Monday, June 10, 2013

Just because you won, doesn't mean you are the best

I don't really want to talk trash or spread vile rumors.  The fact is that while an institution or restaurant or chef may have won something at some point in time, doesn't mean that they forever have that power and prestige'; such as any episode of Restaurant Impossible, Mystery Diners or Restaurant Stakeout may prove. There are many episodes which had famous or world record holding chefs and restaurants whom have since then become relaxed in their work, lost their passion and thought that just because they were famous at one time, people will come back and spend money.

Along Delmar, near 170, is an Indian restaurant named House of India.  House of India was a staple for my wife and our family and whenever someone wanted great Indian food, we would go there.  It is our favorite Indian restaurant: to date.  It is just perfect.  Now, next to it, where a fabric store used to be, is a new shop. The new shop, is a Jilly's cupcake bar and cafe.  Jilly's is well known because they won on the show Cupcake Wars, in Season 3.  Now I know that they went back again in February and won another round of cupcake wars, but their food doesn't really show it.  When we went there, we picked up 3 cupcakes.  We picked up a 24 carrot gold which was a carrot cake flavored one with some dusted gold sugar on top, there was a Twisted Pink Velvet which was like a red velvet cake, there was one called the Bee Sting which has flavors of lemon and honey and finally we ordered a plain one: Simply Iced.

First off, there were some things that just didn't seem too comfortable about the cafe and experience.  First of all, it was very crowded and while that is great for places, when people left a table and no one came to clean them off and bus them, it made it look dirty inside.  Now, that we finally had gotten a table, there was 6 of us and I had to sit at a dirty and messed table and wait for someone to come by and clean it, we sat with our cupcakes and began eating and tasting.

The 24 Karot carrot cake cupcake was okay.  I'd give it a 2 out of 5, but it didn't taste anything like a carrot cake.  It had such a heavy and pronounced spice-ness to it that it tasted like a spice cake, heavy with nutmeg or allspice and cinnamon and walnuts.  If you didn't tell me it had carrot in it, I would have thought it was a banana spice cake.  It was just okay for $5, actually it wasn't worth $5.

Then there was a Twisted Pink Velvet and it tasted like the red velvet cakes that are made with cocoa powder.  It had a chocolate hint to them and was moist and good.  I'd give this one a 3 out of 5.  It was good and I'd order it again; it was also $5.

The Bee Sting was interesting because as much as I thought it would taste like honey, it tasted more like strong fake lemon flavor than anything else.  The little piped icing bee was cute and the little lemon candy shaped honey comb piece was tart and the cake seemed pretty normal and subtle.  I'd give it a 2 out of 5 and it was also $5.

The last one was the Simply Iced and was their regular iced cupcake and was $3.75.  This one was better priced and for its flavor, which was a regular vanilla flavoring, I'd say that it was still over-priced.  It had a vanilla cake and the icing was pretty normal for a Jilly cupcake.  I was expecting something grand but maybe my taste buds are not as refined because their Tahitian vanilla icing tasted just like the fresh vanilla bean icing I can make at home using the beans I buy at Costco.  The ones at Costco are from New Guinea or somewhere like that, so they taste the same to me.  Still, I'd give this regular tasting cupcake a 2 out of 5.

Here is the thing: the cupcakes all seemed normal.  There wasn't anything strange like a beer flavored cupcake with bacon or something strange that should be in a cupcake.  Furthermore, while these cupcakes are large, they are not as large as the huge cupcakes you can find at places like Sams or Costco.  I dunno.  Maybe I'm just not a cupcake snob, but I will not get there anytime soon.  This is like the trouble wine.  You need to get wine tasting experience by learning about wines and tasting wines.  But if you don't have the funds to buy wine all of the time, how can you tell which wines taste the best?  Here, at places that charge as much as a full meal, for cupcakes, makes it difficult to taste as many as I can.

If you are hungry for a cupcake and you have $5 and some change in your pocket, then go there and have one.  If you are hungry for a cupcake and you want more than 1, then go some place else.

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