“Free cupcakes through the revolving door.”
Poor guy, he must have been saying it for hours. In the cold, as the snowflakes fell on the Chicago streets, no less.
It’s the first literal sign that the New York-success of Crumbs Bake Shop has now been transported to Chicago, to 303 West Madison where, on opening day, they were giving one of their large Crumbs Signature size cupcakes away to each customer.
And we do mean large. They are six-ounce cupcakes that are four inches in height. Let’s not talk about weight, OK?
By the time we hit the scene, the cupcake cases had been hit pretty hard, but the employees were still cheery and willing to answer, for probably the 999th time, the question: “So, which ones are good?”
To their credit, they didn’t say, “They all are.” From our sampling, they are good—quite good, in fact.
Although most of what was left was all chocolate (not that that’s a bad thing), we dug in to check them out.
Turns out that a Blackout is a no holds barred all chocolate cupcake, filled with fudge mixed with vanilla custard, topped with chocolate cream cheese frosting and chocolate crumbs drizzled with chocolate.
The Good Guy is full of multi-colored sprinkles with an extra helping of chocolate drizzle on top.
The Squiggle is reminiscent, inside and out, of a Hostess Cupcake, complete with that indulgent squirt of buttercream cream in the middle and chocolate ganache on top.
The Artie Lange is a vanilla cupcake with a mound of chocolate fondant, filled with chocolate cream cheese frosting, then edged with sprinkles. And the Bryant Park is a luscious looking chocolate cupcake with curls of what must be white chocolate on top.
And, no, I didn’t taste them all. There’s only so far I can go in the name of research.
Besides, there are other fun cupcakes names and flavors, like the Fluffernutter, the Creamsicle, the Caramel Chew, the Jolt, and something called a Baba Booey. In other words, you need to get to Crumbs Bake Shop and check it out for your own dessert nirvana.
It’s not all cupcakes, by the way. They offer Big Cookies, Mini Cookies, Bars & Tarts, and full-sized cakes in many of the same flavors as their smaller (it’s all relative, of course) cupcakes. They have donuts, muffins, pies, brownies, scones, and all kinds of pastries, from a Honey Bun to an Almond Croissant. Hedging their bets, perhaps, in case the nation’s interest in cupcakes ever ends.
If Chicago is any indication, that craze is still going strong. Less than two blocks away, as Crumbs Bake Shop was handing out it’s 1,000th cupcake of the day, another cupcake shop was posting a sign, “Sold out.”
Good thing I got my free cupcake when I did.