vanilla bean would definitely help, and obviously more sugar. They should also whip the butter a little longer to make it fluffier so you don't feel like you need a triple bypass afterward.

I'm glad we went, mostly because it gave me fodder for the blog, and because it was fun to see Chris get hit on by the dude working at Starbucks, but I probably won't go back. I'm annoyed by the employees more than ever and I'm pretty sure I'm still sweating butter.

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