And that's how i feel now, sitting at my desk at work reflecting on my lunch time cheat with Cupcake Cove in San Francisco's Financial District.
I actually literally ran into this place two weeks ago when I went to Miette with a friend. We had just had macaroons though, so we said we'd try these later. And later was today. I checked Yelp first and they got decent reviews, 4 stars. But that was not our experience.
They do have a lot of flavors, which seem to change daily. You can see their menu (and website) here. They also sell cookies - which i did not try.
The store front is TINY though. No seats. (Which is why all the pictures you will dirty SF streets in the background.) It's okay though... because they give you your cupcake in a little plastic container fit for one cupcake. ITS SO CUTE. It looks a little like the cupcake carriers I got this year for Christmas. I will have to try mine out ASAP!
In any case, the cupcake that was given to me in the cute plastic bubble was a Guava & Passion Fruit/Vanilla cupcake.
What this means, apparently is that its a Guava-Passion Fruit frosting on a plain Vanilla cupcake.
It's pretty. My friend got a Coconut/Vanilla. Same thing. Coconut frosting on a vanilla cupcake.
So far so good right? Convenient location? Check. Variety? Check. Cool flavors? Check. Pretty containers? Check.
But I mean at three dollars a pop, it is a lot about how it tastes. And I was underwhelmed. For two reasons. The first and most important is that is WAS three dollars for a cupcake whose frosting was wayyyyy dry. As in I question if these were even today's cupcakes. It was the same for both my Guava and my friend's Coconut. The cupcake itself was all right, it was moist (enough) but the frosting was not up to par with what you can get in this area, what you can MAKE at home. I could probably get a fresher cupcake at Walgreens... and that was the biggest issue for me. It was at 1PM, they open at 11AM. If you cant make them stay fresh for 2 hours, or even worse yet if you're giving me frosting you prepared earlier this week and shoved in the fridge to be used throughout the week? Come on. Really disappointing.
The second problem I had was the flavor combinations. Let me explain. All but one (maybe two) of the cupcakes there were EITHER a plain vanilla or a chocolate cupcake with a flavored frosting. That's kind of taking the easy way out isn't it? You're only baking two kinds of cakes and putting (old) flavored frostings on top? No thanks.
That being said, the actual flavor of both of the cupcake frosting were not bad. (If i wasn't totally aware that I was eating refrigerated 3 day old frosting, that is.) The guava came through nicely, the coconut wasn't overwhelming and neither were sickeningly sweet. If they had been FRESH I would have forgiven their lazy approach to baking.
But I bake cupcakes with 4-5 elements to them (cake, filling, frosting, garnish, sauces etc) so coupled with the old frosting issue, I cannot forgive Cupcake Cove. Not when i have CupKates down the street. The extra block is worth it anyways. Burn more calories getting there? Anyways, needless to say I will not be going back to Cupcake Cove anytime soon.